Screenwriter April Wolfe has defended the PG-13 rating of the upcoming remake of the horror film Black Christmas. “Here’s the deal: We wrote it with an R in mind,” Wolfe stated on Twitter today. “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!”
This morning, the website Bloody Disgusting revealed that the new version of the 1974 horror classic had been given a PG-13 rating. Several of the website’s commenters decried the news. “A horror movie rated PG-13 is not a horror movie,” wrote TheMan. “It’s Goosebumps.” (EW has confirmed that the Blumhouse-produced film is rated PG-13.)
The original Black Christmas and an earlier 2006 remake were both rated R. But many beloved — and scary — horror movies have been rated PG-13, including Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell, Gore Verbinski’s The Ring, and John Kraskinski’s A Quiet Place. Somewhat remarkably, Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist was rated PG, although the movie was released before the introduction of the PG-13 rating.
“A rating does not define a horror film,” director Jovanka Vuckovic (XX) wrote on Twitter, after Wolfe posted her message. “The Changeling, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Deathdream, Burnt Offerings, Tombs of the Blind Dead, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Salem’s Lot, Race with the Devil, Lemora, The Other, Let’s Scare Jessica To Death, Poltergeist & Jaws were all PG.”
The PG-13 rating has also been defended by Phil Nobile Jr. editor-in-chief of the recently relaunched horror magazine Fangoria. “So now we have a gory Black Christmas,” Nobile wrote on Twitter, referring to the 2006 film, “a trauma-inducing Black Christmas with Margot Kidder and the C-word, and a Black Christmas to indoctrinate tweens into horror. Who loses?”
The new Black Christmas is set during the holidays at Hawthorne College, where, one by one, sorority girls are being killed by an unknown stalker. But the killer is about to discover that this generation’s young women aren’t willing to become hapless victims as they mount a fight to the finish.
Black Christmas stars Imogen Poots (28 Weeks Later, Green Room), Aleyse Shannon (Charmed), Brittany O’Grady (Star), Lily Donoghue (The Goldbergs, Jane the Virgin), and Caleb Eberhardt (Broadway’s Choir Boy). The movie is directed by Sophia Takal (Always Shine).
“My version of Black Christmas is about a group of women who are sorority sisters at a college who start to disappear one by one and the remaining sisters have to figure out why these women are disappearing and who’s responsible for it,” Takal told EW earlier this year. “And eventually, once they figure out who the bad guy is, they have to fight for survival. The original Black Christmas feels so contemporary and modern for the time. I wanted to make something that reflected our time right now. For me, it was about, What does it feel like to be a woman in 2019?”
Black Christmas is released via Universal, Dec. 13.
- Black Christmas trailer teases a homicidal holiday season for Imogen Poots
- Doctor Sleep director recreated scenes from The Shining for new movie