Hitting theaters last week was the monster movie A Quiet Place, featuring a group of creatures that could detect the faintest of sounds and would ruthlessly attack anything in their path. The film went on to earn more the $50 million in its opening weekend as well as earn critical praise, sitting at 95-percent positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. What makes the film's accomplishments even more impressive is it managed to do this with a PG-13 rating.
More than any other genre, horror films seem to be preemptively dismissed based solely on a rating from the MPAA. Specific horror subgenres' strengths come from graphic kills, with some fans refusing to see certain projects with a more tame rating, assuming that the film will skimp on what makes those films successful.
Some films might fail with their more family-friendly fare, while plenty of other horror films embrace the challenge to go easy on the eviscerations and still manage to be highly thrilling.
Check out some of the best horror movies that deliver plenty of scares while staying tame enough to score a PG-13 rating from the MPAA!
While many horror movies involve a horrific exaggeration of real-world creatures to create a massive monster to strike fear into the hearts of many, Arachnophobia instead focused on common critters to terrify audiences.
After a man is killed in a rainforest by a rare species of spider, his body is shipped to his hometown, along with some eight-legged hitchhikers. The climate proves to be exactly what many of these spiders need to survive, resulting in the town being overrun by countless deadly invaders.
Whether you had a fear of spiders before seeing this movie or not, the film's many scenarios of spiders crawling in everyday places was effective enough to make you double check your slippers, showers, toilets, and virtually everywhere a spider could get you to make sure no dangers were lurking in the shadows.prevnext
'The Sixth Sense'
The film that put filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan on the map, The Sixth Sense utilized a talented cast to create the tension in each scene while offering audiences only a few moments of horror.
A troubled young boy explains to a counselor that one of the reasons he doesn't seem to fit in with his peers is because he can see ghosts walking around amongst the living. When the counselor encourages the boy to follow clues left by one of the spirits, the duo uncovers the root of the boy's abilities and how to handle the specters he sees on a daily basis.
Possibly thanks to the emphasis on the interpersonal relationships as opposed to gore, The Sixth Sense was recognized by the Oscars and earned a nomination for Best Picture.prevnext
A remake of the Japanese film Ringu, The Ring not only proved to be a horrifying film that relied on mood and atmosphere to create its scares, but it also kicked off a trend of some of the best Asian horror movies getting American remakes.
After a journalist uncovers a mysterious videotape full of horrifying images, she gets a phone call that alerts her that she only has seven days to live. Hoping to uncover the source of the videotape, she unravels the truth behind a tragic mystery while her fate hangs in the balance.
The Ring required very few graphic images to convey the horrors of its narrative, using only brief moments of grotesqueries to punctuate certain sequences, demonstrating director Gore Verbinski's restraint.prevnext
After a series of mysterious disappearances, a small town in the Southwest is attacked by massive, prehistoric worms that pop up from under the ground to snatch its victims and pull them to their demise. Luckily, the survivors take what they've observed from these worms, or "Graboids," and use the fact that the creatures pursue vibrations to find their prey to stay safe long enough in hopes of rescue.
Combining action, horror, comedy, and science fiction, the core premise of Tremors remains an effective formula, with a sixth film debuting later this year as well as a TV series coming soon to SYFY.prevnext
'Drag Me to Hell'
Director Sam Raimi is an icon in the horror world, thanks in large part to the films in his Evil Dead trilogy. One of the staples of that series was its abundance of blood and guts, which often resulted in both shrieks and laughs. With Drag Me to Hell, the filmmaker used the horror filmmaking methods he had honed over decades for a slightly less blood-soaked adventure.
After a banker refuses to make an exception to give an old woman a loan, the woman then places a curse on the banker that begins to manifest itself over the next few days. As the banker seeks answers, the curse grows more powerful, giving her a deadline to free herself from the supernatural pursuit.
Raimi's strengths lie in his over-the-top sensibilities, delivering bombastic scares that are far from subtle. The film manages to avoid the R-rating by avoiding massive blood loss, but the film delivers plenty of other disgusting bodily fluids.prevnext
Both in tone and in its narrative, The Others harkens back to the early days of horror films to deliver audiences a frightening experience that never spills an ounce of blood.
While a woman waits for her husband to return from World War II, she's left alone to take care of her children in a massive mansion. One of the young children claims to see visitors in their house, despite his mom not being able to confirm these claims, though she does detect that bizarre occurrences have begun to unfold for which she has no answer.
Proving the effectiveness of sound design, The Others relies on making you hear horrifying evidence of the supernatural instead of offering images, delivering a frightful film.prevnext
Kicking off a franchise of four films and helping establish filmmaker James Wan as a contemporary master of horror, Insidious offers audiences many horrifying apparitions, though none of them show evidence of their gruesome demises.6comments
When a couple's young son begins to explain that he is seeing bizarre people in their home, his parents struggle to believe him. After the boy succumbs to a mysterious illness, they seek alternative explanations for his unresponsiveness, unlocking the key to another world full of monsters hoping to take hold of our reality.
By creating another dimension known as "The Further," Insidious was able to skip assumed origins of a variety of scary spirits, yet never had to skimp on the startling shocks.prev