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Why was the Film Twister Rated PG-13?

Motion Picture Association film rating systems are essential when it comes to knowing who the film was intended for. Rating categories include; Rated G, Rated PG, Rated PG-13, Rated R, and Rated X. But did you know that Twister, a disaster film released in 1996 tried to appeal to people of all ages but it was still placed as PG-13?

Twister, a film released in 1996, was rated PG-13 for its intense depiction of very bad weather. The association believed that kids under ten may be too scared to watch this film.

The Plot and Production of the Twister Film

Twister is a 1996 American epic disaster film directed by Jan de Bont and based on a screenplay written by Michael Crichton and Anne-Marie Martin. It was produced by Crichton, Kathleen Kennedy, and Ian Bryce, with executive producers Steven Spielberg, Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald, and Gerald R. Molen.

Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Jami Gertz, Cary Elwes, and Philip Seymour Hoffman star as a group of high-spirited storm chasers attempting to deploy a tornado research device during a severe tornado outbreak in Oklahoma. (Source: Koko News 5)

The Movie is centered on three characters. Dr. Melissa Reeves, Jo, and Bill Harding. Jo and Bill are a separated meteorology-obsessed couple with their heads in the clouds, especially when turning in a quick counterclockwise motion. 

Bill’s new love, Melissa, is a sex therapist who sees no point in driving your truck head-on into a tornado. The first ten minutes are spent establishing their situation. Following that, we see funnel chasers, some enthusiastic and some just tag-along, follow one Twister after another as they try to get their latest tornado research device and their troubled relationships off the ground.

Twister delivers the typical disaster movie formula: small plot and big action. Add some high-tech visual and sound effects that were not even considered in the early 1970s, and you have more of a fun house than a film. (Source: Parent Previews)

The film grossed about $495 million worldwide, making it the second-highest-grossing film of 1996, with an estimated 54.7 million tickets sold in the United States. Critics gave it mixed-to-positive reviews, with some praising the visual effects and sound design and others criticizing the screenplay. The film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects and Sound but lost to Independence Day and The English Patient. (Source: Box Office Mojo)

Why was it Rated PG-13?

This film tries to appeal to people of all ages, but the extreme weather conditions may send some young children running for cover when a breeze blows through their bedroom window.

However, the film did include unnecessary foul language, which is even more concerning for young and adult viewers. There must be a different way to express anger and fear without swearing every other sentence. 

Another Thing is Dr. Melissa Reeves’ job requires her to have intimate detailed sexual conversations at all times and in all places, such as on her cell phone while the vehicle is being sucked into The Zone.

While the plots of those disco-era survival films were equally bad, they usually had a large cast with some famous faces. This one hasn’t improved much in terms of script or celebrity appeal. That means we’re still waiting for the magical moment when all elements come together to create a good story with a depiction of destruction. We’ll have a disaster movie with a new twist if that happens. (Source: Parent Previews)

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