British Board of Film Classification

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STRAW DOGS artwork


Type of media Film

Approved Running time 109m 33s

Release date 04/11/2011

BBFCInsight Contains strong bloody violence and one scene of sexual violence

Genre(s) Thriller

Director(s) Rod Lurie

Cast includes James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, James Woods

Cut This work was passed uncut.

BBFCinsight publication date 25/10/2011

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

STRAW DOGS is a remake of the 1971 Sam Peckinpah thriller about a young couple who return to the woman’s childhood home, in this case the deep south of the US, where they find themselves terrorised and besieged by a gang of local thugs. The film was classified ‘18’ for strong bloody violence and one scene of sexual violence.

The film contains a number of scenes of strong bloody violence, most notably when the couple are besieged in their home. They fight off the attackers by setting traps around the building, including an animal trap being placed over an intruder's head, resulting in the man spitting out blood, and a man's fingers being nailed to a wall. There is also a particularly gory image showing a man’s leg split open, exposing a broken bone. These moments exceed the terms of the BBFC’s Guidelines at ‘15’, which state 'Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. The strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable. Strong sadistic [...] violence is unlikely to be acceptable'.

In terms of the representation of sexual violence, the Guidelines at '15' state 'Any portrayal of sexual violence must be discreet and have a strong contextual justification'. The film contains a single scene in which a woman is raped, first by her ex boyfriend and then by another member of the gang. Although the scene contains no clear nudity and no eroticisation of sexual violence, the protracted nature of the scene renders it less than discreet, as does the level of brutality shown. Accordingly, the scene is more appropriately classified at '18'.

The film also contains over fifty uses of strong language.


Sony Pictures Releasing
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109m 33s
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