Are you looking for scary movies for kids, particularly horror movies for teens that are rated PG-13 by the MPAA? This list is perfect for younger audiences interested in the horror genre. We will give a brief summary of each movie, followed by an explanation for why it received a PG-13 rating.
The PG-13 rating first came into existence in July 1984 to distinguish between films where parents were merely advised to exercise caution with underage children—the “PG” stands for “Parental Guidance”—and films where parents were strongly advised to exercise caution if the child in question was under 13. This was the result of some films, such as Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins, only receiving PG ratings despite strong elements of violence. The first horror film to receive a PG-13 rating is thought to be Night of the Comet, a zombie satire released in November 1984.
A mutant species of Venezuelan spiders invades a small American town and starts killing everyone. There is partial nudity, some violence, and occasional coarse language.
A child psychologist treats an 8-year-old boy, completely oblivious to the sinister roots of the boy’s disturbance. Rated PG-13 due to extreme violence and occasional profanity.
A successful married couple discover to their dismay that their house is haunted. There is partial nudity, one F-bomb, and a few scatological references.
A woman lives in a remote mansion with her two children, who suffer from a rare photosensitivity disease. But soon they discover they are not alone there—there are “others,” too. Mild profanity, no gore, and an “implied” sex scene.
A cursed videotape causes everyone who watches it to die within a week, and the film’s heroine makes it her mission to unravel the mystery behind the film. Extreme violence and frequent profanity.
Sightings of strange winged creatures in a small West Virginia town suggest that the planet is being invaded by aliens. Floating corpses, some violence, and brief instances of profanity.
A lonely young man develops an unhealthy obsession with his pet rats. This is a remake of a 1971 film. One reference to masturbation, mild gore, and occasional cursing.
Professional monster-hunter Van Helsing takes on Wolfman, Dracula, and Frankenstein’s monster all at once. Implied sex, some violence, and nine instances of religious exclamations that some would consider blasphemous.
A hospice worker in New Orleans leaves the city for a job at an isolated house in the bayou, but her new employer might be dangerous. The sides of a woman’s bare breasts are exposed in one scene. There is extreme gore, occasional profanity, and one derogatory racial term.
A lawyer investigates a priest’s exorcism of a girl that ended in the girl’s death. There are several severely frightening and intense scenes, along with mild swearing.
A brilliant virologist finds himself the last human alive during a pandemic that has wiped out humanity. Moderate scenes of violence and one scatological term.
A skeptical novelist becomes overwhelmed by paranormal phenomena that he can no longer dismiss as superstition. One painting shows a woman’s breast; other scenes show brief flashes of naked murder victims. There is moderate gore and a fair degree of swearing.
A monster the size of the Empire State Building terrorizes New York City. Mild partial nudity including one shot of a woman’s underwear and several scenes with women wearing low-cut dresses. Violence is rated as severe and profanity as moderate.
A supernatural horror movie about a woman, Christine, who evicts an elderly woman from her home in order to try and get a promotion at her bank job. The elderly woman rips a button from Christine’s jacket and curses her. A fortune teller reveals that Christine has only three days before she will be “dragged to hell”.
One scene depicts a woman in a soaked T-shirt, revealing her areoles. There is mild swearing, but the violence is extreme.
Five people are trapped in an elevator. One of them is the Devil. Rated PG-13 merely for the extreme violence, but there is also mild swearing and sexual suggestiveness.
A couple movies into a new house, only to discover that it is haunted—and that their son is demon-possessed. Mild gore, moderate profanity, but several extremely intense and disturbing scenes.
Two girls must acclimate themselves to society again after spending five years stranded in the woods. Some sexual suggestiveness, bits of violence and profanity, but several extremely disturbing scenes are what earned this film a PG-13 rating.
Frankenstein’s monster gets involved in a violent feud between two families. No sex or nudity, only mild violence, but endlessly intense and frightening scenes.
A group of friends gets so obsessed with a horror film that they find themselves trapped inside of it. A smattering of crude sexual references, but rampant use of profanity, including over 40 religious exclamations.
A woman remains safe from being haunted by an evil creature—so long as she never turns out the lights. Lots of cleavage, moderate gore, but several extremely disturbing scenes.
Imagine Groundhog Day, but with a woman being forced to relive her murder again and again and again. Partial nudity including a woman’s bare buttocks, mild profanity and violence.
Tortured by creatures who find their prey by sound, a family is forced to live their entire lives in silence. No sex, nudity, or swearing, but several terrifying and intense scenes.
Four teenage female divers find themselves trapped in an underwater cave inhabited by the deadliest sharks on the planet. Mild profanity (including one F-bomb), moderate levels of violence and terror.
A man seeks to reconnect with his daughter before he becomes completely invisible. No nudity or intensely disturbing scenes, but high levels of profanity—including five F-bombs and five S-bombs dropped within the first fifteen minutes.
A man stranded on an island retreat must fight off an unseen killer. Moderately frightening, with mild levels of cursing.