Horror is 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. Cheap jump scares are also disliked by many.
But there are several horror movies out there that are almost meant for people who don’t typically watch horror.
These kinds of horror movies are still scary and intense, but they don’t go heavy on the blood or gore or jump scares, so they won’t cause too much distress for movie watchers.
If you’re a horror fan who wants to coax friends or family to watch horror movies, or if you want to watch horror but can’t stomach jump scares or blood, these are the movies to start with.
Note: The “number of jump scares” comes from Where’s the Jump. This site can be super useful if you’re afraid of jump scares because it tells you exactly where they happen. But it also spoils some of the fun!
Number of major jump scares: 2
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, but 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.
Number of major jump scares: 4
A Quiet Place is another fantastic movie for horror fans and non-fans alike. 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, they’re never cheap, and there aren’t too many. In fact, there are only four major scares throughout the entire movie, so it should be manageable for most.
While many 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.
3. It Follows
Number of major jump scares: 1
It Follows is quite the eerie 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 are only five jump scares in the entire movie (four of which are considered minor), so it’s perfectly tolerable.
The movie is worth watching whether you’re into horror movies or not because it’s really that good. Once the credits start rolling, you’ll realize the real fright comes from the message the movie wants to send—but I won’t spoil it for you!
4. Get Out
Number of major jump scares: 0
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 not 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 any horror movie, and this is a recipe for success. The commentary on racism is there, which adds an important layer to the movie.
5. The Babadook
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Number of major jump scares: 2
The Babadook is the movie to graduate to after you’ve watched all of the other ones on this list, because it definitely pushes the limit of what’ll be comfortable for a non-fan of horror movies.
There are only two major jump scares in the whole movie, 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 spoil it, but I’ll just say it provides an interesting look at a problem many people are facing on a daily basis.