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13 PG-13 Horror Films to Watch Along With Five Nights at Freddy's

Five Nights at Freddy's is ready to bring some PG-13 horror to the screen. 

By Matthew Jackson

Five Nights at Freddy's, the horror film based on the beloved video game about a guy who's just trying to survive a night in a derelict pizza restaurant surrounded by killer animatronics, is out here breaking box office and streaming records. It's one of the most-anticipated horror films of the year, particularly for fans of the games. But arguably the most exciting element of Five Nights at Freddy's? It's rated PG-13. 

RELATED: Five Nights at Freddy's Creators Explain How You Bring a Video Game to Life

Yes, FNAF joins the distinguished company of a long list of films designed to be scary and allow younger viewers to get in on the fun, which means that if your kids are the right age and you're a horror household, you can really make this one a family affair. But we're in the Halloween hangover now, of course, so you might be ready to hit the PG-13 horror releases even before Freddy Fazbear gets his paws on you. So, we're here to help. Here are 13 great PG-13 horror films with loads of fun energy that you can go watch to get in a Five Nights at Freddy's mood. 

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Based on the children's books of the same name, Scary Stories follows a group of friends as they navigate the horrors of a cursed book of scary stories that's somehow come to live, translating the stories they read into their world with potentially deadly consequences. Because it's a film that follows young people, it's got tons of energy, and the format means there's loads of horror variety. There are also, of course, genuine scares, whether your fear is scarecrows or weird spider bites.

Stream it now on Peacock!

The Mummy and The Mummy Returns

Stephen Sommers' immortal duo of horror-adventure films remains one of the most identifiable examples of "fun" horror cinema, thanks to the action setpieces, the comedy, and of course the endless chemistry between stars Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. The Mummy films are just gleefully fun from start to finish, but that doesn't mean they're without scares. Don't believe me? Just think about being entombed for all eternity with thousands of flesh-eating beetles. Yeah.

Stream both films now on Peacock!


Yeah, we know, Krampus is a Christmas horror movie and this is the Thanksgiving season, but if you can get past that little wrinkle, you won't be sorry. The story of a family whose tense holiday is suddenly plagued by the emergence of a dark spirit of the Christmas season, Krampus is both frightening and loads of fun, featuring everything from a beautifully designed central monster to killer toys ready to leap to life and mess you up. Add in a comedically gifted cast led by Adam Scott, and it's too much fun to confine it to one season.

Stream it now on Peacock!


OK, so M. Night Shyamalan's film about a young woman (Anya Taylor-Joy) abducted by a man (James McAvoy) with a string of very different personalities isn't necessarily as cheerful as some of the other films on this list, but that doesn't stop the film from having a ton of fun with its premise. Like Five Nights at Freddy's, it's essentially a survival horror story, and the way McAvoy embodies all the different characters in his head creates a funhouse effect that's both fascinating and creepy.

Stream it now on Peacock!

Happy Death Day and Happy Death 2U

The Happy Death Day films are just plain joyous. A fun dissection of certain slasher tropes wrapped up in a time loop comedy that, by the second film, also becomes a multi-dimensional comedy, this story is packed with great moments that remind you that you don't have to push all the way to R to have a great time with a slasher. They're funny movies, emotional movies, imaginative movies, and they're the kinds of films that reward frequent rewatching.

Stream Happy Death Day 2U now on Peacock!

The Visit

Like Five Nights at Freddy's, M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit begins from a place of seemingly absolute safety. What could possibly go wrong in an empty children's restaurant in the middle of the night? What could possibly go wrong with a simple visit to your grandparents? In both cases, you have to watch the film to find out, and what Shyamalan has in store with The Visit is both satisfyingly pulpy and all-out creepy. 

Stream it now on Peacock!


One of the most talked-about horror films of 2023 so far is, like Five Nights at Freddy's, also the story of robots gone wrong. M3GAN, named for the killer doll of the same name, isn't really a comedy, but it is a film that understands its assignment perfectly, delivering a fun vibe while never shying away from moments of genuine terror, and by the end, really leaning into the sci-fi appeal of it all. It's a film that got people talking because it was meme-able, but we're still talking about it because it's a blast.


One of the all-time great over-the-top horror comedies that also retains a PG-13 rating, Arachnophobia delivers exactly what you'd expect from a film of that name: A small town getting absolutely picked apart by invasive spiders. This one's got it all, from creature effects to unforgettably broad characters to a climax that'll have you searching absolute every corner of your house for an eight-legged creature. It's been more than 30 years, and it's still some of the best fun you can have on a Friday night.

The Ring

Like certain other films on the list, The Ring isn't exactly cheerful, but if you're looking for proof that a PG-13 horror film can still absolutely scare you senseless, or you're trying to prove that concept to someone else, it's the gold standard. A remake of the Japanese classic Ringu, Gore Verbinski's take on the tale of a cursed video tape that kills its viewers in seven days is unforgettably creepy, packed with great moments, and features one of the best opening jump scares in horror history.


Want a fantastic creature feature with a great cast, great monster designs, and an unadulterated sense of B-movie fun? Then it's time to go back to Tremors. There's a reason this movie spawned several sequels, and why we keep talking about it after more than three decades. It's a film that fully embraces its pulpy premise, leans into it at every turn, and has a blast every step of the way. The sense of joy coming off the screen is so infectious that the moment you meet a fellow Tremors fan, it's like coming home.


We're cheating a little bit with this last one, because Gremlins came off the line in 1984 with a PG rating. But, this film has an interesting place in movie ratings history, because along with other films that year like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, it became one of the movies that helped birth the PG-13 rating. Joe Dante's creature comedy was so gross and freaky in some places that parents complained it was messing their kids up, but the film still wasn't extreme enough to warrant an R rating from the Motion Picture Association. So, Hollywood started talking, and a new rating system was born, in no small part because the Mogwai freaked out families across America in 1984. And hey, if you want a pure PG-13 experience, you can always watch Gremlins 2: The New Batch

Five Nights at Freddy's is in theaters and streaming on Peacock now. 

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