The Motion Picture Association of America: they’re the bad guys, right? Some say yes, some say no. I don’t really give a shit because I’m in my 30s and I can watch whatever the hell I want. But three things got me thinking about this: 1.) Alamo Drafthouse posted warnings to parents about the violence in Logan, discouraging them to bring their young children due to the extreme violence; 2.) This episode of Killer P.O.V.; 3.) My four-year-old son, Eben.
Now, I’m not going to break down the ins-and-outs of the ratings system. For that, this article lays it out nicely for you. No, I want to defend ‘PG-13’ horror. Several months ago someone (I can’t remember who) went on a Twitter tirade about how awful horror movies rated anything less than ‘R’ were. Granted, to see what we horror fans really want to see, a movie is going to need that ‘R’ or ‘NR’ rating. That doesn’t mean, though, that all ‘PG-13’ horror movies are trash.
1. Mars Attacks!
I just might show this to Eben next week. It’s silly horror – perfect for a four-year-old. Well, my four-year-old.
2. World War Z
I don’t LOVE this movie, mainly because of the heavy use of CGI, but I know many who do.
3. Big Trouble In Little China
Sure, this isn’t straight-up horror, but it’s genre, and it’s from The Master of Horror. It’s almost a perfect movie, mixing the right amounts of comedy and action.
Say what you want about Blumhouse, but they know what they’re doing. They churn them out, and a handful of them are really good, and really scary. Case in point here.
5. The Gate
Listen to us discuss this with Rob Bruns here. I still think this would hold a ‘PG-13’ rating today, and this is one I’ll definitely be showing my son in the next couple years.
6. The Mothman Prophecies
You don’t see anything in this movie, yet this is still one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen. The lore behind it is terrifying enough. I suggest you revisit this one soon.
7. The Ring
The first question in our 7 Deadly Questions on the podcast is, “What’s your favorite horror movie?” More than once The Ring has come up. This is one I may hold off on showing Eben for more than a couple years (mainly because the opening scene is still one that haunts me).
8. 10 Cloverfield Lane
What’s that? You don’t like this movie? Then why are you reading this? This doesn’t need defending. It’s here to remind you that there are GREAT ‘PG-13’ horror movies.
9. The Boy
Ok, ok. Not all (or most, even) people liked this movie. I loved it. For god’s sake, it’s a creepy doll! Or is it?
10. M. Night Shyamalan
Yes, him. Specifically The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs, The Village, The Visit, and Split. If nothing else, the man makes incredibly fun movies. I literally JUMPED out of my seat in the theater during Signs. And Split will end up on most ‘best-of’ lists this year.
There you have it: a handful of good ‘PG-13’ horror movies. What are some of your favorite ‘PG-13’ horror movies?