Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Film watchdog guidelines published

Horror film The Woman In Black starring Daniel Radcliffe was among films that had their certificates examined
Horror film The Woman In Black starring Daniel Radcliffe was among films that had their certificates examined

The British Board of Film Classification has announced it is to put a new emphasis on the effects of horror films under new guidelines.

The body, which decides movie ratings, said in future it will further scrutinise the " psychological impact of horror" examining "gore" among the strong visual detail which may be featured in films.

It will also be tougher on strong language in films aimed at family audiences but will be more "flexible" for films at the 15 classification after public research showed that context rather then frequency was the key factor for viewers.

The BBFC - which has published new guidelines on its ratings policy - said there will greater weight given to the "theme and tone" rather than simply specific scenes and details on screen, particularly at the 12A/12 and 15 levels.

It will also pay further attention to sexual content after an extensive public consultation - involving around 10,000 people - showed there was concern about "the sexualisation of girls and pornography", with the content of music videos and access to online porn said to be "special worries".

During the research people were asked how issues such as sex, violence and bad language should be handled, looking at 60 films and videos. The vast majority backed the classification levels of films they had seen recently, with nine out of 10 believing that The Woman In Black - which has brought the most complaints of the past four years - had been correctly issued with a 12A certificate.

The BBFC's director David Cooke said: "Our new classification guidelines reflect explicitly concerns raised by the public during the 2013 consultation and will, I believe, ensure that we continue to be in step with what the public wants and expects in order to make sensible and informed viewing decisions."

He admitted that even after 12 years of use, some viewers were still confused by the 12A rating.

"We and the film industry will work during 2014 to improve understanding of this very important rating," he said.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Nightlife Galleries


Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News


Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant


Joining a discussion group will be lots of fun. You'll enjoy brainstorming with fellow visionaries. The idea for a community improvement project is worth developing. You and your neighbours will benefit from a beautiful gathering spot. It's easy to feel alienated in this technological age. Create a space where you can escape computers, telephones and artificial lighting. Don't be surprised when you feel compelled to visit this sanctuary every day. Spending time outdoors will make you more relaxed and productive.More