While horror films are mostly endeavoring to make you scream, there are a number of flicks that are also meant to make audiences laugh. And since horror often takes place in a heightened world anyway, adding comedy to the mix usually only takes a slight twist: even more ridiculous characters, impossibly coincidental circumstances, and/or exaggerated deaths, for example. Ready or Not, a deadly hide-and-seek game in theaters now, certainly fits the bill. If that kind of genre mashup is your thing, then these hilarious horror movies streaming now are worth the watch.
Scary and funny horror/comedies have existed for almost as long as pure horror. As book editor Paul Castiglia points out in his blog, the trend was born onstage in the '20s. Soon, silly haunted house and monster-themed plays like The Cat & The Canary were adapted into silent films, paving the way for comedy groups like The Three Stooges to dabble in horror/comedy film in the '50s. Now, the subgenre has evolved and produced a wide range of films, ranging from total parodies like Scary Movie to more serious but still witty social commentary pieces like Get Out.
But be warned: just because these films are considered comedies doesn't necessarily mean that they take it easy on the spooks. In most of these flicks, jump scares and some gore are to be expected. So these movies aren't exactly for the faintest of hearts or the weakest of stomachs.
If you can stand it, here's where you can find 18 of the funniest horror flicks currently streaming.
1. 'Warm Bodies'
This romantic comedy is set in the zombie apocalypse. But instead of being savage brainless, bloodthirsty creatures, zombies go through their existence in the same way humans do. Still, R (Nicholas Hoult) is an unusually introspective zombie who saves a human named Julie (Teresa Palmer) from his own kind and then falls in love.
2. 'The Cabin In The Woods'
A lot of horror films begin with a bad idea from a group of teenagers that accidentally wakes a mysterious dark force. The Cabin in the Woods is one of them. But this film mocks that horror narrative and has an added twist that takes it to another level.
Zombieland imagines how actual modern-day Americans would deal with a real zombie outbreak. While the invasion, of course, strikes fear and panic in most of the population, it also becomes a game for the film's main characters Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). They get so used to hunting the undead that they no longer question their actions and just put Purell their hands after.
4. 'Jennifer's Body'
Jennifer's Body takes the trope of the mean, hot, man-eating popular girl in school, and makes her a literal man-eater. Jennifer Check (Megan Fox) mysteriously gains an appetite for human — specifically male — flesh and blood after a disastrous fire at a local bar. And it's up to her nerdy best friend Needy Lesnicki (Amanda Seyfried) to stop her.
5. 'Life After Beth'
What if someone you loved and lost came back to life? Life After Beth takes this question seriously by bringing Beth Slocum (Aubrey Plaza) back from the beyond. But while this seems like a second shot at happiness for her lovesick boyfriend Zach (Dane DeHaan), he soon learns that his girlfriend is becoming a deadly liability.
6. 'Happy Death Day'
In this Groundhog Day-esque looping film, high school student Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) is murdered again and again on her birthday, only to wake up on the same morning. Eventually, instead of panicking, Tree decides to have fun with her non-consequential day. But she still needs to find out who keeps killing her.
Scream has gone down in history as a horror classic. It's one of the scariest thrillers of its time, but also funny because it's so self-aware. Teenagers in the small town of Woodsboro are forced to apply all the rules they've learned from horror movies — like "you can never have sex," or "never, under any circumstances, saying 'I'll be right back!'" — in order to survive the murderous rampage of a serial killer in a white mask.
8. 'Scary Movie'
Scary Movie is a parody of Scream, which points out even more explicitly how ridiculous the horror movie rules really are. With a cast including Anna Faris, Marlon Wayans, Carmen Electra, and more, this one launched its own hilarious franchise.
9. 'Get Out'
Get Out is clever in the way it addresses racial tensions by confirming the worst fears of black people. Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) go upstate to visit her parents for the weekend. Chris initially reads the Armitage family's overly accommodating behavior as a nervous attempt to deal with their daughter's interracial relationship. But as the weekend progresses, he begins to notice mysterious things about the family household, as well as the predominantly white neighborhood in which they reside.
Krampus mocks the holiday genre by showing that Christmas isn't always magical, especially for dysfunctional families. When Max (Emjay Anthony) loses his holiday spirit, the dark demonic force of the Krampus is unleashed. All hell breaks loose, and this forces the family to fight for instead of with each other if they hope to survive.
11. 'Shaun Of The Dead'
Shaun (Simon Pegg) seems fairly happy with his mundane life, even though his girlfriend isn't quite as pleased with the rut he's in. So when a zombie outbreak hits their town, it's an opportunity for Shaun to become the hero.
12. 'The Final Girls'
The Final Girls takes a group of teenagers into the world of a badly-written '80s cult slasher film called Camp Bloodbath. And because they know all the rules of the film, they try to help each other and other characters survive.
13. 'Dark Shadows'
In this campy vampire film based on the '60s soap opera, Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) is awakened from his deep slumber and wishes to reassume his role as the master of Collinwood Manor. But it's two centuries later than he expected to rise, so he has to keep up with the times and deal with his dysfunctional descendants.
This slasher film has a lot of fun playing into the disgusting elements of horror. It involves worms and slithering critters, grotesque disfigurations of humans, and lots of unpleasantly oozing bodily fluids. When Grant Grant (Michael Rooker) discovers a meteorite that has landed in his town, he's infected by a parasitic worm which works its way to his brain and transforms him into a gruesome monster. His wife Starla (Elizabeth Banks) and local policeman Bill Pardy (Nathan Fillion) then set out to try to stop him and the plague of alien worms wreaking havoc in their town.
15. 'Fright Night'
In this remake of a 1985 film, Charley (Anton Yelchin) suspects that his new neighbor Jerry Dandrige (Colin Farrell) is a vampire responsible for a string of recent deaths in their town. But no one believes him, so he enlists the help of Peter Vincent (David Tennant), a self proclaimed vampire killer and Las Vegas magician, to try and take Jerry down.
16. 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show'
The cult classic musical is a horror spoof that adds the magic of song and dance to the genre. Newlyweds Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) get caught in a storm on the way to their honeymoon and wind up knocking on Dr. Frank-N-Furter's (Tim Curry) door. This leads to a night of affairs, partying, and wild misadventure involving a very attractive golden-haired monster.
17. 'Mars Attacks!'
US President James Dale (Jack Nicholson) and his righthand man Jerry Ross (Martin Short) discover that Martians are hovering over the Earth. The aliens seem to approach in peace, but soon they show their true intent. And using advanced technology, they begin to take innocent lives and destroy the world. This alien invasion involves colorful '90s special effects, silly CGI, a terrific cast, and some body switching.
This Steven Spielberg film reinterprets the term "monster," showing how cute, seemingly non-threatening creatures can betray you overnight. Billy Peltzer's (Zach Galligan) dad gives him a mysterious little creature called a Mogwai that he names Gizmo. But when he inadvertently breaks one of the rules for caring for the creature, chaos and violence ensues.
These films are all over-the-top in their own way and make for great watches with friends. So queue up a few for your next movie night!