Black Christmas Remake to Be PG-13 to Be More Accessible to Teenage Girls
News has come out that the upcoming Black Christmas remake—starring Imogen Poots, Aleyse Shannon, Brittany O’Grady, Lily Donoghue, and Caleb Eberhardt, directed Sophia Takal, and written by Takal and April Wolfe—will be PG-13.
Cowriter April Wolfe addressed horror fans’ reaction to this news on Twitter:
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
Personally, I am of two minds about this. I think being PG-13 is no reason to dismiss a film. There are plenty of amazing PG/PG-13 horror movies, and relying on grisly jump scares and gore for too much has made the horror genre sort of basic. Even the original Black Christmas is pretty tame when it comes to blood and gore compared to today. In fact, most classic, highly regarded movies tended to be rated R because of exploitative nudity rather than violence, which would be made more intense by camera angles and tone.
I would rather see a movie with well-crafted violence than a fountain of blood and jumps. Additionally, some of my favorite horror movies have been PG-13, including Drag Me to Hell and Happy Death Day. It can be done, and I’m willing to give this movie a chance to prove itself.
At the same time, I don’t think R-rated movies are hard for young girls to get their hands on. We don’t see that same kind of mentality used for movies for young boys. I saw horror movies as a kid, even when I wasn’t supposed to, and I sometimes think that PG-13 horror movies, depending on how they are marketed, tend to push younger audiences away rather than pull them in.
I know plenty of teens saw Paranormal Activity movies when I was growing up. However, post-Booksmart, I can see why female creators would want to lower the rating so more teenagers would go and see their film. Plus, the fact that this is the first female-directed Blumhouse film is going to be a big deal, especially since so many of us have pointed out the studio’s failure in that regard.
The original Black Christmas is one of my favorite movies ever; it was the first slasher film and had a lot of feminist messages within it. I felt like the first remake really failed because they thought the solution was to make a bigger, bloodier movie, with answers, when the simplicity of Black Christmas is that these women are being haunted by a male voice that could be any number of men in the movie. I hope that this remake will resist the urge to expand the big bad and will find a fun, interesting way to update a movie that already felt pretty modern by 1974’s standards.
We’ll get a chance to see the final product on December 13, 2019. Happy Black Christmas.
(image: Universal Pictures/Blumhouse Productions)
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