Why Is Scary Movie PG-13?

Scary movies have been a part of our lives for a long time. From the early days of cinema, horror films have been a popular genre.

Some of the most iconic horror movies like The Exorcist and The Shining are rated R, which means that they are only suitable for adults. However, in recent years, we have seen a surge in PG-13 rated scary movies. This may leave you wondering – why is Scary movie PG-13?

What is PG-13 Rating?

Before we answer the question, let’s first understand what PG-13 rating means. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rates films based on their content and assigns them a rating. This rating system helps parents to decide whether or not a movie is appropriate for their children to watch.

PG-13 stands for Parental Guidance Suggested. This means that some material might not be suitable for children under 13 years of age. A child below 13 can watch the movie if accompanied by an adult.

Why Are Scary Movies Rated R?

Scary movies are often rated R because of their violent or sexual content. These movies often contain gore, nudity, and profanity that are not suitable for children under 17 years of age.

R-rated movies are created with mature audiences in mind and hence can be more graphic and intense than PG-13 rated films.

Why Are Some Scary Movies Rated PG-13?

The reason why some scary movies are rated PG-13 is simple – it allows filmmakers to reach a wider audience. A PG-13 rating means that teenagers can also watch the movie without an adult.

Filmmakers often choose to make their horror movies PG-13 so that they can attract more viewership and make more money at the box office.

What Makes A Scary Movie PG-13?

So, how do filmmakers create a horror movie that is rated PG-13? The answer lies in the content. A PG-13 rated horror movie cannot contain nudity, extreme violence, or excessive profanity.

However, it can still be scary and intense. Filmmakers often use jump scares and suspense to create a scary atmosphere without resorting to gore or violence.

Examples of PG-13 Scary Movies

Some of the most popular PG-13 rated horror movies include The Ring, The Grudge, and Paranormal Activity. These movies are known for their suspense and jump scares rather than graphic violence.


In conclusion, scary movies can be rated R or PG-13 depending on their content. While R-rated movies are more graphic and intense, PG-13 rated movies are designed to cater to a wider audience that includes teenagers. However, this does not mean that a PG-13 rated movie is not scary – it simply means that it is suitable for a wider audience.