Nine spooky comedies for horror-haters to watch this Halloween

For many, Halloween is a time to scare yourself stiff. Some of the most popular horror movies of all time have been set around the end-of-October celebration, such as The Blair Witch Project, Donnie Darko and The Exorcist.

If that’s what you crave, The Independent has you covered with our list of 37 films that will actually scare you senseless.

For those who would rather not compromise their psyches – but remain in the spooky spirit – we have come up with nine comedies for horror-haters to watch tonight.

Renfield – (Amazon Prime Video)

Film Review - Renfield (© 2023 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.)
Film Review - Renfield (© 2023 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.)

Starring Nicolas Cage as Dracula, Renfield tells the story of the famous vampire’s tortured aide (Nicholas Hoult) and his journey towards freedom after a century of servitude.

Though Clarisse Loughrey found the horror-comedy “too self-aware for its own good” in her three-star review for The Independent, she commended Cage’s “faultless” performance.

Scary Movie – (Netflix, Max US)

A classic five-film franchise with the sole purpose of spoofing the horror genre, the 2000 debut picture, Scary Movie, is about a group of idiotic teens who are stalked by a bumbling serial killer one year after they’ve disposed of the body of a man they accidentally killed.

Anna Faris, Regina Hall, Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans star.

Hot Fuzz – (Sky, Peacock US)

Action-comedy Hot Fuzz sees Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as a pair of police officers tasked with investigating a series of mysterious and grisly deaths in a West Country village.

Pearl – (Sky, Showtime US)

Mia Goth in ‘Pearl’ (Christopher Moss)
Mia Goth in ‘Pearl’ (Christopher Moss)

While not explicitly a comedy, Ti West’s acclaimed X prequel still somehow lands in that realm.

Starring Mia Goth, the movie follows a young girl named Pearl who lives on an isolated farm tending to her ailing father. When her desire to live a life as glamorous as the ones she’s seen in the movies overtakes her responsibilities, her repression and temptations collide.

Pearl is a “masterclass in finding sympathy for the devil”, The Independent’s Clarisse Loughrey declared in her five-star review.

What We Do in the Shadows – (BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video US)

In this 2014 mockumentary about a group of vampire flatmates, the filmmaker gets an inside and riotous look at their journey toward coping with modern life. He’s also shown the perks of living forever.

One Cut of the Dead – (Rentable on Amazon Prime Video)

This Japanese-language film centres on a hack movie director and his film crew who are attacked by real zombies while filming a low-budget zombie movie in an abandoned WWII facility.

Bodies Bodies Bodies – (Sky, Showtime US)

Bodies Bodies Bodies (A24)
Bodies Bodies Bodies (A24)

Bodies Bodies Bodies is a hilarious commentary on Gen Z, yet it’s “far more than a scornful put-down”, The Independent’s Clarisse Loughrey wrote in her four-star review.

Although there are still plenty of gory bits and jump-scares scattered throughout, the ending of the film – which follows a group of 20-somethings whose weekend in a remote mansion ends in several mysterious deaths – will surely have you laughing.

The Cabin in the Woods – (Sky, Max US)

After a group of five college friends – Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams, Kristen Connolly, Fran Kranz and Anna Hutchison – decide to go off-grid, they find themselves vacationing at a remote cabin where creepy horrors await them.

They soon fall prey to backwoods zombies and a pair of scientists who are secretly manipulating the ghoulish goings-on.

Bottoms – (Rentable on Amazon Prime Video in the US, not yet available to stream in the UK)

Ayo Edebiri and Rachel Sennott in ‘Bottoms’ (Credit: Patti Perret (MGM))
Ayo Edebiri and Rachel Sennott in ‘Bottoms’ (Credit: Patti Perret (MGM))

From young, up-and-coming director Emma Seligman is Bottoms a hilarious queer comedy about two high school nerds who start a fight club in an attempt to meet girls and lose their virginity.

This is not particularly a horror film, but there’s a lot of bloodshed. So for those who absolutely can’t take any thrills, but still want a gory comedy, Bottoms is the perfect watch.