21 PG-Rated Movies That Are Actually Terrifying

Parental Guidance and a security blanket are strongly suggested.

1. Jaws

Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Suddenly, the beach doesn’t seem like such a fun place, huh?

Fun fact: There was no PG-13 rating when Jaws hit theaters in 1975. It wasn’t until 1984 that the PG-13 rating came about, after the release of two more Spielberg films that were a little rough to handle (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins).

2. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Oh, this is a candy factory where children are killed with little to no remorse? Cool. And Wonka likes to take people on LSD trips with terrifying larger-than-life bugs? Cool. Cool.

3. Poltergeist

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) / Via nerdist.com

Ghosts, in general, can be really terrifying. Especially in Poltergeist, where we see a man ripping his own face off, a killer clown doll, and a tree that tries to eat a boy.

4. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Harrison Ford is a handsome man, and this film is horrifyingly violent. In particular, the sacrifice scenes, where at one point a man’s heart is ripped out while he’s still alive. And if that wasn’t enough, he’s then burned alive.

5. Ghostbusters

Columbia Pictures Corporation / Via lunkiandsika.wordpress.com

I’m not sure what’s more terrifying: the scary librarian ghost, Dana Barrett’s possession by Zuul, or Dan Aykroyd’s ghost blow job.

6. Mommie Dearest

If you think you’re a little anal retentive, you should meet momma Joan Crawford. Don’t want your veggies? Fine, she’ll starve you until you break. Use a wire hanger? You better get ready for a nice long beating.

7. The Witches

The Jim Henson Company

Beware witch conventions, basically. It wasn’t enough that Luke is recently an orphan, but he then has to try and destroy a bunch of unsightly witches before he gets turned into a mouse. A MOUSE.

8. Coraline

Focus Features

The whole film is about a monster who lures children away in order to try and trick them into having buttons sewn on their eyes. Not. Scary. At. All.

9. Return to Oz

BMI (No. 9) Ltd.

The Wheelers … sweet sassy mollassey, THE WHEELERS. Also, that whole part where Dorothy’s strapped down and about to receive electroshock treatment. Oh, and let’s not forget the headless Mombi witch.

10. Beetlejuice

Geffen Company

The thing about being dead, is that you can do a lot of stuff with your body that you previously weren’t able to do. Like stretch your face, or shrink your head, or have your eyeballs bulge so far out of their sockets that it makes everyone else around you weep in fear. (Just me? OK.) Also, Beetlejuice is just a super creepy guy, right?

11. The Birds

Universal Pictures / Via fact.co.uk

Perhaps the most horrific part of this film, aside from the attic scene and the parts where people are pecked to death, is that fact that just outside a window near you is a bird. A bird with a beak, or as I like to call it, a deadly beak.

12. Little Monsters

Davis Entertainment

The monster who lives under your bed should absolutely stay under your bed. Except in Little Monsters, that doesn’t happen. Instead, a monster’s face melts off, and another monster rips a child’s head off. True story.

13. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Walt Disney Pictures

The only reason this film wasn’t rated PG-13 is that it doesn’t show any actual blood. But the fight scenes are brutal, including the part where a dude gets crushed by a gate.

14. Gremlins

Warner Bros.

The moral of this story is basically: Don’t break the rules, or you’ll unleash hell on earth.

15. The Wizard of Oz

The flying monkeys and terrifying forest aside, the Wicked Witch is a pretty scary villain. And when she’s melted into a puddle of nothing, instead of relief, you feel intense anxiety over the same thing possibly happening to you.

16. The Nightmare Before Christmas

Touchstone Pictures

The Oogie Boogie man is a pretty creepy villain, along with the “Doctor” who made Sally. Did I mention all of Sally’s body parts come off, and she has to sew them back on?

17. The NeverEnding Story

Bavaria Filmstudios

This film is “for kids,” but is also “for giving you nightmares about horses.” SPOILER ALERT: The horse death scene has scarred me for life.

18. Anastasia

This animated film is about the real-life mystery of the Romanov family, and it includes the fact that all of Anastasia’s family was massacred. You know what else it has? Rasputin, that old bitch, and his terrifying magic tricks.

19. Labyrinth

Henson Associates (HA)

Remember Bowie’s wig and how he stole a baby? Remember when Sarah fell into that hole with all the hands? And remember when she met those creatures who ripped apart their own bodies? Yeah, me too.

20. The Dark Crystal

Incorporated Television Company (ITC)

Firstly, flesh puppets are creepy, and they look like elves. And secondly, the bad guys are gruesome-looking vultures.

21. Hocus Pocus

Walt Disney Pictures

“Come Little Children” creepy song lyrics aside, the Sanderson sisters suck the souls out of little children. Essentially, they kill children in order to stay young and beautiful. Plus, there’s that whole fear of being a virgin and accidentally lighting the black flame candle bit.

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