The horror comedy genre is taking off in a big way, and fans can’t seem to get enough of the genre. It takes the best elements from each category and rolls them into a hilarious and frantic ride. Satire has been a crucial element in film-making, poking fun at the best and worst of humanity.
From a killer chef to a self-help-seeking vampire’s assistant, no character is safe from ridicule. Many horror comedy films catch viewers between fits of laughter and fits of terror, and these modern movies do it the best!
10 ‘Ready or Not’ (2019)
Looking to watch a smart satire about feminine rage? Look no further than the film Ready or Not. A bride (played by the brilliant Samara Weaving) is forced to play a sinister game with her new in-laws on her wedding night when they hunt her for sport. This movie is suspenseful, bloody, and violent in the best way possible.
The supporting cast is believable as a murderous family hellbent on killing their newest family member (Andie MacDowell is a revelation). Co-directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet, Ready or Not is black comedy horror at the top of its game that is edge-of-your-seat entertainment.
9 ‘Freaky’ (2020)
Freaky is a body swap movie that’s Freaky Friday meets Friday the 13th. A high school senior switches bodies with a serial killer and has less than 24 hours to break the curse, or the change is permanent. It’s an entertaining concept that delivers the perfect combo of gore and laughs.
Vince Vaughn turns out a hilarious performance as a shy high school girl trapped in a murderer’s body. Kathryn Newton is the ultimate final girl, tackling two characters in the same movie. Directed by Christopher Landon (the creative mind behind Happy Death Day 2U and Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin), Freaky offers a killer twist to the horror-comedy genre.
8 ‘Werewolves Within’ (2021)
Movies adapted from video games are having a moment, and Werewolves Within is based on Ubisoft’s multiplayer virtual reality game. First-timers Josh Ruben and Mishna Wolff are behind this horror comedy that has a serious bite. It tells the story of a small town infiltrated by werewolves and the paranoia that ensues.
Sam Richardson (known for his deadpan delivery) takes the lead alongside Milana Vayntrub, Harvey Guillen, and an entire cast of up-and-coming comedians.It’s part mystery, part horror, and part comedy which makes for fun and suspenseful to watch. Werewolves Within deserves more attention than it’s received.
7 ‘M3GAN’ (2022)
M3GAN is about an A.I. doll that becomes self-aware and is a danger to anyone who crosses her human companion. It stars Allison Williams (from Jordan Peele‘s social horror film Get Out) and Violet McGraw (who is a scream queen in the making).
The PR team at Blumhouse deserves a raise for making M3GAN’s iconic dance go viral (eight human look-a-likes danced to Taylor Swift’s “It’s Nice to Have A Friend” on the premier’s red carpet). What makes this film so great is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. M3GAN is the perfect intersection of humor and horror for fans of the genre.
6 ‘Willy’s Wonderland’ (2021)
Nicolas Cage is unhinged in Willy’s Wonderland, and it’s everything fans want from a crazed Cage movie. A man’s car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, and he agrees to spend the night cleaning a dilapidated family fun center in exchange for repairs. He soon goes to war with a legion of demonic animatronic mascots.
Directed by Kevin Lewis, the premise is as wacky as it sounds and makes for an oil-splattered thrill ride. Willy’s Wonderland is a relentless comedy horror that has to be seen to be believed. Fun fact: Cage doesn’t say one word of dialogue throughout the entire film. It takes serious talent to shoulder the lead with zero lines.
5 ‘Scream VI’ (2023)
The Ghostface killer follows the survivors of Woodsboro to New York City in Scream VI. There’s a reason the Scream franchise has been around for 27 years (it serves up plenty of gore and suspense while poking fun at classic horror clichés). Who doesn’t love the film’s campy goodness?
A few familiar faces from past installments return (Courtney Cox and Jenna Ortega, to name a few), and new characters are introduced (Samara Weaving and Dermot Mulroney join the cast). The latest version hits all the usual plot points (a grisly opening attack, a menacing phone call, and epic stab-a-thons). Somehow the premise hasn’t worn out its welcome, and Scream VI is one of the best horror movies of 2023 (so far).
The Menu is a horror comedy that serves up fear and violence on a silver platter. It tells the story of a foodie who takes his girlfriend to an exclusive and remote restaurant where the menu has dangerous surprises. The ensemble cast turns out amazing performances (Anya-Taylor Joy shines while Ralph Fiennes simmers as a demented chef).
Directed by Mark Mylod (whose known more for his work in television onSuccession and Game of Thrones), The Menu relies on subtleties to lure the viewer in. The cinematography is stunning, and the camerawork is exquisite. Witty, thrilling, and tension-filled, this film leaves viewers hungry for more.
3 ‘Cocaine Bear’ (2023)
Cocaine Bear is a comedy horror film with an animal attack element thrown in for good measure. Based loosely on a true story, it follows a black bear that ingested large amounts of cocaine (dropped from an airplane) and goes on a drug-fueled rampage in the Georgia woods.
Elizabeth Banks marks her sophomore directorial turn with a strong ensemble cast (it was Ray Liotta’s final full movie before his death). The 80s setting makes for a nostalgic romp. Graphic, terrifying, and fun, this movie will have viewers squirming in their seats. No one is safe from the Cocaine Bear, and it’s a wild ride.
2 ‘Renfield’ (2023)
Renfield is a modern Dracula tale that follows the journey of the famed monster’s familiar (played masterfully by Nicholaus Hoult from the X-Men franchise) in our current world. Nicolas Cage takes the lead as Dracula, taking a huge bite out of the role (literally and figuratively).
The story is bloody, playful, and so funny. Directed by Chris McKay (the creative force behind The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie), Renfeild is a must-see for people who love the genre and is a solid contender to be a modern classic in the making. Be prepared to laugh out loud.
1 ‘Beau Is Afraid’ (2023)
Ari Aster (Midsommar and Hereditary) is at it again with his latest film, Beau Is Afraid, and it’s not what viewers might expect. It tells the story of Beau (Joaquin Phoenix tackles the part with gusto), a paranoid man who goes on an epic adventure to get home to his mother and is forced to face his fears.
It’s a wandering and ambiguous movie that leaves viewers scratching their heads until the bitter end, Of course, it features many elements Aster is known for (which begs the question, what’s up with Ari Aster and his moms?) More comedy than horror, Beau Is Afraid is an absurd journey that’s more puzzling than scary. Add this one to your must-see list.
KEEP READING: 10 Nightmarish Odysseys To Watch After ‘Beau Is Afraid’