Scream Gets An R Rating For Strong, Bloody You-Know-What

Haters of PG-13 horror can let out a big sigh of relief as the fifth film installation of the "Scream" franchise has officially been given the R-rating from the MPAA, ensuring the entire franchise requires adult supervision or skilled theater hopping skills for viewers under the age of 17. The upcoming 2022 release earned its R-rating for "strong bloody violence, language throughout, and some sexual references," which uh, sure sounds like what to expect from a slasher movie. The new film comes from the Radio Silence collective's Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett of "V/H/S," "Southbound," "Devil's Due," and "Ready or Not" fame, all horror flicks that definitely know their way around a R-rating.

Fans of the "Scream" series already know our besties Sidney (Neve Campbell), Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), and Sheriff Dewey Riley (David Arquette) are poised to return, as well as Deputy Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton) and Roger L. Jackson as the voice of Ghostface. But there are plenty of newcomers to love and subsequently get super-bummed (or excited!) about when they're inevitably gutted like fish by whoever is donning the Ghostface garb. The MPAA announcement is leading many to speculate that a new trailer and possible ticket pre-orders are just around the bend, which means a lot of last-minute holiday shopping budgets for horror fans are about to get tighter.

Making the Most of R-Ratings

It's expected that high-profile horror films, especially legacy and franchise players like "Scream," will vy for the R-rating because they can afford to miss out on the coveted teen audiences. Anytime a horror movie is announced to have a PG-13 rating, the immediate (and frequently incorrect) assumption is that the film will be "bad," because it is presupposed that the film will lack the hallmarks of horror films. There are plenty of quality PG-13 horror films (shout out to "Happy Death Day"), but if anyone knows how to make the most of the R-rating, it's Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett.

The MPAA has a really odd relationship with violence and sexuality, with any semblance of sex-related nudity or persistent violence earning an automatic R-rating, but nonstop gunfire in films like "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" somehow sneaks in as PG-13. 2019's "Ready or Not" was one of the most loved horror releases of the year, in large part due to the juxtaposition of surprisingly gory kill scenes mixed with stand-out comedy moments that would not have survived a PG-13 edit. Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett don't use the R-rating to jampack their films into relentless "torture porn," but instead use the rating as a way to make fun and inventive death scenes to provide an all around quality experience. Their sensibilities will fit right at home in the universe created by Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven, and the R-rating is a sign we've got some wild kills to look forward to seeing.