12 PG-13 Horror Movies That Prove They Don’t Need An R-Rating To Be Great

If you grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, you no doubt still have nightmares about Alvin Schwartz’s book series, “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.” Mostly, the bone-chilling illustrations struck fear in our collective hearts. You probably remember Harold the Scarecrow, the Pale Lady, and the girl with the spider bite. In the 2019 film version directed by André Øvredal, those images find horrifying new life in visual depictions that seem ripped from those haunting pages. The creatures will make you shiver with genuine terror.

After discovering accused witch Sarah Bellows’ (Kathleen Pollard) cursed notebook, Stella (Zoe Colletti) notices stories appearing on their own on blank pages. First, Harold appears in a nearby cornfield, igniting a trail of fear and mayhem. Later, other stories come to life, including “The Big Toe,” “The Dream,” “The Red Spot,” and “What Do You Come For?” Stella and her friends are forced to confront each of these monsters and find a way to give Sarah Bellows peace in the afterlife.

“Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” is an undeniably faithful adaptation that also explores its own terrifying story through Stella’s eyes. It might be rated PG-13, but it’s gripping and dark in all the right spots. Now, we wait for a sequel with bated breath.

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