When it came to rating “Thanksgiving” and his previous horror films, Eli Roth said the members of the MPAA ratings board were pleasant to deal with because they get what he’s trying to achieve as a filmmaker. “They understand what my audience wants, and they have to be the referee and say, ‘We know what you want, we know what the fans want, but we think this is going a little too far and maybe pull back in this area,’ and I would pull back on this,” Roth told Looper. “It’s never a fight. It’s never a battle. It’s always an incredibly respectful, pleasant conversation, and they’re the only organization that treats you this way.”
In other countries, however, Roth said getting his films properly rated really has been a battle — sometimes for reasons that go beyond the actual movie.
“When you’re in England, there’s a couple of government people [who determine the ratings] and you never have a conversation with them,” Roth explained. “When you’re in New Zealand, it’s one government person. They cut out the entire bloodbath sequence in ‘Hostel II’ — no discussions, no nothing — even for an 18 rating. They cut it because they want to appear virtuous, and they want to get re-elected. Dealing with bureaucrats and politicians with a horror movie is a nightmare. There are no conversations with them.”