‘Hellboy’ Receives High R 18+ Rating in Australia

Roadshow Films

Apparently the new Hellboy movie will be violent. Like, reeeeally violent. So much so that Australian censors don’t want anyone under the age of 18 watching it.

The Classification Board at Australia’s Department of Communications and the Arts have officially classified Hellboy R 18+, the highest rating given to films eligible for theatrical distribution. The ‘restricted to adults’ rating was handed down for “High impact violence, blood and gore.”

In the US, Hellboy has been rated R for “strong bloody violence and gore throughout, and language.” The big difference in the States: an R means that those under the age of 17 can see it if they are accompanied by a parent or adult guardian, which is somewhat similar to Australia’s MA 15+ rating.

In Australia, films given the R 18+ rating are deemed to be “restricted to adults” with “classifiable elements such as sex scenes and drug use that are high in impact.” There is one higher rating in Australia – X 18+ – which “shows actual sexual intercourse and other sexual activity” and is given to films “only available for sale or hire in the ACT and the NT.”

This gore-heavy take on the character is more in line with the comics by creator Mike Mignola. Talking to Empire in November 2018, director Neil Marshall (whose credits include violent outings such as The Descent, Dog Soldiers, and episodes of Game of Thrones) talked about the no-holds-barred approach they would be taking.

“It was always a case of, ‘When in doubt, go back to the source material.’ Some of the stuff is pretty sick,” Marshall said. “More violent and more bloody. We weren’t making it with handcuffs on.”

Suffice it to say, content wise, it’s going to be a little more bloody than what Guillermo Del Toro offered up in his two Hellboy films. Both of those films were rated M in Australia, meaning they were “recommended for teenagers aged 15 years and over” but weren’t restricted by any age. They were rated PG-13 in the US – where the rating suggests a “caution” to parents.

Hellboy, starring Stranger Things actor David Harbour in the lead, as well as Milla Jovovich and Ian McShane, opens in Australia on April 11 and hits the US on April 12.

Roadshow Films
Roadshow Films