Generally speaking, when you see a horror movie, you're there because you want to be scared. You want a film that'll make you feel uncomfortable, one that'll shake you to your very core.
But then there are comedy horror movies that subvert your expectations and actually make you laugh hysterically. These films may or may not be scary, but they play around with horror tropes for comedic effect.
Here are the funniest horror comedy movies that are worth watching when you want your scares mixed with humor.
15. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Directed by John Landis
Starring David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Joe Belcher
Comedy, Horror (1h 37m)
John Landis's An American Werewolf in London isn't just a classic film that revolutionized werewolf movies, but also one of the best horror comedy movies ever made.
The story follows American tourists David Kessler (played by David Naughton) and Jack Goodman (played by Griffin Dunne) who are visiting the UK on holiday.
While trekking across the countryside, they encounter a frightening creature that turns out to be a werewolf—and that creature ends up killing one of them and turning the other into a werewolf as well.
An American Werewolf in London is an iconic horror comedy from the 1980s and one of the greatest werewolf movies of all time. However, given that the film feels tragic in parts, I've ranked it low on this list.
14. Sharknado (2013)
Directed by Anthony C. Ferrante
Starring Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, John Heard
Action, Adventure, Comedy (1h 26m)
Everything about Sharknado is ridiculous and hilarious. It's a pure camp-fest featuring a tornado that picks up a seemingly unlimited supply of sharks and flings them onto unsuspecting victims. It's bloody, it's hilarious, and it's downright insane.
You can't go into Sharknado looking for any kind of serious horror movie, or even a plot that makes a lick of sense. But what you can expect is entertainment—and lots of it.
I don't want to give away too much because it's one of those films that's best experienced for yourself. Just know that you're in for a wild ride!
13. The Cabin in the Woods (2011)
Directed by Drew Goddard
Starring Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison
Comedy, Horror, Mystery (1h 35m)
The Cabin in the Woods is a fantastic horror comedy movie that's an homage to the slasher films of yore. Written by Joss Whedon and David Goddard, who worked together on Buffy, you know what to expect.
Unlike some of the other movies on this list, the bulk of The Cabin in the Woods is about horror, while the humor is more of a satire/parody undertone than a primary plot device.
While The Cabin in the Woods can be a good way to introduce friends and family to the horror genre, you might want to start with some of the other films down this list. Much of the humor in The Cabin in the Woods requires an understanding of common horror tropes.
12. Zombieland (2009)
Directed by Ruben Fleischer
Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson
Action, Comedy, Horror (1h 28m)
Zombieland makes no attempt to hide what it is: it's clearly a horror and action movie mixed with a comedy.
Every detail, from the nicknames of the main characters to the quest for Twinkies, is sprinkled with comedic undertones.
Yet, while it seems like the primary goal of the movie is to be silly and make you laugh, there's plenty of horror in here as well.
There's no shortage of tension as our beloved characters attempt to survive in a post-apocalyptic world filled with flesh-eating zombies. Plus, there's an amazing scene with Bill Murray that makes it worth seeing.
11. Happy Death Day (2017)
Directed by Christopher Landon
Starring Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine
Comedy, Horror, Mystery (1h 36m)
On the surface, Happy Death Day doesn't seem like a funny movie. It's basically a slasher film where the protagonists are murdered over and over again until they figure out who's killing them.
However, with a premise that's this darkly humorous, and with the creators managing to tuck in several hilarious jokes throughout the movie, it turns out to be a stellar horror comedy.
Any time a movie tackles some form of time travel, you can expect things to get weird, and Happy Death Day most certainly does just that. It just manages to do it in a way that's hilarious.
10. Beetlejuice (1988)
Directed by Tim Burton
Starring Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis
Comedy, Fantasy (1h 32m)
Directed by Tim Burton, Beetlejuice released as an off-the-wall, zany horror comedy that defined a whole new subcategory in cinema: the Tim Burton movie.
Barbara (played by Geena Davis) and Adam (played by Alec Baldwin) are returning home from town, when they swerve to avoid driving over a dog. Thankfully, it's a near miss.
However, when they later find that strange things are happening at home, they realize that they'd actually died after driving into a river. On top of that, their house is now being sold to a new family.
So, they contact the bio-exorcist Beetlejuice to scare them away—but they're about to get more than they bargained for...
Dark, weird, macabre, but subtly funny, Beetlejuice is a classic Halloween watch for families across the country.
9. Hot Fuzz (2007)
Directed by Edgar Wright
Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman
Action, Comedy, Mystery (2h 1m)
Directed by Edgar Wright, Hot Fuzz is primarily a love letter to cop movies and Westerns. But much like his other hit movies—Shaun of the Dead and At World's End—it's also an homage to horror comedies.
The story centers on a tenacious police officer (played by Simon Pegg) who's relocated to a small town in England where nothing much happens. From the city to the country, the whole thing is basically a death sentence for his career.
However, strange things begin to happen—horrifying, grisly things—and it's apparent that the idyllic countryside isn't so idyllic after all. Starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, this horror comedy won't be the last you see of the duo on this list!
8. Re-Animator (1985)
Directed by Stuart Gordon
Starring Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton
Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi (1h 24m)
Re-Animator is the epitome of Lovecraftian horror in film with a pinch of humor. Directed by Stuart Gordon, this movie follows the exploits of a scientist who's possessed by the idea of re-animating the dead.
However, along the way, people are likely to get hurt or even killed! But not to worry because they can always be re-animated. Starring Jeffrey Combs and Bruce Abbott, Re-Animator is the best of both worlds when it comes to blending horror with comedy.
7. Eating Raoul (1982)
Directed by Paul Bartel
Starring Mary Woronov, Paul Bartel, Robert Beltran
Comedy, Crime (1h 30m)
Eating Raoul is one of those black comedy films that's dark enough to fit into the horror genre, but too campy to be taken seriously. And that's true despite its very serious subject matter: cannibalism!
The story follows a prudish, sexually repressed married couple (played by Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov) who are forced to live in an apartment building with swingers. How unfortunate...
However, they realize they can use their situation to their advantage—by killing the sexually liberated couples that frequent their building, stealing the cash they have on them, and using it to open their own restaurant.
But what will they serve at their new eatery? Well... take a guess.
6. Werewolves Within (2021)
Directed by Josh Ruben
Starring Sam Richardson, Milana Vayntrub, George Basil
Comedy, Horror, Mystery (1h 37m)
If you're in search of a movie that successfully puts a fresh twist on old werewolf stories for a compelling narrative for modern audiences, then look no further than Werewolves Within.
This movie manages to combine horror, comedy, and social commentary in an effortlessly hilarious yet meaningful way.
A forest ranger (played by Sam Richardson) is reassigned to a mountain town where he inevitably encounters all of its crazy inhabitants and their internal issues. Namely, some want a pipeline to come through the mountain (for the money) while others want to preserve the scenery.
With Werewolves Within, Josh Ruben highlights not only the internal conflict of man-versus-beast when someone is bitten by a werewolf, but also the internal conflict of societies.
Funny, scary, and intelligent, Werewolves Within is truly one of the most underrated horror comedy movies of recent years!
5. This Is the End (2013)
Directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen
Starring James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen
Comedy, Fantasy (1h 47m)
Directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, This Is the End reunites their whole gang of movie stars who frequently star in comedies together—and then goes even further by throwing a bit of horror into the mix.
The film follows the reactions of Hollywood A-listers after an apocalyptic event occurs in Los Angeles. When these wimpy actors end up stuck in their friend's house, creepy demons begin prowling the grounds outside. But that doesn't mean they can't party in the meantime!
Starring Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson, This Is the End is a horror comedy that really gives you a sense of the end of the world.
4. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Directed by Edgar Wright
Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield
Comedy, Horror (1h 39m)
Shaun of the Dead isn't just a horror movie that only features a smidge of comedy here and there. This one's almost equal parts horror and humor, making it a great watch for someone who doesn't like scary movies.
The story centers on Shaun (played by Simon Pegg), a lazy guy who just wants to hang out and coast through life. But he won't be able to coast for long: there's a zombie horde right outside his door.
When he realizes that his girlfriend (who just dumped him) could be in danger, he knows that the time to grow up has come. Off to the pub!
Directed by Edgar Wright, Shaun of the Dead is a legendary horror comedy film you'll want to watch over and over again.
3. Ghostbusters (1984)
Directed by Ivan Reitman
Starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver
Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi (1h 45m)
Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters is a classic for so many reasons. There really isn't anything too serious happening in this film—it's all fun and games, mixed in with a few frights every so often.
When a group of New York City professors have their first encounter with a ghost, they realize that ghouls are crawling all over the city—and they have to do something about it. Say hello to Ghostbusters, the service for all of your paranormal needs!
Directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, and Harold Ramis, Ghostbusters is a must-watch classic that perfectly blends sci-fi, horror, comedy, and action.
2. What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
Directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi
Starring Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer
Comedy, Horror (1h 26m)
The opening sequence of What We Do in the Shadows is comedy gold: the 379-year-old vampire Viago (played by Taika Waititi) addresses the camera as he shows us around his house with great pride.
The rest of the film completely defangs the vampire monster of any kind of fright value. Soon, Viago and his vampire roommates become wacky caricatures of themselves.
Written and directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, What We Do in the Shadows features some of the funniest scenes in horror comedy and plenty of meta-jokes in its mockumentary format.
1. Young Frankenstein (1974)
Directed by Mel Brooks
Starring Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman
Comedy (1h 46m)
Young Frankenstein was always going to be my first choice as best horror comedy to ever do it. There's simply too much to appreciate: the cinematography, the performances, the writing, the laughs, and the frights (though it certainly leans more towards laughs).
The story follows Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (played by Gene Wilder), a lecturing physician who clearly has an issue with his grandfather's place in history as a mad scientist.
But when he takes a trip to Transylvania, and when he finds manuscripts from his grandfather's study, he can't help but find himself compelled to continue on his work...
Directed by Mel Brooks and starring Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Teri Garr, and the great Madeline Kahn, Young Frankenstein has a terrific pool of talent that propels the film to grand heights.
If you ask me, Young Frankenstein is the funniest horror movie ever made, filled with sight gags, puns, pop culture in-jokes, and genre references. No contest, it's the best horror comedy film of all time.