Five Great PG-13 Horror Movies

With “A Quiet Place” ruling the box office and proving horror is as popular as ever, fans are actually debating whether a not you can brand a movie a horror film if it’s rated anything but R. Does gore and violence qualify a horror movie as legitimate genre fare? Do we even need horror and or grue to be scared? Didn’t telling scary stories around camp fires center more on mood and atmosphere and less on someone being mutilated or turned in to a human centipede? In either case, “A Quiet Place” proves you can scare and grab people with horror no matter what the rating, and these are five more PG-13 horror movies worth watching.

Arachnophobia (1990)
I dare you to sit through this movie without feeling a little itchy or squirmy. A pure horror film with a surprisingly light tone, “Arachnophobia” pictures what happens when a spider manages to sneak in to a small town and begins preying on the locals. Breeding in to the thousands, a local town doctor stricken with arachnophobia (Jeff Daniels), teams with an exterminator (John Goodman) to end their reign of terror before the town is consumed by the spider horde. There are tons of gross out moments including spiders crawling through drains, on to people’s hair, out of their mouths, and so on. It’s a spine tingler if there ever was one.

Tremors (1990)
“Tremors” is a classic monster movie with some cheese thrown on top for good measure. Starring Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward, they play two workers for hire who are faced with man eating underground worms. Just their luck they’re in a town with nothing but soft ground and have to find a way to destroy the predators, lest they’re all gobbled up. It’s gruesome, it’s fun, and it features a great scene of Reba McEntire and Fred Gross shooting up a monster with their endless ammunition.

Insidious (2011)
“Insidious” is not just a creative, and unique horror film, but it’s one of the spookiest ghost films I’ve seen in a very long time. It’s a film filled with well placed jump scares, horrendous villains, and a great cast including Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, and Lin Shaye. There’s also the great use of “Tip Toe Through the Window” which serves as a haunting reminder that danger is near. Among some of the great moments of pure terror is a séance with Wilson’s character, a creepy moment involving a baby monitor, and of course, the ghoulish final scene.

The Final Girls (2015)
Todd Strauss-Schulson’s horror comedy isn’t just a wonderful ode to eighties horror and Jason Voorhees style slashers, but it’s also a heartbreaking story about letting go, and moving on. Taissa Farmiga is fantastic as Max, an orphaned girl who lost her mother, a struggling horror actress to a tragic car accident. Years later, when invited to a screening of one of her most famous horror films, Max is warped in to the film alongside her friends and has to figure out how to get out of the film and outwit its trademark masked murderer.

Lights Out (2016)
Based on the short horror film that became a viral sensation, “Lights Out” is the tale of grief, trauma, friendship, and family. Beneath its touching tale of two sibling brought together by a mom whose undead friend refuses to let her go, is a creepy and painfully spooky ghost tale with a wonderful and creative horror device involving flickering lights and darkness. This is a ghost that uses the dark to travel, and it’s used to great effect.