BBFC reveals audience concerns from 2012

The Woman In Black most complained-about film.

by Jennie Kermode

The BBFC released its Annual Report today, including details of the letters it received from the public during 2012. While The Woman In Black received the most complains, at 134, The Railway Children received its first complaint for 42 years.

What's wrong with The Railway Children having a U certificate? The complainant worried that it might encourage children to play on railway tracks, though the BBFC concluded that's unlikely, as modern railways tracks are very different from the ones in the film and have limited access. No mention was made of red flannel underwear.

The issues with The Woman In Black centered on parents considering it too scary and distressing for younger children. It had a 12A certificate, which means parents are supposed to take under-12s along only if they consider them mature for their age, but it seems likely that younger children begged to see it because it features Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe. The BBFC noted that the book on which it is based is regularly studied in schools. It was the second most popular British film of the year, after Skyfall.

Also attracting complaints was The Hunger Games, with some adults complaining that it was too violent while younger viewers complained that it was less violent than the book and that this diluted the horror on which its anti-violence message depended. Similarly, parents were troubled by Chronicle, having expected a straightforward superhero film and instead finding something that dealt with difficult issues like isolation and bullying.

The BBFC is currently undertaking an extensive consultation project with a view to developing new guidelines later this year.

Share this with others on...

Keeping his word Michael Apted in conversation on 63 Up

Talking about juxtapositions Thom Powers on dreams, fashion, identity, nature and bright spotlights in DOC NYC

Dedicated to DA Pennebaker Thom Powers on Martin Scorsese, Michael Apted, the Masters and Winner’s Circle in the tenth edition

EIFF goes coastal Free Film Fest on the Forth announced

DOC NYC award winners announced Viewfinders, Metropolis, Shorts and Short List results

Oscar documentary feature longlist announced 159 entries under consideration for 92nd Academy Awards

More news and features

We're bring you coverage of the London Korean Film Festival and DOC NYC and the French Film Festival.

We're looking forward to Tallinn Black Nights and Welsh horror festival Abertoir.

We've recently been at the Valencia Film Festival, New York's NewFest, the Cambridge Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, the London Film Festival, the Iris Prize Festival in Cardiff, Manchester's Grimmfest, the Scottish Queer International Film Festival and the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Read our full for more.

Visit our festivals section.


More competitions coming soon.