Some kids are fascinated by horror films from a young age. The only problem? So many horror films include a lot of things parents have no desire for their kids to see. Sex, nudity, language, and gore are abundant in the genre. But what happens when your kid is itching to see a movie that will scare their pants off, but they’re a bit young for all the slicing, dicing, swearing, and consorting?
We’ve compiled a list of movies that have no nudity, some light language at most, and light violence that are still likely to have the kiddies hiding under their blankets when they turn in for the night.
(Please be advised - every child is different. While these movies are great for some kids, they may simply be too scary for others.)
Grace (Nicole Kidman) and her two children have holed up in their manor in the English countryside at the end of the second world war, but they aren’t alone in the house. One of the more popular and well received of the ‘what a twist’ style of horror that overwhelmed the genre in the late 90s/early 00s, The Others holds a PG-13 rating for frightening moments. Beyond that, the language is clean, there is no gore, and it’s only the sense of dread that brings the rating warning. The strongest language in the movie is ‘Damn’ and ‘Hell’, with no blood or nudity.
Insidious takes your typical haunted house fare and spins it around. This is a family that does everything you should when you find yourself in a haunted house. Despite all that, spirits find their way in and the thrills are tight all the way through the film. With two sequels (and a third in the works), if your family loves this one, you’ve got a few more to burn through.. Insidious received a PG-13 rating for frights and three F-bombs (one written). There is very light violence, no gore, and very little blood. There is no sex to speak of.
Mama is based on the short film of the same name and is another frightfest that kids will get a kick out of. When a ghost follows two little girls back from the woods, their family will have to compete with the girls’ new ‘Mama’. This one falls apart a little bit when we see the ghost in person, but it still remains scary to the end. Another PG-13 rated movie for frightening scenes, this one has some passionate kissing, some stronger supernatural violence (but no gore), an F-bomb and a couple other lighter swears.
The second James Wan film on our list (the first being Insidious). Set in the early 1970s, this movie profiles a family dealing with a supernatural haunting and reaching out to the famous Ed & Lorraine Warren (of Amityville Horror fame) for help. While the film is rated R, it’s not for nudity, language, sex, or even gore. It’s simply for terror. Reportedly when James Wan asked the MPAA why they slapped an R rating on the film when it was so mild in terms of language, gore, and sex, they told him the movie was simply too scary to be given a PG-13 rating. I’d call that a ringing endorsement!