There's not a lot in the BBFC Annual report covering 2015 that has mass appeal to newspaper readers so the last
of films with the most complaints is the pick of the crop.
Perhaps most notably all but one of the complained about films are those that were cut for a lower category. As the cuts were suggested by the BBFC, then by definition, all these films sit exactly on category boundaries. And of course, set themselves up
for the inevitable 'handful' of complaints.
Spectre was top with 40 complaints. The BBFC commented:
Complaints about Spectre focussed on scenes of violence. During postproduction, the distributor sought advice on whether it could secure a 12A classification and if so, how. One scene involving an eye-gouging was slightly too strong for the company's
preferred 12A classification. We therefore suggested reductions to this scene. What remains in the classified version of the scene is a brief implication of what is happening, with only limited visual detail.
There is also a torture scene. Although the idea is unpleasant there is limited detail depicted. Given the lack of detail in the scene and the context of an action film featuring a larger-than-life hero character who always defeats his enemies, this
moderate violence is acceptable at 12A. Another scene, showing the bloody aftermath of a suicide, was similarly reduced.
Kingsman: The Secret Service was next best with 38 complaints:
One of the issues raised by the public with regards to Kingsman: The Secret Service was the level of violence at 15, particularly in regards to a fight scene in a church.
The BBFC saw a version of the film before it was complete and offered advice as to how the film distributor's desired 15 rating could be achieved. Otherwise, the film would have been classified 18. The distributor chose to make changes before formally
submitting the film for classification. While there are some strong moments of violence in the film, they are relatively brief and do not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury to the extent they require an 18 classification. The BBFC therefore
classified the film 15.
Other complaints focussed on a scene involving a crude sex reference which is unexpected but intended to be funny. In part thanks to the comic context, this line did not require the entire film be restricted to an adult audience only by way of an 18
classification. [The BBFC are being a bit coy here, but presumably are referring to the Swedish princess offering anal sex as a reward for her rescue].
Absolutely Anything offended 22 for it's 6 'fucks' in a 12 rated film:
Absolutely Anything attracted complaints because of strong language and sex references. The distributor reduced the frequency of strong language in the film following advice prior to the film's submission to the BBFC for formal classification. The film
originally contained over 20 uses of strong language.
The 12A version of the film contains six uses of strong language (f**k) and some moderate and mild bad language. The language in Absolutely Anything was therefore within the Guidelines at 12A. Nevertheless, 22 members of the public complained about the
number of uses of the F word as well as some references to sex.
The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials received 21 complaints:
There were 21 complaints about violence and threat in The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. Scenes include gangs of people operating in a lawless environment, and infected zombie-like people attacking other characters.
The distributor sought advice on how to secure the classification it was aiming to achieve. The BBFC advised that the film was likely to receive a 15 certificate but a 12A classification could be achieved by making some changes, including reducing
moments of threat and horror involving zombie-like characters, and reducing the focus on injury in a scene in which a man is beaten for information. When the film was formally submitted for classification, these changes had been made and, consequently,
the film is within the Guidelines at 12A where moderate physical and psychological threat is permitted, as long as horror sequences are not too frequent or sustained and the overall tone is not disturbing.
Whilst Minions , the only film on the list not cut, received 16 complaints:
Minions received 16 complaints, mainly focussing on a scene set in a medieval-style torture dungeon. The Minions are stretched on a rack, where it is apparent that they do not come to any harm, and this develops into them slipping unharmed through a
noose and playing with the gallows. The scene takes place in an unrealistic, comic and slapstick manner which is likely to be familiar to young viewers, who expect the Minions to survive. The realistic risk of harmful imitation is very low indeed.
Some of the Minions complaints concerned a chase scene involving a pale-faced man holding a chainsaw, and a clown juggling bombs. At U, scary or potentially unsettling sequences should be mild, brief and unlikely to cause undue anxiety to young children.
The outcome should be reassuring. The fantastical and animated context significantly distances the scenes from real life. Within the wider context, Minions is a well-known franchise which plays off the idea of villains , so images of villainous
characters are to be expected. Furthermore, the Minions remain unfazed and unthreatened. They instead appear to have lots of fun working together, adding to the comic tone which runs throughout. After careful consideration the BBFC classified the film at