Horror is, in my humble opinion, the greatest movie genre. But I’ll be the first to admit that horror flicks aren’t for everyone. Not everyone has a high blood and gore tolerance, and some people just don’t enjoy the feeling of being scared and tense.
But there are some horror movies out there that are almost meant for people who don’t typically watch horror. These films are still scary and intense, but they don’t go too heavy on the blood and gore, and they won’t cause too much stress for moviegoers.
If you’re a horror fan who wants to coax their friends or significant other to watch horror movies, these are the films to start with. I’d recommend you watch them in the order listed, as they slowly ramp up in scariness!
Note: The “quantity of jump scares” comes from Where’s the Jump. Looking at the films on this site can help people who are really afraid of jump scares because it tells you exactly where they happen. However, they also spoil some of the fun, so check it out at your own risk.
Personally, I think Zombieland is the perfect movie with horror themes that’ll sit well with someone who isn’t a fan of the horror genre. Yes, it’s a zombie movie, but the characters in the movie seem to operate with such little fear of the zombies that it makes them feel much less scary. There’s a total of nine jump-scares in the movie, and only two of them are considered major.
When you add in the comedic tones offered throughout the film, you have a movie that’s enjoyable for both hardcore horror fans and people who don’t have a high tolerance for the genre. Zombieland is one of many films where nerds become badasses.
2. A Quiet Place
A Quiet Place is another fantastic movie for horror fans. Most of the tension comes from the complete silence in the film, and there’s almost no gore in the movie at all. There are a few jump scares mixed in here and there, but they’re done tastefully and there aren’t too many. In fact, there are only four major scares throughout the entire film, so it should be manageable.
While most would definitely place this film in the horror genre, it actually feels a bit more like a psychological thriller than a traditional horror film. On top of that, the movie is absolutely incredible, so it can be appreciated by just about anyone who enjoys a good movie.
A Quiet Place is one of the few must-watch post-apocalyptic films.
3. It Follows
It Follows is quite the eery film, and it’s one of the best horror movies in recent years. However, it’s not actually that scary. There’s tension throughout the whole movie, as “It” continues to follow the protagonist around, but as the movie progresses, you almost get used to it being there. Plus, there’s only five small jump scares in the movie, which makes it perfectly tolerable in that regard.
The movie is worth watching whether you’re into horror movies or not because it’s really that good. Once you finish the movie, you might even more scared because of the message the film is sending, but I won’t spoil it for you!
4. Get Out
Get Out is easily one of the best horror movies I’ve ever seen. It’s intense, filled with tension, and guaranteed to make you uncomfortable, but it’s not really all that scary in the traditional sense. It’ll make you think deeply about the world as we know it, but it won’t fill your head with thoughts of blood and murder. In fact, there are no major jump scares in the whole film (though there are a few small ones).
Everything isn’t as it seems in the peaceful world of Get Out, and the protagonist quickly realizes that something very wrong is going on with his girlfriend’s family. Add in one of the best comic relief characters in horror movies, and this is a recipe for success. The commentary on racism is there, which adds another layer to the movie.
5. The Babadook
This is the film to graduate to after you’ve watched all of the other ones on the list because it definitely pushes the limit of what’ll be comfortable for someone who doesn’t like horror movies. There’s only two major jump scares in the film, but the presence of The Babadook is quite unnerving, and he’s a rather scary looking “monster.”
In the end, there’s a huge twist in The Babadook, which completely changes the way we interpret the movie. I won’t directly spoil it, but I’ll just say it provides an interesting look at a problem many people are facing on a daily basis.