Horror Prequel The First Omen Had To Fight Like Hell To Avoid An NC-17 Rating

Stevenson told Fangoria that “The First Omen” is very much a story of body horror, based in the terrifying reality of forced birthing and a lack of autonomy for women. The director wanted to showcase that this is a situation of power, not sexuality, and therefore wanted to show the body of a cis woman on screen in a completely non-sexual manner to make the point more obvious. “The horror in that situation is how dehumanized that woman is,” Stevenson said. She continued by explaining how difficult it has been to justify the scene’s existence in the face of people who don’t understand her art:

“This has been my life for a year and a half, fighting for the shot. It’s the theme of our film. It’s the female body being violated from the inside outwards. If we were going to talk about female body horror, we were going to talk about forced reproduction, and we have to be able to show the female body in a non-sexualized light. I’m very proud of this shot.”

The MPA has a history of double standards, judging examples of female pleasure and sexuality more harshly than men’s, which is something producer David Goyer pointed out as well. “The movie, by its nature, deals with female body horror, and I do think there’s a double standard,” he told Fangoria. “I think there is more permissiveness when dealing with male protagonists, particularly in body horror. That birthing scene is super intense, I also have three kids and have been at their births. It’s intense!”

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