Viewers who already think Midsommar is disturbing enough as is will agree that the movie was much more unnerving than most R-rated films. The eerie thriller certainly doesn’t shy away from graphic death scenes, which is why the Motion Picture Association of America originally wanted to rate the pic as NC-17 before eventually settling on R. The extremely rare label would’ve likely crippled the film’s box office numbers, as well as limited the amount of publicity and exposure it received.
Director Ari Aster recently revealed in an AMA session on Reddit that it took “lots of back-and-forth” with the MPAA to ultimately land the much less restrictive R rating. He says that his flick was stuck with the NC-17 tag for six weeks and likely would’ve been released as such if not for some dealmaking on his end.
The reasons why the MPAA wanted to give the film such a tough rating are more than understandable to anyone who’s seen it. The entire production is ripe with bloody head trauma and disturbingly realistic gore that can be upsetting for many moviegoers. Additionally, there’s no shortage of full frontal nudity and vivid sex scenes scattered throughout. A combination of all of these factors are never likely to sit well with the association that labels films.
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It’s possible that the MPAA might’ve made Aster remove some scenes from Midsommar in order to satisfy the requirements for an R rating and maybe those deleted scenes are what will be included in the extended cut of the film, which promises to be “at least thirty minutes longer” than the two-and-a-half hour long original when it arrives on home video, according to the director.
It’s currently unknown what will be in this re-edited version of the feature, but definitely expect more weirdness, nudity and violence. Until then, you can enjoy the theatrical cut of Midsommar now as it’s currently playing worldwide.