It’s generally accepted that horror movies are scary and comedy movies are funny. However, some of the best films mix genres and include elements of both. Horror movies with comedy elements create a complex emotional experience for viewers, which is part of what makes them so memorable.
Some horror comedies lean a little more towards one genre or the other, but all films in this subgenre have one thing in common: they offer a fresh take on tried and tested horror tropes. The comedic aspects these movies employ lend a welcome sense of humanity to worlds plagued by boogiemen, zombies, or serial killers.
8 Shaun Of The Dead Delivers Zingers And Zombies
This British horror-comedy is truly a classic. The eponymous Shaun is a temperamental man who works at a dead end. As if his general dissatisfaction with life wasn’t enough, he also gets dumped by his girlfriend, Liz. Things look like they can’t get any worse for Shaun, but they do: a zombie outbreak is happening in London.
Shaun and his equally unambitious best friend, Ed, have decided to fight their way through the epidemic to save Shaun and Liz’s mother. Shaun of the dead has a great balance of gruesome zombie elements and memorable one-liners.
seven Dark Shadows is a Tim Burton classic
dark shadows is a goofy vampire comedy. This is one of many collaborations between Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Depp plays Barnabas Collins, an age-old vampire who awakens in 1972. The culture shock he experiences is funny, but the humor surrounding his dysfunctional family is even funnier.
The patriarch takes it upon himself to protect modern humans from his nemesis, a witch tasked with turning him into a vampire. Great Tim Burton films usually feature impressive theatrical makeup, and dark shadows is no exception. Depp’s pale white complexion and creepy prosthetic fingers bring subtle elements of horror to life.
6 Zombieland is a post-apocalyptic comedy
In a world where zombies have overrun the human race and the survivors are known only by the name of their hometown, zombieland delivers reliable jokes at every turn. zombieland definitely leans more towards the comedic side, but the compelling zombie makeup and ongoing horror violence give it balance.
Woody Harrelson stars as the tough but friendly Tallahassee who leads a ragtag group of young adults through the crumbling landscape of post-apocalyptic America. zombieland was a fan favorite and a box office success. It even spawned a sequel ten years later.
5 Hocus Pocus has a cult following
Some movies get more popular with age, and that’s certainly true for Hocus Pocus. This 1993 film about three witch sisters is part horror, part comedy, and part musical comedy. Bette Midler serves as the leader of the pack, and Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy round out the trio.
Witches can steal children’s souls, but the rich comic aspects of Hocus Pocus make it suitable for the whole family. Hocus Pocus continues to appear on must-have lists of the perfect Halloween horror movies, even nearly thirty years after its release.
4 Beetlejuice is improvised and anticlimactic
beetle juice is more about the premise than the plot, but that hasn’t stopped fans from loving it since its release in 1988. Michael Keaton stars as the eponymous evil ghost who is employed by other ghosts to drive out a troublesome family from his house. Humans have no idea what awaits them when Beetlejuice enters their lives.
Keaton improvised 90% of his lines in beetle juice and is convincingly creepy when dressed in horror makeup. The aesthetic of this color-shifted movie is Tim Burton’s signature style mixed with iconic ’80s style, making beetlejuic a winner.
3 Scary Movie is a campy parody
horror movie is the quintessential horror comedy as it parodies many iconic horror films. The joy of watching horror movie is on the hunt for the references behind all the fun details, especially for long-time fans of the horror genre. The Halloween and Scream the franchises are both referenced, as are many standalone horror films.
The premise of horror movie is simple: a group of teenagers act together in the accidental murder of a man and they are hunted down by an incompetent serial killer a year later. horror movie was the brainchild of the Wayans Brothers. They brought audiences a lot of comedic gold in the 90s and kicked off the new millennium in hilarious fashion with the birth of this franchise.
2 Martian attacks! Had a star cast
The stars have aligned in Tim Burton’s unique and colorful 90s film about hilarious alien invaders from Mars. Jack Nicholson stars as the President of the United States, but he’s just the beginning of the impressive cast roster in this quirky horror-comedy. Martian attacks! also borders on sci-fi territory, making for a cross-genre adventure that’s sure to appeal to a wide range of fans.
Jack Black, Annette Benning, Pierce Brosnan, Glenn Close, Danny DeVito and many more familiar faces worked together to create Martian attacks! one of the dumbest horror movies ever. Martian attacks! received mixed reviews from critics upon release, but has become a cult classic in its own right over the years.
1 Ghostbusters is the gold standard of the genre
the original ghost hunters has something few other horror comedies have: a coveted spot on the National Film Registry as a Film of Cultural Significance. ghost hunters was among the highest-grossing comedies of the 80s and was nominated for several awards. Even nearly four decades later, this hilarious tale of paranormal bounty hunters is still fresh.
It’s spawned cartoon shows, comic books, and movie reboots, and even served as the inspiration for elements of the popular Netflix series, Strange things. Despite being replicated and referenced countless times, the original ’80s film remains an indomitable classic of the horror-comedy genre.
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