Blumhouse and Universal Pictures’ upcoming Black Christmas is back in the headlines after the rating for the holiday horror flick about a group of sorority sisters terrorized by a masked killer was revealed. This latest Black Christmas is written by April Wolfe, directed by Sophia Takal (V/H/S), and stars Imogen Poots. Previous Black Christmas versions include the first from 1974 starring Margot Kidder and the 2006 version starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
According to Bloody Disgusting, the 2019 Black Christmas has earned a PG-13 rating, making it the first of the three versions to not earn an R-rating. The PG-13 rating was given for “violence, terror, thematic content involving sexual assault, language, sexual material and drinking.” For comparison, the 2006 Black Christmas was rated R for “strong horror violence and gore, sexuality, nudity, and language.” Now, the MPAA ratings systems is hardly flawless and the vague reasons for why is a film is given its rating doesn’t necessarily speak to the quality of the film or the ways in which certain factors affecting its rating figure into the story. So, just because the 2019 Black Christmas has a PG-13 rating doesn’t mean we should automatically assume this version is going to be softer on the horror than previous takes.
To shed even more light on this matter, Wolfe took to her Twitter on Wednesday to explain how the PG-13 rating was arrived at. Per Wolfe:
“Here’s the deal: We wrote it with an R in mind. When they did the test screenings, was clear that this movie needed to be available to a younger female audience because the subject matter is timely. Also I want to indoctrinate girls into horror. Doesn’t make it any less vicious!”
Here’s the deal: We wrote it with an R in mind. When they did the test screenings, was clear that this movie needed to be available to a younger female audience because the subject matter is timely. Also I want to indoctrinate girls into horror. Doesn’t make it any less vicious! https://t.co/UMOdU3HQ4E
— April Wolfe (@AWolfeful) November 13, 2019
Given that the first trailer for Black Christmas has already strongly implied, if not revealed, that the sorority girl group led by Poots’ character will be kicking ass right back at the killer(s) terrorizing them, it makes sense that there would be interest in figuring out a way to show it to a necessary demographic. Should we be worried this new Black Christmas is going to play it safe? Hell no. If anything, this specific case of a rating being doled out and surprising us all should reveal there is a concerted effort to make sure this horror remake with a heart of gold is seen by those who really need to see it the most.
Black Christmas arrives in theaters December 13. For more, check out the official trailer here.