The 25 Best Horror Comedy Films of All Time

Humor and worry are diametrically opposed, so squishing them collectively into one coherent piece of artwork is a horrifyingly, hilariously troublesome process. The very best horror comedy films serve up our biggest fears whereas additionally taking part in with them, making us query our personal emotional responses to every little thing from witches to alien crops to not-quite-dead issues rising from the grave to stroll very, very slowly towards us.

These filmmakers who’ve efficiently scared the giggles out of us sometimes accomplish that by placing humorous individuals in mock hazard, getting meta on standard horror tropes, or sublimating scare-based adrenaline into the reduction of a great stomach snicker. Possibly worry and humor actually do belong collectively in any case.

Whether or not you are within the temper to chuckle or scream, these horror comedies ship on each counts.

1. Arsenic and Previous Lace (1944)

This Cary Grant-starring farce is so humorous that you simply neglect his character’s expensive, candy aunts are mainly Ted Bundy. Including Peter Lorre into the combo for horror bona fides, the film performs with our biases about who will get to be a fearsome serial killer—the wide-eyed maniac or the darling previous girl with poison in her elderberry wine. The manufacturing was shut down briefly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, as director Frank Capra was commissioned within the U.S. Military and was requested to return to energetic responsibility with solely every week of filming left.

2. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

The legendary comedy duo play baggage clerks who make a supply to McDougal’s Home of Horrors, operating into Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula, and the Wolf Man (performed respectively by Glenn Unusual, Bela Lugosi, and Lon Chaney, Jr. reprising their Common monster roles). As with different Abbott and Costello productions, they employed Bobby Barber because the court docket jester who would play pranks, deliberately wreck takes in foolish methods, and preserve the actors and crew laughing. It is a good factor spirits have been excessive, as a result of Costello hated the script and did not wish to make the film.

3. The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

Vincent Worth delivers a powerful, absurd efficiency as a physician who’s rebuilt his personal mangled face and is in search of revenge on the incompetent crew of docs who killed his spouse utilizing the Biblical Plagues of Egypt as inspiration. The kills are astoundingly intelligent (the movie executes the one Demise By Frog Masks in horror historical past), and the entire thing may have been performed for straight terror if not for the campy tone Worth and firm went for. In a pleasant nod to the mix of horror and comedy, the vicious vampire bats they used for one kill have been really candy flying foxes who have been extra within the fruit on the craft service desk than any of the blood contained in the actors.

4. Younger Frankenstein (1974)

Mel Brooks’s riff on the traditional story of taking part in God with lightning and previous physique components was an early instance of parodying beloved horror tales wholesale and is now within the Corridor of Fame for its hilarious quotability (Blücher!). Not solely did it launch a brand new wave of horror comedies that performed well-known monsters again to us, it additionally impressed Aerosmith to write down “Stroll This Approach.”

5. Hausu (Home) (1977)

Seven schoolgirls go to a haunted home and die screaming by the hands of a hungry piano, a violent mirror, and a creepy cat. That is a really fundamental plot for an indescribably bonkers movie from Nobuhiko Obayashi the place the results are dangerous on objective, the kills are all profoundly foolish, and the entire “plot” performs out like a giallo fairy story. Obayashi might get the credit score, however most of the fearsome concepts, together with the central idea of a home consuming a bunch of women, got here from his 11-year-old daughter Chigumi.

6. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

John Landis’s fish-out-of-water story simply occurs to function a fish that turns right into a bushy clawed beast when the moon is full (plus one other mutilated fish who comes again from the useless). As an alternative of lampoon and parody, the movie works completely as a comedy that occurs to function horror or as a horror movie that occurs to have lots of laughs—all of it anchored by Rick Baker’s Oscar-winning make-up results. Whereas successful that Academy Award, it additionally misplaced star David Naughton his gig as a Dr Pepper spokesperson, not for the grotesque gore, however due to his nude scenes. Because the Dr Pepper Museum diplomatically places it, “This position showcased Naughton’s vary as an actor and put him in a lightweight that sharply contrasted the peppiness he had radiated as a Dr Pepper spokesperson.”

7. Evil Useless II (1987)

The unique The Evil Useless (1981) was a shoestring gore assault with loads of laughs to spare, however the sequel is the place Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell actually went for it. Ash is again within the haunted cabin with a chainsaw hooked up to his severed arm, preventing again manic mounted deer heads, disembodied arms that give him the center finger, and a surprising quantity of blood. But these horror icons would not exist if not for Raimi’s savvy money-raising and a serving to hand from Stephen King, who satisfied producer Dino De Laurentiis to pony up some money for it. Groovy.

8. Re-Animator (1985)

To create the one-of-a-kind Re-Animator, author/director Stuart Gordon took a crummy H.P. Lovecraft story and turned it into an eccentric, sleazy assault on the story of Dr. Frankenstein wherein a medical pupil named Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) stabs useless our bodies and physique components with inexperienced goo that brings them again to one thing like life. It is a disgusting, vile, completely raucous story with real scares and an over-the-top model that epitomizes the Splatstick spirit. Essentially the most controversial scene, which includes the villainous Dr. Carl Hill’s (David Gale) severed head being positioned between the legs of peerless Scream Queen Barbara Crampton, was apparently sufficient for Gale’s spouse to storm out of the theater and never come dwelling.

9. The Return of the Dwelling Useless (1985)

Whereas George A. Romero’s Night time of the Dwelling Useless (1968) is stuffed with claustrophobic stress about surviving the night time unbitten, Dan O’Bannon’s parodic riff is one huge get together. It is a punk ode that understands what’s inherently humorous in regards to the useless flopping round making an attempt to eat our brains. In truth, the cliché that zombies solely eat brains comes from this film (it is undoubtedly not canon within the Romero-verse), and O’Bannon claims our dwelling brains have a ache relieving impact for the undead.

10. Little Store of Horrors (1986)

Frank Oz’s all-singing, all-dancing creep present stars Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene in addition to a slew of implausible SNL alums of the period, crooning their approach by the coming-of-age for a plant that eats individuals. Much more horrifying is Steve Martin as a sadistic, unusual dentist who’s wacky and violent in solely the best way Martin may have pulled off. Sadly, we have been spared the unique ending the place Audrey II eats all the primary characters, and a ton of alien crops takes over the planet.

11. The Monster Squad (1987)

It might be simple to mistake Fred Dekker’s The Monster Squad as nothing greater than a rip-off of The Goonies. However the mixture of off-label Common Monsters and the crude center faculty humor of its child stars come collectively to create a love letter to the horror style—one wherein the traditional monsters everyone knows terrorize a neighborhood in a bid to take over the world. It is goofy as all get out, with scares stemming from Duncan Regehr’s horrifyingly honest efficiency as Dracula—a task he received solely narrowly, beating out then-unknown Liam Neeson.

12. Elvira: Mistress of the Darkish (1988)

Cassandra Peterson’s Elvira persona is a permanent horror icon born of The Groundlings alum’s love of horror, a tall hairdo, and horndog humor. As an alternative of constructing a sitcom for NBC, she satisfied the community to provide a film the place Elvira briefly strikes to a small city stuffed with prudes and proceeds to disrupt their lives together with her plunging neckline and crass angle. There is a villainous warlock, a disgusting casserole, and a showstopping burlesque finale, however there are additionally some grotesque results and real worry within the guise of a city that justifies disturbing quantities of violence in opposition to this unbiased girl. Do not worry, although! Elvira ultimately made a pilot, and whereas it by no means turned a present, you may watch it on-line.

13. The ‘Burbs (1989)

Whereas Poltergeist crafted worry out of all issues suburban, The ‘Burbs discovered humor in Tom Hanks’s character’s growing paranoia at what his new neighbors is likely to be as much as. Hanks, Carrie Fisher, and the ensemble get foolish whereas delivering the dueling fearscapes of whether or not the individuals subsequent door is likely to be killers or whether or not you are a horrible particular person for imagining the worst. If was additionally made in the course of the author’s strike of 1988, which gave the actor’s lots of leeway to improvise scenes since author Dana Olsen could not contribute concepts whereas on set.

14. Tremors (1990)

Two handymen (Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward) within the tiny oasis of Perfection, Nevada, discover themselves assaulted alongside a colourful solid of residents by big sand worms with a starvation for human flesh. As they uncover extra in regards to the worms’ powers, their cozy desert existence turns right into a lethal recreation of The Flooring is Lava. Beloved with firmly enshrined cult standing, Bacon confessed that taking pictures Tremors gave him ongoing nightmares the place he would sleep stroll along with his spouse Kyra Sedgwick in his arms, considering he was saving her from unseen monsters.

15. Dellamorte Dellamore (Cemetery Man) (1994)

This lascivious, convention-defying Italian gem sees Rupert Everett taking part in a easy crypt keeper who would fairly preserve taking pictures the useless our bodies that generally come to life than take care of small city paperwork to present him some funding and perhaps an area PSA to boost consciousness of the difficulty. Naturally, it is a love story. The English translation of the Italian title is Of Demise, of Love, which is about as gauzy because the movie itself, completely happy to drift by an odd actuality as Everett’s cemetery man loves, loses, and shoots some he simply liked and misplaced. The movie is predicated off a novel by Tiziano Sclavi, well-known for his cult comedian Dylan Canine—a personality modeled after Everett.

16. Scream (1996)

Most horror comedies are campy or absurd or pure parodies. On the very least they’re foolish. Scream transcends as a result of it is concurrently an ideal horror movie and an ideal send-up of horror movies as much as that time in cinema historical past. With Kevin Williamson’s implausible script, Wes Craven spun an affinity for meta commentary and a veteran’s capability to terrify right into a slasher masterpiece with character-based laughs—topped by the genius of constructing Ghostface, properly, not excellent at attacking individuals. All of it begins with an expectation-subverting scene the place Drew Barrymore’s Casey solutions a fateful (and soon-to-be deadly) cellphone name. Initially slated to star within the movie, it was Barrymore’s thought to play the smaller position and make the viewers query how they might have offed such a notable actress so early.

17. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)

Bruce Campbell is Elvis. Ossie Davis is JFK. Each are bored at their nursing dwelling, till an historic mummy arrives to steal previous individuals’s souls from a really personal place on their physique. Don Coscarelli’s deeply bizarre ode to growing older and discovering consolation on the finish of life begins with a foolish premise and works by taking it completely severely. A low-budget cult favourite, Coscarelli and firm pulled some intelligent methods to get round the primary character being Elvis, together with not utilizing any of his expensive-to-license songs and utilizing clips of flicks with actors who type of seem like Elvis for a scene the place Campbell is watching an Elvis film marathon.

18. Shaun of the Useless (2004)

It is unusual to suppose that nearly twenty years have handed since Edgar Wright’s game-changing slacker zombie rom-com made its debut. Cammed with popular culture references, the film stars Simon Pegg as an unmotivated sap who has to face the Zed Phrase apocalypse alongside his even lazier greatest pal Ed (Nick Frost), the girlfriend he is making an attempt to win again (Kate Ashfield), and a good crew of buddies all aiming to get to the pub to experience the hazard out. So why did Wright embrace a Cornetto within the movie within the first place? As a result of it was his real-life hangover remedy.

19. Jennifer’s Physique (2009)

After the huge success of Juno, screenwriter Diablo Cody’s subsequent transfer was a candy story about two highschool ladies forming a lifelong friendship. After standard Jennifer (Megan Fox) is sacrificed to Devil and became a succubus, her lonely pal Needy (Amanda Seyfried) has to cease her pal from killing all of the boys within the faculty. Who’s the actual villain once more? Jennifer’s Physique is stuffed with Cody’s trademark dialogue, fast-paced gags, and a tongue-in-cheek tone about all its destruction, though the sacrifice scene actually did trouble Fox and director Karyn Kusama, with Fox relating it to how she felt film studios have been treating her on the time: utilizing her for his or her achieve no matter her wellbeing.

20. Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010)

What if all the sexy teenagers in a slasher film have fully misunderstood their state of affairs and preserve killing themselves making an attempt to flee two harmless-yet-unwashed rednecks? The premise is golden, and Eli Craig’s ingenuous film sticks the touchdown, delivering a ton of snickers from title characters Tucker and Dale (Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine) as they develop more and more flustered in any respect the impolite metropolis teenagers who preserve tripping into wooden chippers close to them. Because the cherry on high, the DVD launch incorporates a model of the story that—extra historically—tells it from the moronic teenagers’ perspective.

21. The Cabin within the Woods (2011)

Drew Goddard’s meta masterwork is the horror movie you may suggest to individuals who inform you they hate scary films. As typical, 5 stereotypical school youngsters go to a secluded cabin to get together however encounter a pain-thirsty Zombie Inbred Torture Household. Not as typical, all the motion is being orchestrated and monitored from a banal workplace setting, crafting a intelligent cowl story for all of the dumbest horror film tropes alongside the best way. Goddard defined that he was impressed by rising up in Los Alamos the place he would see scientists go about their regular each day routines whereas constructing weapons that would destroy all the planet whereas on the clock.

22. The Closing Women (2015)

One other entry that finds its footing because of a love of Eighties slashers and a willingness to dive as deeply as attainable into its premise of lovingly mocking them, Todd Strauss-Schulson’s movie incorporates a bunch of youths who’re sucked right into a summer time camp slasher and must face off in opposition to the rip-off Jason with a view to get free. That features Max (Taissa Farmiga), whose now-deceased mom Amanda (Malin Ackerman) co-starred within the slasher flick, permitting her a while to rekindle her relationship with a fictional model of her mother whereas operating away from a machete-wielding maniac. Anchored by Adam Devine, Alia Shawkat, Nina Dobrev, and Thomas Middleditch, the comedy is on level, and the stakes are nonetheless life and dying. Co-writer Joshua Miller got here up with the idea to assist him take care of the dying of his dad, Jason Miller, the actor who portrayed Father Karras in The Exorcist.

23. The Love Witch (2016)

A swell tribute to technicolor horror of the Nineteen Sixties, Anna Biller’s saturated dreamscape stars Samantha Robinson as Elaine, a stunning witch in modern-day California who retains giving males a potion to fall in love together with her earlier than losing interest with how clingy all of them are. As you may guess, this isn’t an upward spiral. As ridiculous because the relationship scene itself, the movie was impressed by dozens of traditional Hollywood tales in addition to Biller’s expertise with self-help manuals continuously telling ladies to not have interaction with the boys they appreciated as a result of it may trigger resentment. She advised Little White Lies, “I believed it will be attention-grabbing to create a movie round the concept that a girl’s love is so poisonous it could possibly really kill.”

24. Pleased Demise Day (2017)

The dangerous information for sorority lady Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) is {that a} slasher is planning to homicide her. The double dangerous information is that after she will get stabbed to dying, she wakes as much as repeat the entire day once more. It is Groundhog Day meets April Idiot’s Day, and the film pulls it off. It is irreverent with eye rolls that would kill, however the slasher storyline is genuinely tense, thanks in no small half to the horrific child face masks designed by Tony Gardner, who additionally designed Scream‘s Ghostface.

25. Little Monsters (2019)

What do you name film the place a trainer and her kindergarteners run screaming from ravenous zombies? How about whimsical? Lupita Nyong’o stars as stated trainer, main her small costs on a discipline journey to a farm the place sleazy youngsters’s entertainer Teddy McGiggle (Josh Gad) occurs to be filming. The zombies bust out, factions are shaped, true natures are revealed, and all of it’s profoundly goofy. Nyong’o even performs the ukulele herself within the movie. When she requested in the event that they’s use a ukulele-playing double for her half, director Abe Forsythe stated, “No. You possibly can win an Oscar, you may be taught to play the ukulele.”

Related Articles

Back to top button