Faces of Death remake earns an R rating for strong bloody violence and gore

The Faces of Death remake, from the creative team behind the Netflix release Cam, has earned an R rating from the MPA

Faces of Death

A year ago, Legendary Entertainment’s remake of the infamous 1978 box office hit Faces of Death (get it HERE) went into production in Louisiana, with Barbie Ferreira of the HBO series Euphoria, Dacre Montgomery of Netflix’s Stranger Things, Josie Totah of the recent Saved by the Bell revival, Jermaine Fowler of The Blackening, and singer Charli XCX making up the cast. We haven’t heard a release date for this one yet, but it did just take a major step forward: it has gotten its rating from the Motion Picture Association ratings board. They have announced that the Faces of Death remake has received an R rating for strong bloody violence and gore, sexual content, nudity, language and drug use.

The first Faces of Death was about a pathologist exploring gruesome ways to die via footage purportedly culled from around the world. In reality, most of the death scenes were staged, but no matter, the movie had its producers’ desired effect: outrage, revulsion, banning (although not in 52 countries, as hyped by the film’s makers), and, of course, a money-making hit that spawned sequels and imitators. It was written and directed by John Alan Schwartz, who used multiple pseudonyms for several crew jobs on the flick.

Seven sequels followed over the next twenty-one years. Now writer Isa Mazzei and director Daniel Goldhaber, the team that brought us the Netflix release Cam, are making the remake for Legendary Entertainment and producers Don Murphy and Susan Montford’s company Angry Films.

Mazzei and Goldhaber provided the following statement about their approach to the concept: “Faces of Death was one of the first viral video tapes, and we are so lucky to be able to use it as a jumping off point for this exploration of cycles of violence and the way they perpetuate themselves online.

When it was first announced that Mazzei and Goldhaber were taking on the project, it was said that their story will center on a female moderator of a YouTube-like website whose job is to weed out offensive and violent content and who herself is recovering from a serious trauma, who stumbles across a group that is re-creating the murders from the original film. But in the story primed for the digital age of online misinformation, the question is: Are the murders real or fake? 

Ferreira recently told Collider, “It’s spooky. It’s scary. My family hates horror movies, but I will be forcing everyone to watch it. But it’s very scary. It’s such a fun watch, and it’s gruesome and scary. … So in this movie, Faces of Death exists in the universe, but we’re obviously not recreating it frame-to-frame because that would be, like, animal gore, which no one wants to see that. But it’s a contemporary take on it. I play a young woman who is a content moderator and I start seeing some videos that are alarming , and then the story goes on. Faces of Death, I’ve seen it many times now in the movie and on YouTube. It’s gonna be really fun. It’s an interesting way to go about it because it’s not a remake, per se, but it is a reimagining of it in the universe. It’s super scary, and it’s a cool, fresh take on horror movies right now. It’s scary as hell, though.

Murphy and Montford are producing the Faces of Death remake with Divide/Conquer’s Adam Hendricks and Greg Gilreath. Rick Benattar serves as executive producer, with Cory Kaplan co-producing. Murphy and Montford have been hoping to make a new version of Faces of Death ever since 2006, and for several years they had J.T. Petty attached to write and direct. They started the development process over from scratch when they hired Mazzei and Goldhaber.

Are you interested in the Faces of Death remake? What do you think of the reasons given for the film’s R rating? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Source: Film Ratings

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.