In Defense of PG-13 Horror

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!mars_attacks_ver3

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

WorldWarZ-Poster-jpg_222041I 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

Big_trouble_in_little_china_posterSure, 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.

4. Insidious

df83971673de5c8e71ca1e2645718dad_500x735Say 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

The_gate_film_posterListen 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

mothman_prophecies_ver2You 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

ringThe 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

10c_1-sht_online_teaser_altWhat’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

boyOk, 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

mnightshyamalanfilms_fullsize_story1Yes, 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?

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