There’s nothing better than a good laugh. There’s nothing more fun than a good scare and a good scream either. Put the two together and we’ve got comedy horror. Some of the best will have you screaming one moment and laughing the next. This formula is so effective comedy horror movies have been a sub-genre mainstay for a long time now. Maybe it’s the need to relieve tension after a scare that makes it so enjoyable. Or maybe it is the other way round. Perhaps making us laugh disarms us thus making the scares even more effective.
If there’s one person that understands this delicate balance it is Sam Raimi. Evil Dead II (1987) gave us gore, jumpscares and possession coupled with three stooges-esque slapstick comedy all coming together to make one of the most loved horror movies of all time. Army of Darkness (1992) and Drag Me to Hell (2009) yet again demonstrated Raimi’s uncanny ability to have us pissing ourselves laughing one minute and shitting our pants with fear the next.
His influence can be seen in modern horror comedies such as the brilliant Shaun of the Dead (2004), The Cabin in the Woods (2012) and Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010). All prime examples of the sub-genre and essential viewing for any horror movie fan.
Other titles like Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988) and Return of the Living Dead (1985) are perhaps more acquired tastes and sit somewhere in between so-bad-they’re funny and horror comedy territory. But if you don’t mind bad dialogue, bad effects and some dodgy acting then these can be a really fun watch.
A few honourable mentions must include Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste (1987) and Dead Alive (1992), both bloody and brilliant. Tremors (1990) will always hold a special place in HorrorRated’s heart and our favorite at the moment What We Do in the Shadows (2014) is a must see for one of the most original and funny takes on vampires in horror movies we’ve seen in a long time.
Comedy horror movies cover a broad range of tastes and will always have something for everyone. Not sure where to start? Start by checking out our list of some of the best horror comedies from the past 30 years. If watching someone being strangled by their own intestines makes you giggle, then you're in the right place.