Making audiences afraid is difficult, as is making them laugh. The best funny horror movies of the 2010s do both. Laughter and fear are very intense responses. We experience them because something triggers a strong emotional reaction. Achieving both requires a deft touch as they're diametrically opposed. Fear is generally considered an unpleasant sensation and laughter a highly desirable one.
Scary comedy movies from the 2010s run a wide gamut. Some are primarily horror flicks that offer up a couple stellar moments of humor to lighten the mood. Others are designed to be funny through the way they play with familiar horror elements. Still others are harder to categorize. Cinematic horror can occasionally be so twisted that it takes on the form of dark comedy. Several entries on this list may not seem funny until you know where, specifically, to look for the wicked laughs. Regardless, the following titles blend humor with horror in various ways, providing viewers with the opportunity to giggle and get chills simultaneously.
Which scary comedy movies from the 2010s give you the biggest rush? Vote for the ones you think are the best of the decade.
- Photo: Dimension Films
Piranha 3D is a remake of Joe Dante's 1978 2D creature feature. It documents what happens when an earthquake unleashes scores of prehistoric piranha upon a popular lake during spring break. The town sheriff (Elisabeth Shue) tries to prevent a calamity. Of course, she's unsuccessful.
The 3D in the title is a big tipoff to what makes this film funny. Director Alexandre Aja has crafted an unapologetically in-your-face gorefest. Flesh is chomped, blood spews, severed body parts float in the water, and Ving Rhames targets the lethal fish with a boat motor - all in three glorious dimensions. The tone is so outrageous that it makes you laugh while you're squirming.
An opening scene cameo from Richard Dreyfuss pokes a little fun at Jaws, which adds another level of humor to the proceedings.5417You laughed, didn't you?
- Photo: Universal Pictures
Krampus is based on the old legend of the horned, hoofed creature that comes around to punish poorly behaved children at Christmastime. Respectively, Adam Scott and Toni Collette are Tom and Sarah, a married couple who have to deal with the titular monster, among other things, after their son inadvertently summons it.
Scenes with the actual Krampus are staged for scares. Other sequences offer up a playful sense of Yuletide horror. Tom, Sarah, and their family face nasty elves, wicked teddy bears, and an army of bloodthirsty gingerbread men. The movie offers a spooky atmosphere to go along with its holiday-themed mischief.5425You laughed, didn't you?
- Photo: Magnet Releasing
Rubber is about a tire that inexplicably comes to life, then uses its telekinetic powers to blow up the heads of people it encounters. That's right, this particular serial slayer is a tire. That concept is funny in and of itself, as is the fact the tire is listed as "Robert" in the film's credits.
Writer/director Quentin Dupieux isn't interested in just a one-joke premise, though. The movie additionally features a group of spectators in the desert, watching the tire's rampage through binoculars and commenting on what they see. Their inclusion reveals that Rubber isn't just a goofy spoof of slasher flicks, it's also a smart satire about how blockbuster-minded Hollywood often cranks out mindless movies that insult the intelligence of the audience. This one is funny on two completely different levels.3120You laughed, didn't you?
- Photo: Universal Pictures
Split is a master class in how to use humor to make a villainous character even creepier. James McAvoy plays Kevin Wendell Crumb, a man whose dissociative identity disorder causes him to have 23 different personalities. He captures a group of teenage cheerleaders who has to navigate his ever-changing personas if they want to escape.
It's hard not to let out a nervous, uneasy laugh at some of Kevin's alter egos. Seeing the bald, muscular captor assume the form of a formal British woman named "Patricia" is somehow funny and disturbing simultaneously. And when Kevin very seriously busts out some funky-fresh dance moves for one of the cheerleaders, you realize just how off-the-wall he really is. We fear him because he's so unpredictable.4132You laughed, didn't you?