Censor Gets Tough on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

On the eve of its Blu-ray release, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has been reclassified from R16 to R18 (contains brutal sexual violence, graphic violence and sex scenes) after six complaints from the public about its theatrical and DVD rating.

The movie is still playing in some cinemas ahead of the July 29 release of its sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and its September Blu-ray bow.

Since the Classifications Office was set up in 1994, 83 publications have been reclassified; the last movie reclassified, Irreversible, had its classification lightened, from ‘film festival restriction’ to an R18 theatrical release.

According to the chief censor’s decision, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’s rating was hardened because of “the unusually large number of complaints, the consistency and cogency of their arguments, and the higher classification given to this film in a number of comparable overseas jurisdictions”.

The office believes the movie’s unrestricted availability on DVD is likely to be injurious to the public good because of its treatment of matters of violence, especially in the form of sexual violence, and also cruelty and crime.

“While viewers of all ages will be shocked and disturbed by the treatment of rape and the overall strength of the violence, children and teenagers are particularly more likely to have difficulty cognitively and emotionally processing the disturbing scenes. Adults have the experience and maturity to put the disturbing scenes into a coherent context, and are less likely to be unduly influenced.”

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