Well, this is certainly unexpected, to say the least. The upcoming Blumhouse horror film Black Christmas has recently debuted the first official trailer for the returning horror property, and now after assuming it would be a solid R rating for obvious reasons, the film has been said to receive a PG-13 rating making it a teen-friendly horror flick for the first time.
On Twitter, Exhibitor Relations Co. confirmed the film’s rating, citing that it has solidified a PG-13 rating, adding, “Black Christmas is rated PG-13: for violence, terror, thematic content involving sexual assault, language, sexual material, and drinking…with an open container on campus. Was actually PG until that.”
Now, given the previous film rating that went for a much bloodier film, the R rating made sense and as many would note, most horror films under a PG-13 rating tend to be watered down. One other surprising element is that the film has “thematic content involving sexual assault” which feels like a strange choice when there’s a clear attempt at straying from something like blood for a supposed slasher film.
The trailer which wasn’t exactly the best showing of the film’s slasher inspirations but does look like it will try to bring the women together in a stronger direction towards fighting back than the 2006 reboot. The rating will definitely make the film more accessible to a younger-skewing audience which means higher profit opportunities, however recent horror has excelled when pushing the boundaries of terror with mature content, so this choice feels like it could be a reason to expect fewer legitimate scares from Black Christmas.
I know that this gives the impression that there’s some pessimism surrounding the film’s choice, but we’ll just have to hold out hope for plenty of surprising creative choices with the rating they’re given. It is also worth noting that Black Christmas (2006) wasn’t a very respected film by critics and general audiences, but over time it has shown that it took chances in addition to gathering multiple solid performances like Michelle Trachtenberg and Katie Cassidy — but where this will rank alongside the other two prior films remains to be seen.
Black Christmas will arrive in theaters starting December 13, 2019. Will you be watching?