Horror movies are the best because you never know what to expect. Queue up a classic slasher flick or the latest paranormal thriller, and you’ll jump from quiet to terrified in a matter of minutes.
Now, mix in a belly laugh with that adrenaline rush—sounds perfect right? We rounded up our favorite funny horror movies that will have you shrieking in terror one second and laughing out loud the next.
Drag Me to Hell
Sam Raimi is the demented mind behind Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, and Army of Darkness. He’s a master at making his audience cringe, laugh, and scream all at once.
In Drag Me to Hell, Raimi tells the story of Christine, a loan officer forced to evict an old woman who happens to be a witch. Soon, the old woman puts a curse on Christine, sending her down torturous path that includes demonic possessions, projectile nosebleeds, and a very disgusting tongue bath. It makes for one of the grossest and funniest films in horror.
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The Cabin in the Woods
The Cabin in the Woods flipped the horror genre on its head. Five friends arrive at a remote cabin in the forest for a weekend getaway ... Sounds like the start of a typical horror movie, right? Wrong. Little do these vacationers know that they’re being watched by a freaky underground organization and everything in the house is booby-trapped to trigger bloodshed. When the cellar door flies open, the group uncovers an assortment of spooky relics, each possessed by a different force of evil: including a psychotic clown, a faceless ballerina, and an axe-wielding zombie family.
This is a movie anyone can enjoy, but fans of horror truly appreciate. It plays on typical horror tropes and the second you get that rush of fear, the movie pulls back, as if to say, “Gotcha!” Joss Whedon serves as cowriter—famous for creating Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and Dollhouse—adding a biting intelligence to the film’s script.
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is a mockumentary set in a world where the killers of slasher films are real. It follows a journalist and her crew as they document an aspiring serial killer—only to become the killer’s next targets.
An homage to machete-wielding features of the 1970s and 80s, Behind the Mask plays up classic horror tropes—including the “survivor girl,” the Ahab character, and the metaphor of the closet. Through awkward interviews with Leslie Vernon, this pitch-black horror comedy serves up deadpan laughs alongside genuine frights.
The hilarity of Slither comes from its over-the-top use of gore. Mind-controlling red slugs that slither into peoples’ mouths and burrow through their brains? Check. A group of infected victims congealing into one gleaming, giant blob-person? Check. Nathan Fillion as our bumbling small-town cop hero? Check. Indie horror movie legend James Gunn as director? Check. Mix these ingredients and you have the perfect funny horror flick.
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While there’s no denying Ghostbusters is hilarious, many overlook the movie’s seriously scary scenes. A possessed Dana Barrett floating over her bed still gives us nightmares, though the tension is perfectly cut by Bill Murray’s hilarious one-liners. Re-watch this classic—we guarantee you’ll jump when the eggs start to fly and Dana opens her refrigerator.
Shaun of the Dead
Shaun of the Dead is Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg doing what they do best: spoofing genre films to hilarious effect. Shaun of the Dead pokes fun at zombie movies while still serving up plenty of gory scares. You’re sure to giggle, jump, and cover your eyes all at once.
This underrated feminist horror film features Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, and Juno writer Diablo Cody at the top of their game; the entire cast seems to be having a blast. Megan Fox slays as the succubus cheerleader while Amanda Seyfried nails the transformation from innocent nerd to powerful heroine. Plus, you can’t go wrong with The OC’s Adam Brody as a boy band singer.
When Megan Fox’s character gets stabbed at the end of a long, dramatic fight and asks, “You got a tampon?,” you can’t help but laugh out loud.
The world is obliterated by a zombie apocalypse and there are few survivors—can the living still find what they’re looking for? Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone are obviously a great pair. Add in a trigger-happy Woody Harrelson blasting zombie after zombie: even better. Wait, a cameo from Bill Murray …playing Bill Murray? YES, PLEASE!
With lovable characters, cartoonish gore, and nonstop action and laughs, Zombieland is a bloody flick not to be missed.
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While the 2011 remake is decent, this original from 1985 still tops the list with its killer fashion and hilarious dance sequences. Teen Charley Brewster discovers his creepy next-door neighbor is actually a vampire. So he enlists his favorite TV vampire slayer, Peter Vincent, to help drive a stake through the bloodsucker. Fright Night is half vampire film and half John Hughes romantic comedy.
John Dies at the End
John Dies at the End is truly unique. With alternate dimensions, time travel, meat monsters, a mind-altering drug called Soy Sauce, AND Paul Giamatti, this dark comedy horror film is definitely worth a watch. Get ready for one freaky and funny trip.
It’s impossible to discuss funny horror movies and not mention Scream. The characters in Wes Craven’s meta-slasher classic have seen their fair share of scary films and know the dos and don’ts of survival. This knowledge comes in handy when a masked psychopath kicks off a killing spree in their small town. Neve Campbell’s Sidney laughs at girls in who always run up the stairs instead of going for the front door. Later, when she’s actually being chased by a killer in her own home, she can’t open the front door and runs up the stairs. Even the murderer cracks wise, exclaiming, “My mom is going to be so mad at me” when it’s clear the jig is up.
Bonus: We get to watch Drew Barrymore run for her life in her bloody and beautiful cameo.
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Featured still from “Scream” via Dimension Films