Who says a Halloween movie has to be all heart-pounding terror? American writer Roy Blount, JR said”Think about scary movies: There’s a fine line between horror and humor.”
Here is a selection of movies – whether they have the said heart-pounding terror or not – are lightened with comedic elements.
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) – The title almost says it all. Except they also meet Count Dracula, the Wolfman and a surprise guest!
All the tropes of the classic movie monster are in here and then thrown on their head. It’s how people would really act if one of these fellas showed up in their life. It is a love letter that both mocks and honors these horror icons.
An American Werewolf in London (1981) – A pair of backpacking Americans are attacked by a werewolf. The surviving one faces the threat of becoming one.
I know, this one doesn’t sound like a comedy. The iconic special effects of the human to werewolf change alone is a bit disturbing. I avoided this one for years but when I finally sat down and watched it, I found a lot of it was funny. Very funny. The main character, David, is very likable when in human form and it gives a lot of the weight to the movie.
Ghostbusters (1984) – A group of parapsychologists lose funding for their research. So, they do what most would in their situation, and go into business as ghost catchers.
When most are asked to name a Halloween comedy pic, this is their answer. Quotable and iconic. My family and I didn’t go to the movies when I was young but this was one we made a special trip to see, it was worth it. If you haven’t seen it – I’m sorry and hope you will watch it soon and you might want to have a bag of marshmallows on hand – you might feel like roasting them afterwards.
Beetlejuice (1988)– After a couple’s untimely death they wish to evict the new owners of their home by enlisting the help of an unruly bio-exorcist.
Beetlejuice was Tim Burton’s second major movie outing (the first was Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure). It’s hard for me to resist a movie where one of the major characters is named Lydia.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) – Every generation has a “Chosen One” to slay the vampires and her greatest weapon is her keen sense of fashion!
Yes, I picked this one (hey, it’s my list). I know the movie has been overshadowed by the groundbreaking TV series by creator Joss Whedon – but without this Buffy there wouldn’t be that Buffy (or Angel). Vampires, destiny and shopping…don’t miss it.
Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) – What if there was a nursing home that has Elvis Presley and JFK (who is now a black man) as residents? Then at that same nursing home also has an attack by an ancient mummy and Elvis and JFK are the only chance defeat the Mummy.
This movie I discovered while taking a film class. Bruce Campbell (King of the ‘B’ Movie) and Ozzie Davis stars. It sounds crazy, it is crazy, but you’ll go along for the ride.
Shaun of the Dead (2004) – A slacker named Shaun, who had just been dumped by girlfriend for spending too much time with his friend Ed and hanging out at the Winchester pub. So what does he do when the Zombie apocalypse happens? Grabs his friend Ed to go rescue her and take them to hideout at the Winchester pub.
So funny! Plenty of nods to classic zombie horror films with the right touches of character development that has both humor and the ability to care for the characters.
Zombieland (2009) – A few survivors of the zombie apocalypse group up together. Two of them are looking for a shower, one is looking for a Twinkie and the last one is looking for a zombie-free toilet.
My anniversary is right around Halloween. When this movie came out we decided to go see it – the clincher was in the review that I read which was something along the lines of, a John Hughes film set in a zombie film. I agree. While there is a good bit a blood most of it is in the first 10 minutes.
I seen this floating around on Netflix. It looked corny and stupid but someone suggested it so I tried it. There are plenty of horrible deaths but they’re usually caused by the person’s own paranoia and stupidity. Check it out.
Cabin in the Woods (2012) – One of the most visited places in horror is the isolated cabin in the woods. Why does the cabin attract so much terror? Four college students – who look a lot older than most college students – will be caught in the trap and maybe find out the answer to that question.
Joss Wheaton – that man knows how to blend horror and comedy – demonstrates his mastery of his craft in this movie. It has a gore factor, tension and laughs.
Hope you found this list helpful. These are all movies I have enjoyed and make an attempt to watch October. Are there comedies I missed? If so let me know.
P.S. Okay according to my husband I missed one starring the B-Movie King himself.
Army of Darkness (1992) – Ash leaves Evil Dead 2 and goes medieval.