What are the best horror films rated PG-13? – Most people associate “R” rating with horror, but these PG-13 horror films keep the frights coming.
As a general rule, when people think about horror films, they’re looking for anything to scare them. As a general rule, this means aiming for the most visual and visceral options that are rated-R, restricted, and/or restricted to those over the age of 17.
For decades, the PG-13 designation has served as a way for parents and censors to enable younger people to watch movies containing content that they deem too adult for the PG rating. Nevertheless, can these films match the finest in their field that haven’t been hampered by censorship?
Mark Birrell updated the article on November 14th, 2021:
Hitchcock to Sam Raimi have all made PG-13 horror films, as proven by the number of brilliant directors who have made their own. Most PG-13 horror films don’t feel like concessions, and many of them are must-sees for fans of the genre.
1. The Last Exorcism (2010)
“The Last Exorcism” is an excellent example of a film that uses implication rather than real portrayal to its advantage.
A documentary team follows an exorcist with a crisis of faith after a lifetime of being a man of God but secretly knowing that the procedure is a hoax, and not genuinely believing in it. Patrick Fabian and Ashley Bell’s performances as the key characters in this season’s final case make it a riveting watch and a fuller experience than the genre is generally renowned for.
2. The Possession (2012)
As a departure from the conventional format of a possession film, this version of the Dybbuk Box offers something new. The Possession uses a creature from Jewish tradition instead of the standard Christian/Catholic teaching and rituals.
It’s refreshing to see a story about a child-eating demon with a connection to a strange box. There is less blood and gore, but the scares are just as effective as those in R-rated films.
3. The Woman in Black (2012)
Just though The Woman in Black has theatrical roots and has Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe in the starring role doesn’t mean it skimps on the most gruesome aspects of ghost stories.
While The Woman in Black may not innovate the ghost story, the film plays all the hits and aims for maximum creepiness in its shocks, dealing with some dark notions in the story of Radcliffe’s struggling lawyer and the haunting house that he is assigned to put in order.
4. Arachnophobia (1990)
Arachnophobia is one of the most underappreciated horror films of all time.
This scream-inducing horror flick has a distinct Joe Dante flavor. If the title wasn’t clear enough, this film is about a creepy spider species that overruns a tranquil little village.
Amazonian and brown recluse crossbreed spiders attack a city, preying on its unsuspecting residents. Webs and nests soon outnumber buildings and it becomes a species war. A flamethrower from John Goodman is a godsend in this situation.
5. Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark (2019)
“Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” is an excellent entry-level PG-13 horror film by Guillermo del Toro, the indisputable master of modern monster cinema.
For this film, more than simply a collection of creatures is taken from the books, but also a collection of harrowing images.
As a transitional medium, this film serves as a bridge. Even though it’s scarier than the books, there isn’t a drop of blood shed. In light of this theory, several of the movie’s kills are more of a gory mess than anything else.
6. The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
As soon as the word “exorcism” is used, moviegoers instinctively think of William Friedkin’s The Exorcist. Scott Derrickson’s horror film has gained a cult following over the years, despite an initially lukewarm reception from critics, because of the word “horror” in its title.
For the film, Annelise Michel was diagnosed with Epilepsy after a series of visions and episodes led to her being diagnosed. The family’s attempts to treat her were unsuccessful, so they went to the church for an exorcism that terminated her life. Both the exorcism and the priest’s trial are explored throughout the film, with the former focusing on the more classic horror elements of the story. They create a novel approach to the genre when combined.
7. Devil (2010)
The devil is one of a group of people stranded in an elevator. Murder-mystery manner, viewers have to figure out who of the gang is the unholy killer who is picking them out in the middle of a frightening situation.
For a claustrophobic thriller, the tale ofDevil has a highly unusual notion that encourages viewer participation and also has a rather uncommon degree of religious depth.
8. Lights Out (2016)
Prior to directing Shazam!, David F. Sandberg directed Lights Out, based on one of his most well-received short films. It centres around a dangerous phantom that only exists and can be seen in the dark, which is its core theme.
Even though it’s a theoretically deeper story than it first appears, dealing with themes of chronic disease — both physical and psychological — hasn’t stopped it from being one of the most successful horror movies in recent years.
9. The Final Girls (2015)
An emotional young woman, still reeling from her mother’s untimely demise, gets dragged into an old 80s horror film that her mother starred in. The Final Girls is more of a comedy than a horror film, but the atmosphere and subject matter are pure horror.
A hilarious deconstruction of the often-picked apart subgenre in the vein of Wes Craven, but its emphasis on emotional catharsis has also pleased many a weary horror fan.
10. The Grudge (2004)
This Hollywood remake of Takashi Shimizu’s long-running, ever-changing, Japanese ghost story features an American nurse in the core of a terrible curse.
For a film that may not have been one of filmmaker Ju-greatest, On’s The Grudge was the first of many English-language adaptations of his most famous horror works.
11. Insidious (2010)
After Sawbut before The Conjuring, James Wan developed his second blockbuster horror film franchise with this otherworldly chiller.
This prequel to the Conjuring movies’ interwoven eerie universe stars Patrick Wilson, who plays Ed Warren, and Rose Byrne as the terrified but determined parents of a little boy afflicted by evil spirits. This film has the impression of an R-rated classic without the gore, thanks to its tension and gradually rising intensity.
12. Mama (2013)
It director Andy Muschietti’s gothic coming-of-age story based on a deadly supernatural force was another step toward greater commercial success on the more current R-rated side of the genre.
After her partner’s nieces are found alive and ferociously living in the woods for some time, a musician takes on a motherly role in the story. It is claimed by the girls that “mother,” a protective presence, saved them and follows them into their new lives. There is a fascinating interplay between the characters due to the family drama and the terror, which is reminiscent of Tim Burton’s work.
13. 1408 (2007)
1408is one of Stephen King’s lesser-known adaptations, but it manages to pack a ton of action into a relatively small space.
Ghosts and other macabre tricks fill the titular New York hotel room, and the film’s smorgasbord of frighteners is a constant reminder of the room’s dark history and his own guilt and remorse.
14. The Skeleton Key (2005)
At first glance, The Skeleton Key may appear to be a typical supernatural horror film, yet its tale is filled with intricate historical undercurrent.
One of the central characters in the Southern Gothic tale is a nurse who accepts a job caring for a disabled man on a remote Louisiana estate. Nevertheless, a secret room in the home reveals a long history of hoodoo ritualism, and themes of age and guilt are intertwined with more in-depth plays on identity, mortality, and change. Over time, it has come to be seen as an even more rewarding experience than reviewers originally thought because of its longevity and many viewings. It’s one of the best examples of a film that requires a second viewing to completely understand its subtlety.
15. What Lies Beneath (2000)
Back to the Future director Robert Zemeckis took a risk with this small-scale but nonetheless big-budget haunted home tale by bucking his usual formula.
That said, What Lies Beneathhasn’t quite reclaimed the pop-culture notoriety it once had, but it remains a deliberately slow-burning take to the genre with plenty of information to chew on and an extraordinary degree in star power from Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford.
16. Cloverfield (2008)
Finding their way out of New York City before a monstrous monster decimates the city is the goal of this found footage horror film’s amusement park ride.
This bloodcurdling rollercoaster has kept horror lovers glued to their seats despite the fact that there has been no explanation for what is taking place or why. Incredibly, the film does not have an R-rating, but it has restrained profanity and violence that comes near to the border but does not cross it.
17. A Quiet Place (2018)
Most moviegoers look forward to the opportunity to experience a movie in complete alone. It’s a strange and uncomfortable sensation to sit in complete quiet while a movie is lacking in speech. However, the goal here was to evoke an uncomfortable sensation. In the film A Quiet Place, a family is compelled to live in quiet due to the presence of sightless monsters who pursue and murder everything that makes a sound.
When John KrasinskiandEmily Bluntteam up as suffering parents fighting for their children’s well-being, the result is an extremely authentic and relatable experience for the audience.
18. Tremors (1990)
It’s one of the most beloved horror comedies of all time thanks to some memorable characters and a playful take on the blockbusterJawsformula in this monster movie.
A peaceful Nevada community is transformed into a war between the town’s residents and an invisible adversary in Tremors. It has a few gory kills, but it’s too much fun to merit a grade higher than PG-13.
19. The Sixth Sense (1999)
When M. Night Shyamalan wrote and directed The Sixth Sense, the statement “I see dead people” became a part of cinematic history. There are ghosts walking around, but they don’t know it. A psychotherapist tries to help a young child who claims to have a special ability to interact with them.
There are no special effects or jump scares, but the viewer is made to ponder and progressively build suspense and expectation, with a powerful ending that makes everyone want to watch it again and uncover the hidden clues.
20. Under the Shadow (2016)
“Under the Shadow” is a fascinating film about a mother and daughter coping with both an extra-terrestrial presence and the limits of their life as women in an era of both progress and repression in Tehran in the 1980s.
It’s a must-see for horror aficionados who think the setups in recent years have gotten stale in the supernatural horror movie genre.
21. Drag Me to Hell (2009)
Sam Raimi, best known for his work on Spider-Man, directed a classic horror film, Drag Me to Hell, to the big screen in the 21st century. Drag Me to Helllives up to the director’s most famous works, with the action of a Marvel movie and the suspense of The Evil Dead.
A bank loan officer vying for the position of assistant manager turns down a loan for an old woman’s residence, resulting in her eviction. The woman then curses her. Over time, fans have studied the film’s subtext, which is strong but not gratuitous.
22. Split (2016)
M. Night Shyamalan may have a bad image when it comes to his recent work, butSplitis vindicated a lot of his long-time fans.
James McAvoy’s performance as the protagonist character in Split, a film about a mentally ill man who kidnaps three young girls for a macabre ritual known only to a select handful of his split personas, who worship an otherworldly creature, is one of Shyamalan’s best.
23. The Others (2001)
A movie like The Others will unabashedly toy with the viewer’s head. Gothic haunted home concept is utterly flipped on its head in the story.
When it comes to twist endings like “The Sixth Sense,” there’s no denying that the atmospheric route to get there is an award-worthy experience.
24. The Birds (1963)
A good place to start when you’re unsure is with the classics, and Alfred Hitchcock is an excellent choice.
The Birdsis a legendary horror film about flocks of birds suddenly turning on humanity in a homicidal passion, with a reasonably credible concept.
It was Hitchcock’s story that used the symbolism of the bird assaults to build a symbolic tale of love, sensuality, and violence. Although The Birds is a classic Hitchcockian thriller, it nevertheless manages to hold the audience’s attention even today.
25. The Ring (2002)
As a remake of the popular Japanese film Ringu, The Ring stands out as a work of art in and of itself.
It’s a hauntingly beautiful film with an inescapable sense of dread. Following a cursed VHS, which kills everyone who plays it for seven days, the film’s sequels haven’t been as lucrative as the first, but the film still resonates with horror enthusiasts today.