The makers of the movie version of House, penned jointly by leading Christian suspense writers Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker, are disappointed that it will have an R rating when it releases in more than 400 theaters next month—possibly keeping away a big chunk of its potential core audience.
The film was given the adults-only stamp by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) for "terror and violence," making it the only Christian-themed movie other than Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ to receive such a rating.
Producer Ralph Winter said in a statement that the makers were "at a loss" when they learned of the decision, which was based on the general tone of the film rather than specific parts. They wanted to make cuts to win a PG-13 rating, but were told by the MPAA that "the whole story was just too intense."
Winter said the team realized that a large portion of the teenage fan base that made the book a success would not get to see the film, and that "many faith-based organizations that would generally support the film would feel handcuffed due to the baggage associated with most rated-R films."
The consequences were "unfortunate," he said, but he hoped people would judge the film on its own merit "and appreciate the film's themes of 'good vs. evil' and 'sin and redemption.' "
Based on the 2006 novel published by Thomas Nelson that follows two couples' challenges in a house of horrors, House opens Nov. 7.
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