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Non R-Rated Horror Movies As Scary As Anything

Updated 21 Feb 2020 4.6k votes 507 voters 14.5k views15 items

List RulesVote up the horror movies that are terrifying without relying on R-rated gore.

Everyone remembers the first movie that terrified them into a sleepless night (or week) of hiding under the blankets and praying for the sun to come up. Sometimes that movie was disguised as a family-friendly feature; other times, your parents saw the PG rating and decided because it lacked intense scenes or other mature themes that it would be juuust fine. Either way, those PG or PG-13 scary movies made a lasting impression. Maybe they scarred you for life, or maybe they turned you into a lifelong horror fan.

While horror masters like Eli Roth and Rob Zombie use grotesque imagery to intensify their disturbing tales, less inspired scary movies tend to rely a little too heavily on blood and gore to scare audiences. To the unvetted viewer, this grossness overload can be off-putting, and for the desensitized horror junkie, the lack of plot simply makes for a boring movie.

There are a number of cinematic gems in the horror genre that make particularly good use of tension, oppressive atmosphere, high stakes, intriguing characters, and downright creepy situations to create a truly horrifying experience that stays with you long after the credits have rolled. Here is a list of the best PG-13 horror movies (and one PG horror movie!) that are sure to haunt you.

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