October is the time of year that we turn our attentions to ghouls and ghosts. I’m a big horror aficionado, so for me, it also means time to marathon scary movies. Since Ricky already put together a list of 15 pretty great horror movies, I thought I’d do something a little different and turn my attention toward some of the comedy gems that loosely fall under the “horror” genre. After all, if the way my husband watches horror movies through his fingers is any indication, not everyone wants to be scared by their scary movies. So, I’ve put together a list of films that will put you in the mood for Halloween without scaring your pants off. Do some of these movies have scary parts? Sure, but they’re also fun — and many are just plain funny. Most of these films can be found either on Netflix or in their entirety on YouTube.
Feel free to let us know your favorite not-so-scary Halloween movies in the comments below.
13. The Addams Family
This early 90s film based off of the hit television series of the same name is an absolute must-watch for the Halloween season. Gomez, Morticia, and their morbid bunch face down con artists with plans to fleece the Addams family. Unfortunately for said con artists, this is no ordinary family!
12. Little Shop of Horrors
One of two cult classic musicals that will appear on this list, this 1986 film stars Rick Moranis and a Mean Green Mother from Outer Space. Fun fact: Little Shop of Horrors was directed by Frank Oz, voice of Yoda from the Star Wars franchise, as well as several Muppets including Fozzie Bear and Miss Piggy.
11. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
Before the movie Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, Elvira hosted a TV show in the 80s where she would play cheesy horror movies and make fun of them. Kind of like MST3K, but with a hot goth chick. This movie is probably just as bad (if not worse) than some of the movies Elvira aired on her late-night horror show, but it’s one of those films that walks the fine line of so-bad-its-good, and there are plenty of laughs, even if more than a few of them are groaners.
10. Dracula: Dead & Loving It
You can’t go wrong with Mel Brooks, and this 1995 film is certainly proof of that. Dracula: Dead & Loving It stars Leslie Neilson as Count Dracula in a film that spoofs Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula as well as the original novel by Bram Stoker. Films with Leslie Neilsen have always been hit or miss for me, but this one is definitely a hit.
This 1984 black comedy features a teenage boy who comes into posession of a very unusual pet called Gizmo. Gizmo is cute and cuddly, but there are a few issues. First, it multiplies and creates more creatures when it gets wet. Second, when these multiples are fed after midnight, they lose all their hair and cuteness and turn into little bastards that run amok. How exactly do they know it’s after midnight? Do you have to calculate for time zones? Whatever, just go with it.
8. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The other cult classic musical on this list, Rocky Horror needs little introduction and even less explanation. Unless you’ve never seen it, then it probably requires quite a bit of explanation. I don’t have time for that, though, so here’s all you need to know: Tim Curry is awesome.
7. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
In an effort to add a movie that was created after 2000 to this list, I present you with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. This is not actually a comedy, even though the idea of Abe Lincoln slaying vampires is pretty laughable. However, this movie is a lot of fun. One of the best parts of this movie is how serious it takes itself despite the absurdity of the concept. The other best part is, of course, our 16th president hacking vampires to bits.
6. Young Frankenstein
Quite possibly the best Mel Brooks movie ever made, Young Frankenstein is a hilarious spoof of the 1930 horror classic Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The wonderfully talented Gene Wilder stars as the grandson of the original Dr. Frankenstein, who re-creates his grandfather’s experiments.
5. Hocus Pocus
I’m pretty sure that it’s a law that you simply must watch Hocus Pocus every Halloween. Halloween just isn’t Halloween without this cult classic, which stars Bette Midler, Carrie from Sex and the City (Sarah Jessica Parker), and the woman who voiced Peggy Hill (Kathy Najimy) as the most awesome witches ever. Bette Midler obviously had quite a bit of fun with this film, and everyone else involved is pretty good, too.
4. Shaun of the Dead
This is probably one of my favorite movies, period. Comedy geniuses Simon Pegg and Nick Frost take on zombies as only the British can: in a pub.
There are plenty of Tim Burton movies that could probably go on this list, but I’m going to go with Beetlejuice since it’s by far the best. Geena Davis and an incredibly young and skinny Alec Baldwin star as a recently-deceased couple that are finding their way through the afterlife and happen to run across the wacky Betelgeuse, played by Michael Keaton in what is, undoubtedly, the high point of his career. Seriously; this is right before he went on to star in Tim Burton’s Batman films, and his career definitely went downhill after that.
2. The Cabin in the Woods
I know that this movie is also on Ricky’s list, but it’s worth repeating! Joss Whedon wants you to think that The Cabin in the Woods is your typical horror film, but it’s far from it. In a film that heavily evokes the feeling of his television shows Buffy and Angel, Joss once again takes on the horror genre, this time with a scary movie that turns the entire teen slasher film genre on its head.
I simply had to put this 80s classic at the top of the list. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson kill it (no puns intended) as these scientists-turned-ghost-hunters save New York City from both douchebags and poltergeists.