12 Fright Night Comedies That Don’t Cheap Out on the Scares

Horror comedy is an underrated subgenre, but it isn't easy to get right. Some skimp out on the horror, while others traverse funny territory and become goofy. These are the top 12 recommendations that horror comedy buffs swear by for movies that are equal parts creepy and funny.

1. Evil Dead II (1987)

Best Horror Movie Sequels

Evil Dead 2 is a horror comedy that follows Ash Williams, a man who accidentally unleashes an evil force while staying in a remote cabin in the woods. The film is full of gore, dark humor, and over-the-top action, making it a cult classic in horror.

Despite the slapstick humor, gags, and cornball performances, the movie never sacrifices the intensity or scares. One thing that is never part of the gag, though, is the horror element. 

2. Barbarian (2022)

The Barbarian Movie
Image Credit: 20th Century Studios.

In this recent horror flick, a woman rents an Airbnb in Detroit, but when she arrives in the middle of the night to find a stranger in her rental in a sketchy area, she isn't sure what to do. With no better options, she decides to stay the night until they figure out how the property got double-booked. However, there's a far more nefarious force lurking in this property than an unsuspected houseguest.

This movie is incredibly creepy and had me peeking through my blankets to catch quick glimpses of the screen. However, it also has a sudden change in tone about halfway through the movie in the best way possible.

While it ultimately returns to that gripping, suspenseful, and creepy atmosphere, the scene where Justin Long busts out a tape measure had me in tears from laughter but terrified for him at the same time.

3. Scream (1996)

Scream Drew Barrymore
Image Credit: Dimension Films.

Scream is a meta-horror film that follows a group of high school students being stalked and murdered by a masked killer. The film cleverly subverts horror movie tropes and features a memorable performance from Neve Campbell as the final girl.

A horror buff who recently watched Scream for the first time says, “For all its comedy and postmodern funnies, it was honestly very tense, quite scary, and really dark. And that twist as well was superbly done.”

4. Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

Image Credit: New Line Cinema

Freddy vs. Jason is a horror comedy that pits two iconic horror villains against each other in a battle for supremacy. The film features plenty of gore, scares, and humor and is a must-watch for horror fans. The movie capitalizes on playing up the absurdity of pitting two iconic horror villains against each other. If you like self-aware horror mixed with dark humor, this one's for you.

5. Fright Night (1985)

Fright Night 1985
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Fright Night is a horror comedy that follows a teenager who discovers that his next-door neighbor is a vampire. It's not to be confused with the abomination that is the 2011 remake. The film features a great mix of scares and laughs and is a love letter to classic horror movies.

6. Happy Death Day (2017)

Happy Death Day
Image Courtesy of Universal Studios.

Happy Death Day is a horror comedy that follows a college student who is forced to relive the day of her murder repeatedly. The film is full of twists and turns and features a great performance from Jessica Rothe as the lead character. Happy Death Day takes a unique twist on the classic Groundhog Day concept and infuses it with horror elements. The film seamlessly blends humor, scares, and mystery to create a fun and engaging story.

7. Happy Death Day 2U (2019)

Happy Death Day 2U
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Happy Death Day 2U is a horror comedy sequel that follows the same college student as she is once again forced to relive the same day over and over again. The film expands on the first movie's mythology and features even more humor and scares.

It's even better than the original because it builds upon the first film's strengths while taking the story in a new and unexpected direction. 

8. Ready or Not (2019)

Image Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Ready or Not is a horror comedy that follows a newlywed who finds herself being hunted by her wealthy in-laws during a deadly game of hide-and-seek. The film features a great performance from Samara Weaving and is a darkly funny satire of the upper class.

9. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

An American Werewolf in London is a horror comedy that follows two American backpackers who are attacked by a werewolf while traveling in England. The film features groundbreaking special effects and a great mix of scares and humor.

10. Bride of Chucky (1998)

Bride of Chucky
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Bride of Chucky is a horror comedy that follows the titular killer doll and his bride as they go on a murder spree. The film features plenty of gore and dark humor and is a fan favorite in the Child's Play franchise.

11. M3GAN (2022)

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

M3GAN is a horror comedy that follows a tech entrepreneur who creates a lifelike AI robot that begins to overstep its boundaries in caring for the newly orphaned Cady. A modern take on the Frankenstein story with a mix of Terminator and Child's Play antics, M3GAN is incredibly in tune with the anxieties of our modern world.

The character of M3GAN is extremely funny in a dry, murderous doll sort of way. Plus, she does a sick little dance number that had me rolling and laughing in the theater.

12. Jennifer's Body (2009)

Jennifer's Body
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Jennifer's Body follows a high school student who is possessed by a demon and begins to prey on her male classmates. Written by the brilliant Diablo Cody, the film features a great performance from Megan Fox and offers a feminist take on the horror genre. Most of the humor comes from the deadpan delivery of Fox's lines which become increasingly absurd in the best way possible. This movie was unfairly slated when it first came out due to poor marketing.

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