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April 28 2010

The Cabin in the Woods gets a 'R' rating from the MPAA. Drew and Joss' movie will be released in the States on January 14th of next year.

I'm told post production is still happening on this, and it is still planned for full release (despite MGM's woes).

[ edited by gossi on 2010-04-28 17:26 ]
Does anyone know how much it cost to make (that's including the 3D makeover)?
I suppose MGM's perseverance with the film means they must have high hopes for it to be a success. Either that or they just want to get things out the door and try to make some money.

Really looking forward to this one. Joss, Bradley Whitford, Richard Jenkins, Fran Kranz, Amy Acker... I can't see this being anything but fantastic.
Well the original cost was $30 Million, but the 3D makeover only cost my patience.
I wonder if the studio, anxious to get a more lucrative PG-13 rating, will ask Joss to re-edit his cut, to remove some of the elements that have earned it an R?
The rating description reads like a horror movie fully intended to not get the PG-13.
So what does a US rating 'R' really mean? What age does it correspond to?
Garim, an R rating means (in theory) no one under 17 without a parent or guardian. It is loosely enforced.
Is this the first R-rated Whedon project on screen ? Or anywhere ? I don't think he's produced any R-rated/M-rated comics. Not that the rating matters too much in terms of the potential for most audience members to enjoy it (well, not sure I wanna see G-rated Whedon, though I suppose the first Toy Story sure, I'd pay to see Whedon do Disney/Pixar again, or Dreamworks, or another kid's project, some day). In the end, story/acting/score/cinematography and, in this case, thrills!!!...are what count.

The part of me that's wanted to see Joss do restriction-free TV since Firefly got canned is happy to see how this Whedon/Goddard project turns out.

I hope this stays an R. I have one friend who is kinda funny about only going to see horror movies in theatres that're R. Anything else, drama or comedy or genre, he'll check out regardless of rating if it's something he really wants to see, but for whatever reason, he requires that his theatre visits to horror films be accompanied by an "R" (despite having pointed out to him that a lot of the thriller/horror he's liked in years past has done fine with a PG-13).

We have yet another ratings system here in Canada, but it has its rough equivalencies with the U.S. system and I generally don't refer to the Canadian ratings, since they're barely enforced here (a 14-AA is basically PG-13, an 18-AA is an R...forget if we have NC-17 or if we just lump that under 18-AA 'cause we're less prone, as an overall population, to feeling scandalized by "extreme" content/sexuality. AA = Adult Accompaniment).

The MPAA is basically bullshit though, a lot of their criteria for how they classify is steeped in puritanical backwards thinking (love the high tolerance for violence and fear of sexuality/sex, never gets old), sexism, and "protect-the-children!" hysteria, rather than rationality. I'm sure a few of you here, being in the industry and being way bigger film buffs than me, have seen the documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated. Well worth the watch, for those who haven't seen it. It's a little light, that'd be my only criticism. I'll basically steal from the film's IMDB & wikipedia descriptions, "The film discusses disparities the filmmaker sees in ratings and feedback: between Hollywood and independent films, between homosexual and heterosexual sexual situations, between male and female sexual depictions, and between violence and sexual content." It may sound dry, but it's actually a pretty amusing doc with interesting, frustrating points to make about how the MPAA doles out its restrictions.

Wiki for This Film Is Not Yet Rated

[ edited by
Kris on 2010-04-28 18:32 ]
Is this the first R-rated Whedon project on screen ? Or anywhere ?

The Angel Season One DVD here in the UK is rated 18, so no I guess.

ETA It was rated 18 by the BBFC because of the Five By Five episode.

Aren't most horror movies lately R-rated? Not sure why kid these days (get off my lawn!) would want to see a PG-13 horror movie.
Do not many films get a NC-17 rating in the States? Just glancing at the list of films with the rating on Wikipedia, it looks like the vast majority are cut in order to get the broader R rating.

It seems quite odd this stigma of receiving a high rating. I suppose it makes commercial sense, but it is something that I don't really see happening that much over here in the UK. In fact, I can only think of a few films that have really tried to get a lower rating and that has been down to them wanting to get a particular audience rather than a broader one. For example, 'This is England' was a film that Shane Meadows wanted to be shown to school kids to demonstrate the realism of racism and peer pressure, but the BBFC gave it an 18 certificate (I believe some local councils over ruled that decision and gave it a lower rating though.) There are a couple of other examples of 'issue' films that have wanted a teenage audience as well, but I can't think of ones that really want to lower the rating based on a business decision (excluding the odd cut to films that are designed for kids that have run fowl of the strange BBFC rules like no headbuts.)

Edit: I believe the 18 rating for Angel has something to do with Faith lighting an aerosol whilst torturing Wes. Again, this is one of the strange BBFC rules that the odd thing runs into (I believe the Jerry Seinfeld film Bee Movie had an edited scene for the same reason.)

[ edited by Vandelay on 2010-04-28 18:27 ]
NC-17 is box office poison in the US. Studios won't gamble with that.
I think there was a similar fuss over Ken Loach's 'Sweet Sixteen', which I'm pretty sure remains an 18 despite attempts to get it lowered.
I remember UIP being slightly surprised when Serenity got a 15 certificate here. (I wasn't). It does have a financial impact -- but getting rated (for example) 18 in the UK doesn't mean box office death for a movie here.
Michel Gondry's "The Green Hornet" starring Seth Rogen has been moved to January 14th so that it can be converted to 3D as well. Cabin's 3D was supposed to help it at the box office but if it has to compete for 3D screens with a superhero movie there might be trouble. Source: Is Sony The Green Hornet's Archnemesis?

[ edited by Barry Woodward on 2010-04-28 19:13 ]
I was just scootin' around the interwebs, and it doesn't look like this has a UK distributor yet. Somebody pick it up. In Germany they're down for January 20th.
For the non-US folks, here's a rundown of what the various ratings mean: MPAA Film Rating System (Wikipedia)
*sigh* No matter how much I adore Joss, Drew, Fran, and Amy, I can't see this. I don't do well with gory movies, even really fake stuff. I had trouble with some of the violence/gore in Buffy and Firefly, and that was really tame.

Just looked up Alien Resurrection, which has an R rating. So not the first, even if we don't include the odd 18 rating for Angel season 1.


That's the one. 'Sweet Sixteen' was the other film I had heard that had a similar problem as 'This is England.' I had forgotten the title.


Please don't scare me like that! I missed out on seeing Serenity at the cinema and would be so disappointed if I would end up not being able to see my first Whedon flick on the big screen (well, I saw Toy Story way back, but I was just a kid who had not been fully enlightened by the ways of Whedon.) Hope that gets resolved soon.
What, the UK release? Somebody will pick it up - Fox or Sony or something - here. Just how long after the US release is questionable.
Just for a bit of historical context especially for younger readers and those from the abroad and who haven't seen the very entertaining above-mentioned film by Kirby Dick, the NC-17 rating was originally championed by Roger Ebert and the late Gene Siskel on their TV program as a stigma-free, non-porn-associated alternative to the X rating which had quickly gone from being associated with movies like "A Clockwork Orange" or "Midnight Cowboy" to, well, "Deep Throat."

When the rating was finally put in over the strenuous objections of the late MPAA chief, Jack Valenti, the entire effort was quickly torpodoed when, for whatever reasons, the huge Blockbuster Video Store chain, the large theater chains, and many newspapers essentially banned the new and supposedly non-stigmatized NC-17 rating. It was a damn travesty and so counterproductive, and a good example of the U.S. schizoid stance where one second we're celebrated rampant sex and violence and the next we're going into complete hysterics over all this sex and violence. I could go on...

(That being said, as a gorephobe, I'm a little worried about the "strong bloody horror violence and gore" thing. Though I've learned over the years, there's gore, there's gore, and then there's gore. Little bottles of booze, easily sneakable into film theater, may well be involved when I see this.)
I can't see it either, iluvmusicals. I'm fine with the level of gore we saw on Joss's TV shows, but horror movies and I are very unmixy things. I was planning to take a chance with this one before it got the R rating, because it's Joss, but not now. So here's hoping a TV cut version turns up fairly soon after the DVD release.

[ edited by Taaroko on 2010-04-28 20:11 ]
"strong bloody horror violence and gore"

Esh. I happen to hate horror movies but love Joss and this will be interesting.
I'm amused by the differences between UK and Ireland ratings for Angel. One episode was 18 in UK and 12 in Ireland, another was the other way around. Fun to guess why. Aerosols, really? I usually credit oblique references to the Virgin Mary. The BBFC mostly seem fair to my tastes but Kick Ass shocked me into thinking it should've been an 18. Maybe I'm getting old.
NC-17 is box office poison in the US. Studios won't gamble with that.

Only because the uninformed masses equate that rating with porn. So very few media outlets will permit advertising or exhibition of an NC-17 film. Meanwhile, the R-rating gets more extreme every year.
Yep, aerosols. I don't think it is just those in particular that upsets the BBFC, but I think it is the application of a household item as deadly weapon, or some such thing (probably something a bit more specific than that.) I don't recall Faith actually using the flames on Wesley, but the threat of it was obviously enough (to be honest, I don't know if that is why it was an 18, but I had heard that similar scenes have had to be edited for that reason. I certainly can't see any other reason why that episode would be given an 18 rating.)

The BBFC have gotten a lot better in recent years and I would actually say they did a very good job on Kick Ass, despite many people being critical of them. The comedy of the piece is taken into consideration as is the fantasy/comic book setting. There is also no sustained shots of the injuries.

You can get all that info from their website and they always go into quite good detail about why they are awarding the specific rating, even as far as talking about particular scenes. Always interesting to read when it comes to something that is controversial, like Kick Ass. I would recommend anyone that is unsure whether something would be suitable for someone wanting to see a film to check out their website. They go into much more detail than a simple "Contains bloody violence."

Ireland rating system is just bonkers.
That is interesting, bobster. I wonder if NC-17 films might make their way back since Blockbuster really isn't a major player anymore.
Ratings are inconsistent and, to put it mildly, opaque. I used to go look at one of those "family-friendly" websites here in the U.S. (can't remember the name of it now, "screenit" perhaps?) to get the best, most detailed, second-by-second descriptions of all things that are offensive in movies. The site would give you the hour and minute for the scene in which, for example, the teenager lit a ciggie; somebody threw a rock at a squirrel; a kid mouthed off to her principal; or a mother bared her right breast. Great stuff - and it was always amusing to picture the reviewer sitting watching this, presumably distasteful, stuff with the pause button and a watch in hand . . .. Useful too, if you have a sensitive soul/child (albeit completely spoilery, though you could always skip the plot summary).
Why are some of you guys all icky about "Cabin" getting an R-rating? Didn't Joss say something about going balls-to-the-wall R when he talked about it?

I can't wait to see Joss and Drew without any restrictions. Sex, gore, profanity -- might give us a taste of what an HBO-aired "Buffy" and "Angel" would be like.
From what I've seen, there's many joss fans who aren't into scary stuff. Which is understandable - his TV work isn't exactly bloody. Me? I'm all about trauma.

[ edited by gossi on 2010-04-28 22:01 ]
gossi, that was broadcast television. Joss got away with some stuff back during his "Buffy" years -- David Boreanaz's bare behind in s3, semi-graphic sex scenes in "Buffy" s6, etc..
I'm getting a very Evil Dead 2-type vibe from the descriptions and just knowing Joss's sense of humor. I, for one, can't wait!
mcjw, just because it was broadcast (and so restricted) doesn't mean some people didn't like the restrictions. I know many people who wouldn't watch Dollhouse simply because it talked about sex. (For, like, a scene, before the network freaked).
Yea. I'm not a big R-rated horror fan. I'll give this a go, but it will be with hesitation.
I'm very much looking forward to this.
Is this the first R-rated Whedon project on screen?

Alien: Resurrection and (though he was arbitrated out of screen credit) Speed are both R-rated.

Check out that 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams rating. A movie I worked on is rated in the same bulletin as a Whedon flick. Woot.
The R-rated (or 18 rated as it'll probably be in the UK), does give me pause as I'm not much of a horror fan (though it's more the whole 'jumping out at people' stuff that gets me, I know, I'm a chicken). The 3D thing is the biggest turn off for me though so I'm hoping the 2D version will be showing too.
Anyone know what the Lost episode "Further Instructions" where Locke uses a lit aerosol can on a polar bear is rated by the BBFC?
This movie is going to be so huge.
The R vs PG-13 rating thing has always kind of infuriated me. I distinctly remember seeing a PG-13 movie which depicted a child with extremely graphic and violently-gotten head trauma, as well as a PG-13 movie depicting a horribly disfigured and corpsified body stuffed in a closet, but the instant a pair of breasts shows up, R rating! Because extreme violence towards children (even just the aftermath of it)is so much more acceptable for young people to see than the completely natural act of two people having sexual relations. Uh huh. Color me confused.
Anyone know what the Lost episode "Further Instructions" where Locke uses a lit aerosol can on a polar bear is rated by the BBFC?

Seems that the boxset that contains the episode is a 15. The use of it on an animal (and I presume he uses it in self defense - don't watch Lost) may be why it doesn't get a higher rating than the Angel sequence.

Doing a little bit of digging - as doubt has started to creep into my mind about whether I have this right - I can't find any specific mention of using aerosols as a flame thrower causing issues. Even 'Bee Movie' was supposedly passed with no cuts, but I'm sure I recall a scene had to be remade for the UK - anyone outside of the UK seen the film and remember an aerosol flame thrower?

Glancing over the BBFC classification guidelines for a 15, a section headed Imitable Behaviour does say "Dangerous behaviour (for example, hanging, suicide and self-harming) should not dwell on detail which could be copied. Easily accessible weapons should not be glamorised." The drug section also says "The misuse of easily accessible and highly dangerous substances (for example, aerosols or solvents) is unlikely to be acceptable." It's not clear what is covered by "misuse" though.

Another area that could have pushed the Faith/Wes scene over the edge into 18 is "Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of or injury." There isn't anything particularly graphic in the sequence, but it certainly does dwell on Faith inflicting the pain. Also, "Strong sadistic or sexualised violence is also unlikely to be acceptable." Again, it isn't graphic, but there is definitely a sexual undertone to the whole sequence. Even with all that though, there is certainly far worse in many a 15 rated film/TV programme; probably even in something rated 12 (torture scene in Casino Royale, for example.)
I don't think anyone's brought this up yet, so I will. Something that everyone should keep in mind as well is that the MPAA ratings system is NOT law. The theaters enforce it loosely, the rental stores don't at all because Netflix can't see who logs into an account (whether you're 15 or 45), and Redbox requires a credit card for purchase but that doesn't limit anyone under the age of 17 from swiping mom and dad's card.

What's important about the MPAA system not being enforced is that rated R horror movies tend to draw a lot of teens, and they don't care about the ratings system. I hate to put it this way, but the system is broken and that works to our advantage at the box office.

[ edited by The Ninja Report on 2010-04-29 01:07 ]
It's weird, but I recently realized that Poltergeist is only rated PG. That movie scared the heck out of me as a kid. Seems ratings are actually stricter nowadays.
There's nothing about Poltergeist that would have rated an R. Simply scaring the heck out of an audience isn't something that'd prompt it, then or now.
Hmm. I like scary movies; I like (very few) horror movies and I really dislike overly bloody/gory movies. This will certainly be an interesting movie experience ;).
I found a Tuscaloosa News article in the google news archives from 1976 describing the PG rating for The Bad News Bears:

"currently, the contents of a PG movie are allowed to be (1) profanity, (2) nudity, (3) graphic, though usually not excessively brutal, violence and (4) antisocial or antiauthoritarian behavior."

That's more akin to an R rating these days! Add in all the smoking the kids did in the original and it would have had to cut whole scenes to get a PG-13 rating these days (the remake did and suffered for it). Hopefully all those things, minus the smoking unless it's by a bad guy of course, will appear in CitW. ;)
Some of my friends really like gory film. Sometimes they don't even want to watch a movie without gore element in there. I might be able to take them to watch this movie. However, depends on how well this movie do in Box Office i might have to wait for another extra 2 years and when it's here it might get censored for the gory and sexual content. Yeah, it's crappy where i live. I just really hope that those censors won't disturb the storyline.

Oh, and i just want to give a little recommendation for "Raging Phoenix". The first half of that movie is really good also the fighting skill that mixed with break dance is very cool. However, the reason why the organization wants to kidnap those young women is kinda meh.
I'm down with everything except the gore - so I may look away a lot. But I wont miss it.
Joss and Drew and some of my favorite actors. :) No 3D theaters on my rural island, so that isn't an issue, and I don't care about 3D anyhow.
Now I just have to find someone who will go with me - no one I know is into horror (as opposed to SciFi & Fantasy) and even my one Whedonverse fanatic buddy is so gore-phobic that she will miss a Joss production for the first time ever, because of that factor.

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