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Article – Has The Film Certificate Become Nothing?


Posted September 8, 2014 by

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Has The Film Certificate Become Nothing?

Remember when you were young and you really wanted to see that 18 but it was deemed unnecessary due to the sheer amount of blood, violence, swearing and nudity. You were at that age as you just broke into being a teen and there was very little else you want than to talk over with your friends the latest action romp or gore filled horror. Well these days the kids of today (now I’m feeling old) don’t get that devastating experience. Rather they have it handed to them on a shiny platter being told there you go.

Yes it’s 2014 and for over a decade now the film certificate has declined into almost non-exsistance. It’s a big question to ask, how has this happened? But before we head down that road let’s just reflect on the how. I remember growing up in the 90s and not being able to see so many films like Wes Cravens Scream which had a huge 18 certificate slapped on it or even Van Diesel’s The Fast & Furious. Heck we hit 1999 and I had to miss out on The Matrix until it’s VHS release! However today the films which would have been crowned an 18 or 15 are usually just hitting the 12 certificate mark or just falling into the 15 yet non of it quite feels right.

I got wondering about this a few days ago when someone asked me to name the most recent 18 I’d seen but I just became stumped. I hadn’t a clue. Then thinking about it more I couldn’t even remember the last 15 certificate I’d seen but I thought long and hard if this was maybe myself not paying attention to the silly little certificates anymore or that they’d grown less important than my younger years.

Whilst doing some research, the film certificate has diminished. Is this because films have became less violent? Less use of strong language? No it seems that the BBFC has just changed their ways. With a generation of young people growing up seeing higher classifications of films at a younger age it with being able to get their hands on it one way or another it now seems that the BBFC finds it suitable for films to have plenty of violence and still stick a 12 certificate on it.

It’s understandable with time that things become more acceptable through the years and this is one such thing which has happened.

How do you perhaps feel over the almost diminishing existence of the film certificate?


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Matthew Reay
Freelance Contributor



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