Horror movies are enjoyable because being scared and feeling fear can be fun. However, horror isn’t always for everyone. It’s sometimes too scary for some to handle. Thankfully, the hybrid genre of horror comedy exists to ensure audiences can be a little scared while also enjoying some big laughs to balance it out. Even if you are someone who enjoys the fights in the scariest movies, horror comedy can still be extremely fun because it opens the door for some wacky scenes that wouldn’t typically exist outside of the unique genre.
If you’re looking to add some comedy horror films to your spooky movie watch list, or looking to explore the genre further, it’s highly recommended that you check out some of the movies below.
Zombieland seems like any other zombie film on the surface, but thanks to witty dialogue, wacky characters, and situations that are just plain silly, it’s absolutely sidesplitting. With Woody Harrelson’s Tallahassee risking life and limb for Twinkies, the main ragtag group partying with Bill Murray, and some hilariously awkward young adult romance, the roadtrip across the zombie-filled landscape is a wild ride.
Obviously, there are some spooky moments, like characters being trapped on a ferris wheel while zombies reach for them and having to maneuver past a zombie clown. Zombieland gets bonus points for also having some especially emotional moments, like when Tallahassee’s past is explored.
Slither is credited as the directorial debut of James Gunn. If you’ve seen some of his other movies, like Guardians of the Galaxy or Super, then you can guess how ridiculous Slither can be. An alien parasite lands on Earth and possesses a character named Grant Grant (really, that’s his first and last name) played by Michael Rooker. The parasite-infected Grant terrorizes a small town and even lays eggs in one of his victims, causing his offspring to seek out other hosts to infect and control. It’s strange, scary, and genuinely funny.
With Nathan Fillion playing the small town cop who’s more concerned with pining over Grant’s wife, played by Elizabeth Banks, the battle against the alien parasite threat becomes filled with moments that are truly bonkers. The blend of traditional effects and makeup with some CGI that was only used where necessary still holds up as rather impressive.
This is the End (2013)
When some of the biggest names in Hollywood party at James Franco’s mansion, the literal apocalypse is the last thing you’d expect. One of the best elements in the film is that each of the actors (Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera, and more) are playing exaggerated versions of themselves. This leads to comedic moments such as Jonah Hill becoming full of himself for getting an Oscar nomination and Michael Cera actually being an outgoing womanizer rather than the shy teen he plays in every movie. Who can forget when Emma Wattson beats them with a shovel and robs them?
This is an apocalyptic comedy horror film, so also expect a demon to hunt them, characters to literally be raptured, and for the Devil to unleash hellfire upon the world.
Young Frankenstein (1974)
If you’ve ever seen Spaceballs, Blazing Saddles, or Robin Hood: Men in Tights, then you know that Mel Brooks is one of the greatest comedic geniuses of all time. Take that humor and blend it with Mary Shelley’s iconic Gothic monster story and you get Young Frankenstein. Most people are already familiar with the events of Frankenstein, so playing with what people already know about a story leads to unexpected moments and big laughs, which is something that Brooks excels at.
Dr. Frankenstein (which may not be pronounced the way you think) creates a monster and brings it to life, and the monster attacks the villagers, just in the horror classic, but this time the monster sings and dances. Igor isn’t aware of his obviously hunched back, the dialogue is filled with extremely funny lines, and the performances of Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Teri Garr, PEter Boyle, and the rest are absolutely to die for.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Shaun of the Dead is the first installment in the Three Flavors Cornetto trilogy and features just as many humorous scenes as there are scary ones. It pays homage to the classic Romero zombie films while including brand new twists. The entire premise of getting to one’s go-to local bar during the zombie outbreak is already hilarious, but then add in witty banter between the characters and solid slapstick moments, and you get what is probably one of the most fun horror comedies ever.
Even though the humor is an absolute riot throughout, there are still plenty of reasons to be creeped out while watching it. Being surrounded by hundreds of walking corpses waiting to devour your flesh is always rather scary. Considering that most of the characters meet their demise, every moment, including the funny ones, are terrifying as any of them could get bitten at any moment.
Willy’s Wonderland (2021)
Willy’s Wonderland is a movie of Nicolas Cage fighting evil Chuck E. Cheese’s animatronics; need I say more? It’s bloody and action-packed, with an obviously goofy premise. The filmmakers knew exactly what they were doing and took none of it seriously, making it a lot of fun to watch. The fact that Nicolas Cage’s character is the protagonist but has zero lines is truly bizarre, but it somehow works in the movie’s favor.
The animatronics are genuinely creepy, and it’s oddly satisfying seeing them slaughter a group of teenagers classic-slasher style. Willie’s Wonderland is silly, creepy, violent, and showcases some surprisingly well-choreographed fight scenes. It’s a must-see horror comedy if you’re a fan of over-the-top movies.
Freaky is a blend of Freaky Friday and Friday the 13th that no one knew they wanted, but so desperately needed in their lives. My guess is that the original title was probably Freaky Friday the 13th. It plays with the classic slasher film formula in ways that haven’t been done before. A serial killer (played by Vince Vaughn) and his latest teen girl victim trade places once a magic dagger he stabs her with causes them to exchange bodies. Now, the teen girl in the body of the slasher villain must convince her friends that she’s not trying to murder them so they can work together to find and stop the killer from slaughtering everyone at their high school using her body.
Vince Vaughn acting like a teen girl is extremely funny, but there are plenty of suspense and gorey kills throughout. If you’re a slasher fan and are familiar with all of the usual tropes, then this is a fun and unique parody for you. It’s also worth noting that while this is a bit of a parody, that it does stand on its own quite well.
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010)
Similarly, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is another parody that stands as its own entity while laying with expectations and existing tropes. There are plenty of slashers where the killers are evil rednecks, like Wrong Turn. In Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, Tucker and Dale are innocent hillbillies and are actually extremely friendly, but a group of college kids mistake them for serial killers. While escaping the goofy hillbillies that want to say hello, the college kids accidentally kill themselves one by one.
It has the kills and gore of a classic slasher, but turns the usual premise on its head to create something twistedly funny. It’s a must-watch for fans of dark comedy.
Werewolves Within (2021)
Based on the multiplayer bluffing VR game made by Ubisoft, Werewolves Within is a horror comedy with a suspenseful whodunnit mystery. With the townsfolk all stuck in a cabin together while any one of them could secretly be a werewolf, the entertaining bickering doesn’t seem to end. With a wide variety of goofy characters, it’s extremely fun to see them all play off each other.
The mystery element of whether or not there is actually a werewolf and who it may be if there is one adds a layer of suspense to this dark character comedy. The kills, which may or may not be done by a werewolf, are brutal and bloody and the jokes throughout the dialogue are nothing short of clever. It’s overall one of the more fun video game adaptations that also happens to be a great horror comedy.
The Monster Squad (1987)
The Monster Squad is basically the Goonies fighting the Universal Monsters, and if that doesn’t excite you, then nothing will. Dracula and his minions are just as scary as usual as he sets out to unleash darkness over the world. The Wolfman proves to be a real threat when even explosions can’t stop him and only silver bullets can. The kids feel like they are in real danger when facing off against these classic monsters they once idolized.
However, we do see Frankenstein’s Monster befriend a little girl, which is both funny and adorably. The dialogue exchanged between the members of the Monster Squad all feels like exaggerated stereotypes of how preteen boys act, which allows for a lot of humor. This movie may not have been super successful when it first released, but it’s gained a cult following because of how crazy of a ride it is.
Little Monsters (2019)
In Little Monsters, Lupita Nyong’o plays a kindergarten teacher who has her class on a fieldtrip when the zombie outbreak starts. She now has to take care of her students and make sure they are safe and happy while having to worry about the undead threat. The contrast in dark and happy tones throughout the film is what makes it so much fun. Josh Gad plays a children’s entertainer who’s willing to put his life above the kids he’s now trapped with, which leads to even more twisted humor.
The characters being trapped in a single building by countless zombies is scary, but having to look after a couple dozen kids while doing so is probably even scarier. You’ll laugh and gasp with fear as you watch Little Monsters.
Psycho Goreman (2020)
One of the craziest movies around, Psycho Goreman is an absolute blast to watch thanks to it’s impressive traditional effects, uproariously hilarious one-liners, and of course, the gore. Two young children unleash one of the most evil and powerful beings in the universe, but he has to listen to their every command. It feels very much like The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy mixed with Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, so if you’re a fan of either, then you will undoubtedly love Psycho Goreman.
A little girl forcing an alien with godlike powers to play her made up dodgeball game is just an example of some of the hilarity that the film offers. The gore is bloody and actually pretty creative, like when PG rips out another character’s spine to build a sword out of it. Trust me when I say you won’t expect what you’re in for until you see this one.
Ghostbusters isn’t only one of the best horror comedies, but it’s one of the greatest films of all time. It’s hilarious from start to finish, has tons of genuinely spooky ghosts, and uses special effects that revolutionized the world of filmmaking. There are countless witty and sarcastic lines from each of the cast throughout, but mostly from Bill Murray in what is probably his best role.
Accidentally summoning a giant marshmallow man is pretty darn funny, but having a character be chased down by a demon is actually pretty frightening. If you’ve somehow missed out on Ghostbusters, then there’s no time like the present to experience this iconic movie.
There’s nothing quite like Gremlins. It’s easily one of the best and most popular horror comedies you could ever see. When a cute little creature known as a Mogwai gets wet, they multiply. When they eat after midnight, they become grotesque creatures known as Gremlins that destroy anything they can get their hands on. The Gremlins slaughter the majority of a small town, but it’s oddly fun to see it all happen. The puppeteering used in the movie is extraordinarily well done, and the voice acting is unforgettable.
Gremlins is chock full of moments that are funny, scary, and even adorable. It’s also worth mentioning that it’s a Christmas movie, so it’s highly recommended that you add it to your holiday watch list each year.
There are plenty of other horror comedies out there, all with different frights and laughs. If you’ve already dabbled in this rather unique and entertaining genre hybrid, what are some of your favorites?