Title

The Effect of the MPAA Rating System on Film Violence, and The Critical Bias Against Horror Films

Presenter Information

Jesse GilstrapFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Graduate

Major

Mass Communication

Minor

N/A

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Melony Shemberger

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

Violence in media is a volatile subject to many, and the result of a decent amount of bias in terms of its effects on society or its critical perception. A lot has also been made about the over time change in film violence, which in good measure can be centered around the introduction of the Motion Picture Association of America’s rating system in November of 1968, or the July 1984 introduction of the PG-13 as well. There were freedoms created around these ratings changes in terms of what could be shown on screen, but I am interested first of all in just how much more violent movies became in the time around, and especially after, 1968. Importantly, I am also interested in film criticism of these movies, and whether violence in movies alters a film’s perception. Looking at films with the highest box office, I want to examine the perceptible critical assessment of overall violence in movies, and the violence of horror movies, to see any bias. Genre films are routinely dismissed by critics and even by movie studios without real investment, something even Alfred Hitchcock had to fight against before critical evaluation of his work shifted. I hope to explore, in due measure, some of this bias and how it shifted around the MPAA rating system.

Affiliations

OTHER Affiliation

Other Affiliations

JMC 615 American Media History

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The Effect of the MPAA Rating System on Film Violence, and The Critical Bias Against Horror Films

Violence in media is a volatile subject to many, and the result of a decent amount of bias in terms of its effects on society or its critical perception. A lot has also been made about the over time change in film violence, which in good measure can be centered around the introduction of the Motion Picture Association of America’s rating system in November of 1968, or the July 1984 introduction of the PG-13 as well. There were freedoms created around these ratings changes in terms of what could be shown on screen, but I am interested first of all in just how much more violent movies became in the time around, and especially after, 1968. Importantly, I am also interested in film criticism of these movies, and whether violence in movies alters a film’s perception. Looking at films with the highest box office, I want to examine the perceptible critical assessment of overall violence in movies, and the violence of horror movies, to see any bias. Genre films are routinely dismissed by critics and even by movie studios without real investment, something even Alfred Hitchcock had to fight against before critical evaluation of his work shifted. I hope to explore, in due measure, some of this bias and how it shifted around the MPAA rating system.