Apparently the film is so intense and gory that the American ratings board, the MPAA, have given it the dreaded NC-17, which is equivalent to commercial suicide.
“It’s a very strong picture and we’re trying to figure out what to do with that, without ruining it,” says a perplexed Craven, speaking to Empire yesterday. “We have to deliver an R rating. We looked at it last night in the screening room and before we started, we said to Alex ‘what do you think?’ And he said ‘this is a PG-13 now’. And one of our producers said ‘Alex, can we commit you to an insane asylum if this isn’t an R?’ and then he showed it to us and ohmigod, there’s no way you would get an R for that.”
If you’re wondering why, just bear in mind that the first film featured a gruelling sequence where the mutants attack the family in their trailer, and kill nearly everyone. That sequence remains in the 2006 version, but considerably amped up.
“It's intense. Very intense. The attack on the trailer in my film was horrible, but it was over fairly fast,” adds Craven. “This one goes on almost ten full minutes. It’s fairly faithful to the original, but Alex added other things that also make it worse, what’s happening to these people. It’s protracted. It’s a long, slow process rather than being a chaotic, relatively fast process. It’s just too much for people that have to rate it, by a mile.”
“We can put it all full strength on the DVD, though,” laughs Craven. “We’ll be able to do that.”