We always wondered how a book about kids brutally murdering other kids on live TV would get a PG-13 rating in the U.S. Not to be too spoilery but there are some grisly deaths in The Hunger Games that gave us, full-grown adults, nightmares. And now it seems that initially,there were a few too many of those gory scenes for the U.K. version of the MPAA, the British Board of Film Classification, to deem it appropriate for kids under 15. The BBFC, which is a little more up-front about its rules than the legendarily mysterious MPAA, posted the changes that were made to bring the rating from 15 down to 12A, their version of PG-13. Apparently, Lionsgate UK showed the board an unfinished version and was advised on where to make “cuts and visual reductions.” The next version had made adjustments two “four scenes of violence and in one scene showing details of injuries. These reductions were implemented by a mixture of visual cuts, visual darkenings and the digital removal of sight of blood.” But that wasn’t enough: Seven seconds of one more scene needed to be changed to “reduce an emphasis on blood and injury.” They did so by “digitally removing sight of blood splashes and sight of blood on wounds and weapons.”
We have no idea if such changes were made to the American version as well. But wow, that’s a fascinating peek into what the experts deem OK for a 15-year-old versus a 12-year-old. Blood splashes! Now, we wonder how they felt about burns, tracker jacker stings and, eeeewwww, pus?