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Alton Towers' Nemesis Sub-Terra "certified as 12A" by BBFC

Nemesis Sub-Terra logo

Alton Towers has revealed that its new ride for the 2012 season, Nemesis Sub-Terra, has received a rating of 12A from the British Board of Film Classification.

The certification is the first one applied to a theme park ride by the BBFC, which usually dedicates itself to rating movies and video games. If enforced, it would require children under 12 years old to be accompanied by an adult when riding Nemesis Sub-Terra. However, this is very unlikely to be the case.

The park has a recent history of promoting its rides as "horror" experiences, with a similar promotional campaign having been launched for 2010's Thirteen roller coaster. In the end, the ride was actually pitched at families, and no age limits were enforced.

The nature of the Nemesis Sub-Terra attraction itself is yet to be confirmed ahead of its March 24, 2012 opening date. However, manufacturer ABC Rides has confirmed that it is supplying the ride system. This has sparked rumours that a miniature drop tower similar to Extremis at The London Dungeon is on the cards, which will take guests on a trip underground to meet the alien that lends it name to the nearby Nemesis roller coaster.

In a statement, BBFC Senior Examiner Murray Perkins said of Nemesis Sub-Terra: "The BBFC is seeing a real blur of the old boundaries of visual content and physical experience in both 3D and 4D cinema, and at theme parks. Applying our experience of the public’s acceptability of moments of threat on screen, to more physical experiences, is something we have begun to do as cinema and other theatrical experiences evolve."

"After experiencing the attraction first-hand, based on 100 years of experience and line with British public opinion, we would recommend that Alton Towers Resort classify the new Nemesis Sub-Terra a '12A'. The BBFC's Guidelines at '12A'/'12' allow moderate physical and psychological threat, provided that the disturbing sequences are not frequent or sustained. Nemesis Sub-Terra contains some intense moments, in some respects comparable with scary scenes which may be experienced in horror or science fiction films at '12A'/'12'. But while some people will no doubt find this a frightening experience, the personnel monitoring the site are soon on hand to guide the public to safety.”

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