It: More Blood, More Gore, More Violence


Ivy McClanahan, Cactus Writer

The insatiable need for more gore and violence in movies suggests that it takes more to scare us than ever before. To quench our need for more blood, Hollywood has grown extremely lenient, showing more explicit content to younger audiences. For instance, the 2017 remake of the 1990 TV miniseries, It, is sure to showcase more blood and gore than the original.

The International Movie Database (IMDB) shows that the 1990 version received an Unrated rating for “mature thematic material, violence/terror and language.” To receive an Unrated rating, the movie must be so scary that is surpasses all the existing ratings.

The site goes so far as to list specific references from the movie under each category to justify its rating. It describes the scenes in which blood flows mysteriously from Georgie’s picture and one character is stabbed. It warns the audience that the skeleton crawling out of a lake and grabbing a boy’s ankle along with the scenes that include Pennywise the clown might scare young children. Under profanity, an exact list of words deemed inappropriate is provided and includes “2 uses of the word ‘bastard’ and 1 use of ‘son of a bitch’.”

The 2017 remake of It, on the other hand, received an R rating for “violence/horror, bloody images, and language.” An R rating is one level below an Unrated rating, but is the remake less scary or offensive? Not at all.

The IMDB lists the same categories as the original describing the scenes in which a child’s arm is bitten off, shown graphically, and he cries while being dragged into a drain and “a bully is seen slitting his father’s throat while he sleeps, blood gushes” under violence and gore. Other frightening and intense scenes include a clown moving and distorting itself in unnatural ways. The site goes on to say that the movie is not suitable for anyone under 16, because of the violence against children.

Profanity warning contains just two points, “some uses of ‘f***’ and other profane words said by teens” and “a teen girl is called a ‘slut’ several times”. These statements listed under the 2017 release are much more general, compared to the 1990 version where the use of each word was recorded. Maybe it is due to the sheer volume of profanity in the remake.

What are we to learn from this comparison? Although Hollywood may just be the conduit for showcasing violence, gore, and profanity, it is our society that has accepted this as the “new norm”. Our tolerance as viewers is increasing, and PG-13 movies nowadays are approaching what rated R movies looked like in the 80s and 90s. Pretty soon, even this much violence won’t be enough to satisfy us. What lengths will directors go to then to scare us?