PG-13 Scary Movies
December 21, 2004 7:23 AM   Subscribe

ScaryMovie filter: My 12-year-old son likes scary movies. Can you recommend some non-R rated ones? (mi)
posted by barjo to Media & Arts (35 answers total)
"Something Wicked This Way Comes"
posted by aramaic at 7:26 AM on December 21, 2004

Response by poster: He's seen much of the current crop of PG-13 horror films - the Ring, Shamaylan's films, etc. He can be persuaded to watch an old movie if it's not too creaky or dated - the original version of The Haunting was a good find (he howled with laughter at the remake's "special" effects). Oh, and after just about any film, he says it "wasn't that scary" or "wasn't scary enough". So what's scared you that you'd share with a 12-year-old?
posted by barjo at 7:26 AM on December 21, 2004

The Birds creeped me out when I saw it in my early teen years.
posted by mmascolino at 7:38 AM on December 21, 2004

Second on anything Hitchcock, esp. Psycho. From the modern era, M. Night Shamaylan's The Village was pretty scary to my 12 year old.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:48 AM on December 21, 2004

Poltergeist gave me a fear of trees.
posted by skryche at 7:49 AM on December 21, 2004

The Changeling.
posted by whatnot at 7:56 AM on December 21, 2004

posted by Servo5678 at 8:12 AM on December 21, 2004

The Forgotten had some surprisingly effective creepiness.
posted by weston at 8:32 AM on December 21, 2004

If The Shining doesn't scare him, he's beyond hope.
posted by timeistight at 8:44 AM on December 21, 2004

The Sixth Sense
The Others
Close Encounters of the Third Kind

I remember showing my 6 year old daughter "To Kill a Mocking Bird" and fast forwarding thru the trial parts leaving only the Jem/Scout and Boo Radley parts. Kept her attention and provide a pretty good message.
posted by sexymofo at 8:49 AM on December 21, 2004

Gremlins 2: The New Batch!!! (so awesome!)

Mang, when I was 12, I watched as much slasher as I could. Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare On Elm Street etc. etc. etc. My parents were very religious Mormons, and did not allow anything over PG13, but I would watch them late at night, or at friend's houses.

I turned out normal.

Kind of.

That being said, as a younger lad, I watched the 1956 "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and the b&w "Night of the Living Dead" over and over again. Also - I am not sure of the ratings - but Evil Dead 1 and 2 and Army of Darkness
would probably rock his world.
posted by Quartermass at 8:50 AM on December 21, 2004

The Andromeda Strain. Probably too old-style for him, though. The last shot of the thing multiplying scared the hell out of me.
posted by jenovus at 9:01 AM on December 21, 2004

The Watcher in the Woods was a real spooky flick for me as a kid. Disney, so it's more appropriate then some of the other suggestions for a 12 year old. It's more gothic tension then outright horror, but fun. If he likes that then The Others might make another good choice, with a more modern production. Both decent picks if he liked Shamaylan's flicks.
posted by Animus at 9:12 AM on December 21, 2004

Well, when I was younger, I was scared of 9 to 5 and Airplane. But then again, I was a HUGE wuss.
posted by bDiddy at 9:17 AM on December 21, 2004

When spring rolls 'round, take him camping and arrange for a Blair Witch type event.

Movie-wise, the first Gremlins scared the crap out of me with its ending monologue. I could not go out to the garage with its ever flickering light without being worried that Spike was gonna leap out and cut me.

He's also at the age that I started reading early Stephen King. So movies based on that stuff, or better yet, the books themselves, could be nice.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:20 AM on December 21, 2004

I still find the original Batman (1989) more frightening than any horror movie, it's so claustrophobic and the Joker is such an out-of-control terrorist.
posted by inksyndicate at 9:32 AM on December 21, 2004

Sexymofo is right. Arachnophobia scared me silly when I first saw it (and I was about 12 at the time, too).
posted by Plutor at 9:33 AM on December 21, 2004

posted by crunchland at 9:43 AM on December 21, 2004

Mr Vampire. It's also a kung fu comedy.
posted by Grangousier at 9:55 AM on December 21, 2004

The Grudge is PG-13, and it just about scared the pants off of me... of course, YMMV. No sex (just insinuated) or foul language, just violence and graphic gore. The Ring didn't scare me (either version), but for some reason, this one stuck.
posted by blackkar at 9:58 AM on December 21, 2004

The Innocents, which is a precursor to The Others
posted by Navek Rednam at 10:14 AM on December 21, 2004

One recommendation that I would have is to take him to see scary movies in the theater. Something about the total darkness, the big screen, and the kick ass soundsystem makes everything scarier - particularly for classic, killer around the corner, action/horror films. So yeah, keep an eye out for the newest stuff in theaters, and read reviews to make sure that it is something you would approve of him seeing. I make no real claims for the movie itself, since I haven't seen it, but judging by the commercials Darkness looks like it could be scary, and I believe that's PG-13. Ring 2 also comes out soon I think.
posted by rorycberger at 10:28 AM on December 21, 2004

He's also at the age that I started reading early Stephen King.

whoa, bingo. there's a lot of tv adaptations of stephen king novels that are pretty damn scary -- IT and Storm of the Century are both particularly frightening. you can probably rent these from netflix or something.
posted by fishfucker at 10:54 AM on December 21, 2004

Something Wicked this Way Comes
The Frighteners (Robert Zemekis movie, but may be PG-13 or R)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (You're next!)
The Blair Witch Project (also possibly R)
Steven King's: It (tv)
The Twilight Zone: The Movie (also much of the TV series)
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:57 AM on December 21, 2004

Jaws terrified me when I was little — I stayed up all night after seeing it, afraid that if I fell asleep, my arms would dangle over the bed and Jaws would eat me. Definitely recommended.
posted by jed at 12:51 PM on December 21, 2004

When he gets a bit older, Silence of the Lambs. The sexual stuff is a bit much for 12, I think, but it's such a great movie ...
posted by librarina at 12:55 PM on December 21, 2004

I second whatnot's recommendation of The Changeling. That is, without a doubt, the scariest movie I have ever seen in my life. Straight up creepy and terrifying. Gives me chills just to think of it.

Another vote also for Blair Witch Project.

When a Stranger Calls is "R" but I'm not sure why. That one'll scare the bejesus out of him.
posted by suchatreat at 1:00 PM on December 21, 2004

The Night of the Hunter (ranked #145 at IMDb as I write this)
posted by pmurray63 at 1:18 PM on December 21, 2004

Ooooh, another vote for The Changling!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:32 PM on December 21, 2004

Hitchcock films may still be good and entertaining these days, but scary they are not. Most of the Stephen King film adaptations are a good choice though, "It" probably being the best one (as Civil_ suggested). Pet Sematary is nice too, and I even kind of like the sequel, even though King disavowed it. Just avoid the Langoliers at all costs.
posted by fvw at 4:04 PM on December 21, 2004

The Changeling for me too. I first saw it when I was about 12, and it scared the hell out of me. I hadn't watched it in 18 years until last week when we finally got it on DVD. When that wheelchair came to the top of the stairs I damn near crapped my pants.

What about The Lost Boys? Alien? The Thing? Erm, that might be R-rated. An American Werewolf In London? The Beyond (sometimes called From Beyond)? Pet Semetary?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:10 PM on December 21, 2004

obiwan, all of those movies, as far as I can recall, are R-rated.

The Black Hole scared the bejesus out of me when I was a kiddie. I was probably younger than 12, though.

Show him the original Nosferatu. Hee hee.
posted by neckro23 at 4:15 PM on December 21, 2004

Hitchcock films may still be good and entertaining these days, but scary they are not.

Tell that to my two friends who came with me to see "Psycho" when we were in college 20 years ago. (How I envied them, being able to see it with no foreknowledge -- even though I had never seen the movie, I knew all about it. Of course, I got some of the dialogue's dark humor that they didn't.) Anyway, to someone who's not familiar with Psycho, it's scary.

Otherwise yes, Hitchcock is more suspenseful than scary. Except for "The Birds," maybe ... but I've never been so wild about that one, personally.
posted by pmurray63 at 7:33 PM on December 21, 2004

Hrm - the US must have a very different rating system to Australia. They're all rated "M" in Oz, the same as "The Sixth Sense" and "Poltergeist", except "The Thing" which is MA15+. There's no restriction on children hiring or viewing M-rated material. To get an R rating in Australia you have to make something pretty full-on like "Seven".
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:18 PM on December 21, 2004

Wait Until Dark is mainly suspenseful, but the last 1/3 has some absolutely heartstopping moments. And no (or very little) foul language, no over the top violence, no gore, no nudity, definitely suitable for an adolescent with a jones for film frights. It's one of my favorite movies, I recently introduced it to my just-turned-13 year old, and she slept with a light on that night.
posted by Dreama at 11:51 PM on December 21, 2004

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