Best Scary Movies for Tweens and Teenagers – The Mary Sue

Speaking from experience, most horror fans already had a fascination with or budding love for horror as kids. Maybe we sneaked content as kids or browsed the horror sections of video stores, constantly feeling that desire to dive deep into the macabre. Ultimately, theres nothing wrong with allowing kids to watch horror with you. Of course, itd be a bit much to allow a tween to watch Inside (2007), for example. I wouldnt recommend that.

If you happen to have children or know loved ones that are tweens or young teens, then be smart with your recommendations. Dont just recommend any film without considering what may be too intense. Think of movies like Coraline (2009) and maybe animated horror! This list, which Ive separated by subgenre, may help you. Every one of these films is rated from PG14A. Therefore, the list is more geared towards people under 17+.

Out of all the subgenres in horror, horror comedies have a fair number of movies that are tween-young teen friendly. From the 80s to our present day, theres some gut-busting movies to check out. Believe me, Id know, because horror comedy is in my top (insert a number) for subgenres. If youre looking for something quirky with a horror icon as the lead? Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988). Want to sing along as youre freaked out or cracking up? Little Shop of Horrors (1986). Looking for something a bit more modern as a recommendation? The Final Girls (2015). Below are some more recommendations:

In my eyes, theres supernatural horror that wont scare the shit out of kids is few and far between. At least tweens and early teens that scary easy. But all hope isnt lost, folks! Theres a fair bit of modern supernatural horror thats most suitable in this case. Remakes like The Ring (2002) and The Grudge (2004) that arent perfect but get the job done. Want something thats more original and effective as a PG-13 horror movie? Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) hands down! Other than those there are a few more (if they dont satisfy then theres nothing wrong with a Google search) recommendations:

Lets be real, psychological horror isnt always everyones favorite subgenre. Sometimes everything that happens is merely in the head of the character(s), rendering scares to potentially be dampened upon a rewatch. Of course, theres still some to check out. A remake like When a Stranger Calls (2006) is decent enough. Escape Room (2019) may satisfy your need for psychological horror thats not too wild. Its all up to what your taste is. There are some more recommendations below:

Post-apocalyptic being PG-13 doesnt work all the time. Often when we think of the end of the world, its a violent affair. But I cant just leave you hanging right now. So let me be a clich and mainly recommend A Quiet Place (2018) and A Quiet Place Part II (2021). Given the main focus of both films, its weird to remember that both are PG-13. They always feel more violent than they actually are. And the creatures are frightening enough. The premise is relatively straightforward as its about the end of the world, duh. Though the twist of having to be quiet or youll probably die is great.

Youd be hard pressed to find a GOOD creature feature thats not rated R. You could watch the Anaconda franchise, but some of us remember those more fondly than they deserve. And I cant exactly recommend Alien (1979), now can I? So therefore Im left with recommending this effective gem. Sweetheart (2019) not only gives a Black woman as the lead, its also got an interesting creature. Id recommend watching this in a dark room with your snacks of choice. Perfect PG-13 horror night.

(featured image: Universal Pictures)

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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
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