The Best PG-13 Scary Movies
Yes, You Really Can Find Good PG-13 Scary Movies
With Halloween coming up, watching scary movies is practically a given. If you don't spend part of this weekend focused on at least one spooky thriller, are you even alive?
But I'm sure I'm not the only one out there who doesn't have the stomach for much horror - but also has too much FOMO to sit out altogether. So I've compiled this list of the best PG-13 scary movies. They have just enough suspense and shock value to keep you on the edge of your seat, without crossing into the full gore of R.
A list like this would have helped a lot during my teen years when every Friday night my best friend hosted a scary movie marathon in her basement. Everyone - and I mean everyone - stopped by at some point. It was probably a lot of fun, but it was kind of hard to tell while I was hiding underneath my hoodie.
Anyway, I wanted to make sure in this modern age, you can join in the fun without long-term scarring or psychological damage. So with no further ado, here are some of the best PG-13 scary movies to include in your Halloween festivities!
The Sixth Sense (1999)
This one is pretty much the quintessential "scary but not too scary" thriller by M. Night Shymalan. It's full of suspense and no matter how many times you've seen it, you find yourself kind of on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next. What's really insane is when you realize this is at least the 6th time you've seen it, you already know what's about to happen, and you still enjoy it, anyway.
The Village (2004)
Another well-known movie by M. Night Shyamalan, The Village is about a small isolated town that fears the monster that resides in the nearby woods. Like The Sixth Sense, this movie relies on suspense and intrigue more than blood and gore. A big part of the appeal is the second-act plot twist that shines a sudden, shocking light on what you've actually been watching.
A family is desperate to protect their son Dalton. Something strange happens in the home's attic, and Dalton somehow falls into a coma. Evil spirits are at play, and they must get help for Dalton before he is trapped in some sort of otherworld realm forever.
It's (loosely) based on events supposedly experienced by real paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren.
Little Shop Of Horrors (1986)
This is the least frightening on our list - while there are some intense moments, it's a comic horror/violence that isn't hard to watch.
This is a movie musical that's had several lives. The movie is adapted from an off-Broadway musical, which was inspired by the original 1960 movie. All versions center around a nerdy, sort of hapless and dim florist. He raises a Venus flytrap, only to realize to his horror that the plant has a taste for human blood.
Cloverfield is the first of three movies in a monster film series. It uses an improved version of the "found footage" style of storytelling that Blair Witch made famous. 6 young people must attempt to flee New York City, trying to escape monsters that have taken over.
The Ring (2002)
It seems to be a made-up urban legend - watch a haunted videotape and you'll die in a week. Thinking it's crazy, a reporter dismisses it - until 4 teens die mysteriously just as predicted. Determined now to investigate the actual cause of death, she finds herself viewing the cursed video. She must use her reporter skills to get to the bottom of this mystery - or she will be dead in a week, too.
Elvira: Mistress Of The Dark (1988)
Young people may not know of the stage character Elvira, brought to life by actress Cassandra Peterson. In the '80s, Elvira was known as an eccentric "horror hostess" who presented weekly horror movies on an LA tv station.
With her popularity climbing, the next step was Elvira's film debut - and this is it. The movie begins with Elvira quitting her job after inappropriate sexual advances by her LA station manager. Luckily, her aunt has left her an inheritance to finance her future plans - but she must go to Massachusetts to claim it. Struggles ensue - the small town her aunt is from disapproves of her, she has trouble selling her aunt's house, her great uncle is secretly a warlock who wants to kill her and take over the world - you know, the normal stuff.
Life in a small Nevada town is dull for two repairmen, played by Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward. Trying to find some excitement, they make plans to leave town - but find themselves in a series of mysterious deaths. It turns out wormlike monsters are responsible for the deaths - and the monsters have a taste for human flesh. Considered a horror-comedy, it gained a cult following and spun multiple sequels.
The Final Girls (2015)
Max's mother Amanda is an actress, best known as a scream queen in an old slasher film (much to Amanda's dismay). After a tragic car accident, Amanda dies.
3 years later, Max lets her friends talk her into going to see a horror movie double feature - which includes Camp Bloodbath, the film her mother was known for. A fire breaks out in the theater, and somehow, the girls find themselves transported into the movie. They must apply all the rules of horror movie survival to make it through this comedy slasher.
Two young girls live for years in a forest cabin all alone - well, except for the mysterious entity they refer to as "Mama." After the bizarre murder/suicide of their parents, no one has seen the girls in five years. Finally, they are found by their father's brother Lucas. He is relieved to find them alive - but, after living alone for all this time, they are essentially feral children.
They also seem to be followed by a strange unseen spirit, who they consider a maternal caregiver. But "Mama" is jealous, and does not want to lose "her girls" to Lucas.
Hopefully, we've left you with some entertaining - but not too scary - options to celebrate the Halloween spirit. Whether you like suspense and drama, or more comedic horror/slasher films, these PG-13 choices mean that you can find something for everybody. If you enjoyed our list of the best scary PG-13 movies, leave a comment - or let us know which one you'd add!
Jamie Dixon is a contributing writer here at The Pyrrhic. She's a content writer by profession, but this is more fun. She's also working on her first novel in her spare time.
Find her on Twitter @onegirloneblog