What a year we’ve just had. Covid, pandemic, Coronavirus, bubble, Zoom, and social distancing — these are a few of the terms we’ve grown familiar with in this challenging period. Who could have foreseen that one microscopic little life form would put a stop to so many things we’d grown accustomed to? Theaters closed, and productions shut down, postponing the release of new movies and television shows. Thankfully, streaming services offer libraries of older titles, including romance, comedy, thrillers, and of course, our favorite, horror.

However, some of these can be dark and oppressive. To distract yourself from this depressive reality and enjoy a laugh, here are a few suggestions that focus on the lighter side of terror. While these horror comedies may not satisfy your need for scares, they’ll leave you smiling or even laughing. Some are nutty, some are head-scratchers, some are weird, and some are just plain funny. While some are well known, others are obscure gems. Whether you choose one, a few, or all, they are bound to make you smile, chuckle, or laugh out loud.


Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) decide to spend time at their newly purchased vacation home, a broken-down cottage. However, a group of college students crosses their paths, mistaking them for a couple of hillbilly murderers. What could possibly go wrong? The hilarity that ensues as the misunderstandings pile up is brilliant. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is a must-see to believe.


The student tries to tackle Tucker but misses… landing headfirst into the wood-chipper. This scene, coupled with Tucker’s subsequent explanation of the event to Dale, will have you in stitches.


What do you get when you mix toxic waste with beavers? Zombie beavers, of course. Or rather, zombeavers. This cheesy horror-comedy is surprisingly funny. It’s campy and fun. Cortney Palm, Rachel Melvin, and Pete Gilroy elicit the most laughs. The true scene-stealers, though? The animatronic beavers. And the icing on the cake? The side-splitting bloopers that play during the end credits. It feels like the crew had fun making Zombeavers, and the feeling is contagious.


When the girls arrive at the cabin and meet Myrne (Phyllis Katz), the neighbor’s description of her daughter’s strange behaviors is a great start to the craziness.


In this absolute gem of a movie, Kelly (Bridget Fonda) is tasked with visiting Maine to investigate the apparent presence of an enormous crocodile. Storyline aside, the sarcasm in the movie is worth the watch. Though the writers did an outstanding job with the dialogue, it is the delivery that solidifies Lake Placid as a must-watch. The banter between Kelly, Sheriff Hank (Brendan Gleeson), and Hector (Oliver Platt) is especially biting. Of course, the queen of sarcastic one-liners, Betty White, doesn’t disappoint either.


It’s tough to single out just one, as everyone with Brendan Gleeson is hysterical. However, when they find the moose’s head in the water, the ensuing scene is priceless. Gleeson’s reaction to apparent restraint makes it difficult to discern whether it’s acting or real.

MAYHEM (2017) 

As covid continues to wreak havoc across countries, many virus-based horror movies, like Contagion (2011) and Outbreak (1995), have regained popularity. But what if, rather than kill its host, a virus dramatically changed the host’s personality? That’s the premise of Mayhem, a movie in which the virus enables people to act on desires by removing their inhibitions.

Derek (Steven Yun) and Melanie (Samara Weaving), screwed over by Towers and Smythe Consulting, are angry. Infected by the virus and quarantined in the building, they make their way to the bosses without a care in the world what they do to anyone who stands in their way. It’s utter chaos, and it’s infectious!


The opening scene is a great start to the gore and violence (and quite frankly, fun) in store for viewers during its 90-minute run-time.


This is one messed-up movie. Part comedy, part romance, part drama, lots of horror, and a whole lot of fucked up. Unable to get over Nina, his dead girlfriend, Rob (Cian Barry), connects with Holly (Abigail Hardingham). The two hit it off, but trying to sleep with her isn’t easy, as Nina (Fiona O’Shaughnessy) keeps showing up… at the most awkward of times. What happens next is questionable at best, but done with hilarity! Nina is like a bad STD that won’t leave. Nina Forever is awkward, weird, brazen, funny, and even charming.


Sex in the cemetery… on Nina’s grave.


Broken Lizard’s only foray into the horror-comedy genre was a success. Club Dread has all of the film-making group’s quintessential wacky behaviors, plus a mad killer thrown in for good measure. Topping it off perfectly is Bill Paxton’s casting as Coconut Pete, the owner of the resort. As the bodies pile up, so do the nutty and absurd situations.


Putman (Jay Chandrasekhar) using his tennis skills to stop the killer. It’s ridiculous but funny. The outtakes that run during the end credits are fun.

RUBBER (2010)

In this complete head-scratcher of an “homage to all those things that happen in movies for no apparent reason,” Rubber features a telekinetic tire with murderous tendencies. That’s right! A car tire gains consciousness and goes on a killing rampage, and it is every bit as strange as it sounds! The absurdity hooks you in. Despite raised eyebrows and some head shaking, Rubber is sure to elicit laughter from either disbelief or hilarity.


The sheriff is interviewing a witness with the killer tire next to him when the witness’s head blows up! The sheriff’s reaction is hilarious.


This classic is a gem. Whether an indictment on consumerism or irresponsible pet ownership, it doesn’t matter. The wackiness that follows after a cute little Mogwai multiplies is an insane but fun roller coaster ride. Though they are monsters, the mayhem, destruction, and havoc they create is enjoyable and adrenaline-inducing. Don’t be turned away by its old release date; Gremlins has aged very well, thanks to a great storyline and awesome effects.


Any of the gremlin scenes, whether it’s with Lynn (Frances Lee McCain) making good use of her microwave oven, Mrs. Deagle (Polly Holliday) riding her chairlift one last time, or even the gremlins having taken over a bar. They are all hilarious!


Babysitters are cool, right? Breaking curfew or having a nip when mom and dad forbade it made you feel rebellious, and it rocked, didn’t it? In The Babysitter, Bee (Samara Weaving) out-cools even the coolest babysitter you may have had. And lucky boy Cole (Judah Lewis) really, really likes her. But after sneaking out of bed to watch her play spin the bottle with her friends, Cole sees more than he bargained for. As it turns out, Bee is actually a demon-conjuring psycho… and she’s made Cole the guest of honor!


When Bee kisses Samuel (Doug Haley) under the guise of playing spin the bottle, that “splitting” headache he gets while she pours herself a “drink” is very funny.


Spoofs are iffy propositions, more often missing the mark than being a hit. But Scary Movie was a hit. This hilarious movie spoofs some of the popular horror movies like Scream (1996), and I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997). Even the popular Budweiser commercial is used. Anna Faris, Regina Hall, and the rest of the cast made it enjoyable and fun to watch. As a challenge, try to identify all of the horror movie references and cameos.


The opening scene mimicking the Drew Barrymore in Scream will have you in stitches. Carmen Electra plays the stereotypical dumb bimbo perfectly.


What if ghosts tried to haunt a place but failed at it? Turning the tables on the haunted house genre, Beetlejuice stars Michael Keaton tasked with helping Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara (Geena Davis) rid their house of annoying guests. This is one of Keaton’s great roles, playing Betelgeuse, the anti-hero, the Al Bundy of bio-exorcists. If only he could get a Deadpool-style make-over, this could likely be an even greater hit. As a bonus, this also stars Catherine O’Hara as a high-strung, quasi-neurotic Della and Winona Ryder as an emo only-one-who-can-see-the-dead Lydia.


When Betelgeuse takes control of the resurrection party at the end, it’s Michael Keaton at his best!


Slasher movies of the ’80s don’t have the smartest characters. They do the dumbest things, make the most illogical decisions, and are ultimately killed as a result. Now, can you imagine being stuck inside one of these slashers? That’s the premise of The Final Girls, starring Taissa Farmiga and Malin Akerman. Despite the far-fetched premise, the situations are hilarious, as the “transported” characters realize they aren’t immune to slasher movie victims’ fate. The visual aspects and effects are highly effective, adding to the enjoyment.


Adam Devine’s death scene in the car accident.


If a musical about a serial killer can be made (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)), why not one about a zombie apocalypse? Not only does Anna and the Apocalypse mix the horror of flesh-eating zombies with musical numbers, but it also sets the entire story on Christmas. It works, and even with its cheesy effects, it’s a great watch.


In the park, when Anna (Ella Hunt) and John (Malcolm Cumming) encounter the zombie dressed in the snowman costume, you’ll rethink walking near teeter-totters anytime soon.