The US trailer for Severance is now up on the Apple trailers site - that means it's a proper movie and everything.
And it now has a US rating: Rated R, for "strong bloody violence, language, drug content and some sexuality/nudity." Nice. What better advert for a horror movie??
But with the rating, comes the unwanted attention of the MPAA, who according to this report from Fangoria have told the US distributors to remove certain "elements" from the official Severance site - mainly, the gushing neck stump, the escort girls' boobs (well, cleavage really), and anything relating to torture and blood. This is quite farcical, considering they allowed the Saw 3 posters last year - actual posters on billboards, no less, whereas the Severance images are only on its website. I've just had a look at the updated site - they've removed the gushing neck stump (which doesn't even look that real, for fuck's sake), the wallpaper download of Jill tied up, and cropped the pic of the two escort girls so that the one with more cleavage on display is no longer shown. Apparently, if they hadn't done this, they might have lost their R rating. Crazy.
Now I look around online, this is getting reported all over the place, and the general consensus is that it was a really stupid thing to do. Obviously the distributors have no choice in the matter if they don't want to lose their rating, which means hardly any cinemas would take the movie, and no newspapers would run ads for it - so I don't hold them responsible. But it's pretty dumb of the MPAA to pull this sort of stunt, considering that you can easily find plenty of websites with much gorier content online, surely the web is not in their jurisdiction? Yes, a five year old kid could go online, see the site and be traumatised. They could also go online and see people getting run over, having open heart surgery, or having sex with donkeys. A five year old kid isn't allowed to watch the movie, and that is the only decision a film ratings board should make. Fine, don't allow gory posters in public places, I have no problem with that. But get your stinking paws off the internet, you damn dirty apes. More reaction on the story at CinemaBlend, Twitch, and JoBlo. And if you're a US horror fan looking for the actual pumping blood graphic - IF YOU CAN HANDLE IT OMG IT TEH GOREEY - you can always have a look at the UK website here, which thankfully isn't subject to the whims of of the MPAA. Update: Chris' comment on the whole thing is here.
On the other hand - thanks MPAA, for all the free publicity! Good job!
Speaking of Fangoria, I picked up issue 262, which has a big spread on the movie - it's spoiler-tastic though, if you haven't seen the movie don't look. It was so exciting to see the name on the cover, I allowed myself a slightly insane giggle in the shop. It's in most branches of Borders now, if you want to have a look.
The list of US cinemas that will be showing Severance is updated, so if you live over there, have a look and see where it's playing near you. They're adding more cinemas all the time, so keep checking.
Some US reviews are coming in, to add to the already excellent Variety and Hollywood Reporter ones:
Rolling Stone - 'Watch out for that rocket launcher. I'm not going to tell you anything else.' - Cool little spoiler-free review.
Film Threat - '"Severance” is how “Office Space” would’ve turned out had Michael Bolton and Samir not been able to take their frustrations out on the office printer.' - Blimey, I wouldn't go that far myself, but cheers.
And finally, Film Journal - 'If anyone involved in this sloppy, inexplicable slasher flick had a notion of what they were doing or why, they've kept it to themselves. Severance is a murky quagmire from start to finish.' - hey, hang on a minute, that's a bad one, ignore it...