Many kids love a good scare! That doesn’t make them weird- it makes them curious. We were tweens who loved scary movies back in the day, so we were not surprised when our young teens started showing an interest in the horror film genre. But which ones are ok horror movies for13-year-olds? We’ve compiled a list of horror movies for 13 year olds (and tweens) that might be a bit more suitable than others. No sex in these horror films! Affiliate links are included in this post.
What Movies Are Appropriate For Tweens and Teens?
What are appropriate horror movies for 13-year-olds or tweens? What are the best horror movies for kids these ages? That’s subjective.
As always, you know your family and your children best.
What may be ok for tweens in one house may NOT work for yours. So before you invite the best friend over for a horror movie marathon, check with the other parents. But we know you know that (just a gentle reminder).
This is a list partially based on age ratings and parent guides we’ve put together on No-Guilt Fangirl. If you want to know more about an individual movie, please click the title link to go to the parent’s guide.
What Makes A Horror Movie Safe For Tweens?
For this purpose, we looked for possibly bloody and scary movies, but not overtly sexual. And some of these movies are VERY scary.
We’re assuming that from a parent’s perspective, the scares are less concerning than the sexualization for kids at this age. Real world will come to kiddos soon enough, right? Right.
There will be language and swears (including F-bombs) in most of these.
The scary movies on this list have no nudity or sex, OR only a verbal discussion of sex vs actual acts depicted on screen. This was our main qualifier.
Kids may see some romance or kisses in these films, but unless specifically noted, they shouldn’t be exposed to nudity in this list of horror movies for 13-year-olds.
Please note: by NO MEANS are we saying these movies are completely tame or safe for all kids. But we did try to narrow down the genre to make this list a bit more kid-friendly for kids 13 and younger.
Horror Movies For 13-Year-Olds (And Maybe Tweens Too!)
Please note: some of these movies are slasher films and extremely bloody. We’ve noted their rating for you as a heads-up.
There are two lists: PG-13 and below and Rated R movies that *might* make the cut depending on your kiddo and family.
PG-13 Rating and Below Horror Movies For Tweens
In no particular order:
- A Quiet Place 1 and 2 (Rated PG-13) In a post-apocalyptic world, a family is forced to live in silence while hiding from monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing. A pregnant woman gives birth but there’s nothing sexual at the moment.
- The Ring (Rated PG-13) A journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape that seems to cause the death of anyone one week to the day after they view it. Paranormal activity at its best!
- Sixth Sense (Rated PG-13) A frightened, withdrawn Philadelphia boy who sees dead people seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist played by Bruce Willis.
- Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (PG-13)
- The Haunting 1963 (Rated G) The movie relies on reactions to horror rather than depicting evil spirits in the house, it is appropriate for any viewer who can handle the scary atmosphere. Some of the best scary movies don’t show too much!
- Arachnophobia (Rated PG-13) A species of South American killer spider hitches a lift to the U.S. in a coffin and starts to breed and kill.
- The Mothman Prophecies (2002) (Rated PG-13) Based on an Urban Legend. A reporter is drawn to a small West Virginia town to investigate a series of strange events, including psychic visions and the appearance of bizarre entities.
- Cloverfield (2008) (Rated PG-13) A group of friends ventures deep into the streets of New York on a rescue mission during a rampaging monster attack.
- Happy Death Day (Rated PG-13) A college student must relive the day of her murder repeatedly, in a loop that will end only when she discovers her killer’s identity. There is some sexual content in this one, but nothing extremely shocking. We’d suggest pre-viewing before letting younger children watch to make sure it’s ok for your kids.
- Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Rated PG-13) Cleaner than the original Ghostbuster movies!
- Venom 2 (Rated PG-13) Eddie Brock attempts to reignite his career by interviewing serial killer Cletus Kasady, who becomes the host of the symbiote Carnage and escapes prison after a failed execution.
- Nightbooks (Rated TV-PG) One of the teen horror movies or tv shows on Netflix. Alex, a boy obsessed with scary stories, is imprisoned by an evil young witch in her contemporary New York City apartment.
- Just Beyond (Rated TV-PG) On Disney Plus. Selection of short films and on our list of best movies for younger kids. Genre anthology series based on graphic novels by R.L. Stine.
- Werewolf By Night (Rated TV-14) Follows a lycanthrope superhero who fights evil using the abilities given to him by a curse brought on by his bloodline.
- Signs (Rated PG-13)
- The Others (Rated PG-13)
- Poltergeist (Rated PG) This is a good movie to start with if you want to gauge your kid’s ability to handle scary stuff! The effects are super 80s, which makes the impact a little comical compared to a more recent film.
- Edward Scissorhands (Rated PG-13) This one is a Tim Burton classic that should be suitable for kids. It’s not completely scary but it does give some thrills. An older woman does try to seduce Edward, but no sex or nudity is shown.
Rated R Horror Movies For 13 Year Olds
One note: if a horror movie is rated R and lands on this list, it likely is for blood, gore, scary content, and language.
For example: if a movie uses the F-bomb more than once, it gets an R rating no matter what else happens in the movie.
For that reason, there are Rated R movies on this list that might be ok for your young teens because they have no nudity or sexual acts. Many of these are pretty scary, so make sure you know how well your kiddo can handle gore and jump scares before giving the ok here.
- The Thing (Rated R)
- The Descent: (Rated R) A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.
- It 1 and 2 (2017 and 2019) (Rated R) In the summer of 1989, a group of bullied kids band together to destroy a shape-shifting monster, which disguises itself as a clown and preys on the children of Derry, their small town in Maine. It Chapter 2 is when the adults return. In a departure from the Stephen King book, there is no sex in this version but there are still notes of child sexual abuse mentioned.
- Get Out (Rated R) The main character is a young black man who visits his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.
- Us (Rated R) A family’s serene beach vacation turns to chaos when their doppelgängers appear and begin to terrorize them.
- Conjuring 1 and 2 (Rated R)
- Misery (Rated R) After a famous author is rescued from a car crash by a fan of his novels, he comes to realize that the care he is receiving is only the beginning of a nightmare of captivity and abuse.
- Blair Witch Project (Rated R) In October of 1994 three student filmmakers disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland, while shooting a documentary…A year later their footage was found.
- Child’s Play (Rated R)
- Final Destination 1 (Rated R)
- Candyman (Rated R)
- Pet Sematary (Rated R)
- Smile (Rated R) After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr. Rose Cotter starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can’t explain. Rose must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horrifying new reality.
- Bodies Bodies Bodies (Rated R)– no nudity or sex, but there are discussions about who is sleeping with whom
- Prey (Rated R)
- The Black Phone (Rated R) After being abducted by a child killer and locked in a soundproof basement, a 13-year-old boy starts receiving calls on a disconnected phone from the killer’s previous victims.
- Firestarter 2022 (Rated R) A young girl tries to understand how she mysteriously gained the power to set things on fire with her mind.
- Scream 2022 (Rated R) talk of sex but nothing is shown
The horror genre is diverse and you’ll find a huge band of appropriateness out there.
If in doubt that a movie is ok for your little girl(s) or guy(s), go ahead and preview or rewatch to jog your memory.
We’d avoid most 70s and 80s horror movies like Nightmare on Elm Street, Michael Myers Halloween, and Friday the 13th as they tended to be too sexualized for younger audiences.
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Patty Holliday is the owner and creator of all things No-Guilt Universe. As a lifelong fangirl and pop culture connoisseur, she’s been creating online since 2009. You can find her work at No-Guilt Disney.com, No-Guilt Fangirl.com, No-Guilt Life, and as host of the top-rated No-Guilt Disney Podcast.