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BBFC to scrutinise horror films more closely and make 12A rating clearer

The Woman in Black

Story by Jack Foley

THE British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is to examine the impact of horror films more closely and make the 12A certificate a little clearer to understand.

Following a public consultation, the body has made public its findings, which will come into effect from February 24, 2014.

As part of its remit, the BBFC will pay attention to the impact of gore and strong visuals in its deliberations, which could lead to stricter rules on the portrayal of violence on-screen. However, it has agreed to be more flexible when it comes to the use of strong language in 15 certificate films.

And noting that the most popular certificate of all, 12A, is “very important”, it conceded there was “room for improvement” in terms of bringing more clarity to its decisions.

Films like horror movie The Woman in Black are among the most complained about among parents who felt that the certificate was too low. The Daniel Radcliffe star vehicle remains the most complained about film of the past four years.

But the BBFC did defend the certificate stating that a lot of its respondents largely agreed that the certficiate had been appropriate.

The BBFC’s consultation involved some 10,000 members of the public, with teenagers as well as their parents taking part for the first time, and it sought opinions on how sex and violence on film and video should be handled.

Among other key findings, the sexualisation of young women in film and music videos was considered to be a major concern, as were the content of some music promos and the ease of accessibility to online pornography.

Other amendments, meanwhile, will include the tightening up of language in U certificate films, deemed suitable for all viewers, and a move to give greater weight to the theme and tone of films that are issued with parental guidance (PG), as well as the aforementioned 12A certificate.

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