Graveyard Shift
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Unexpectedly Funny Moments In Otherwise Terrifying Horror Movies

Updated July 13, 2020 2.5k votes 488 voters 31.9k views14 items

List RulesVote up the horror movie moments that unexpectedly made you laugh.

Funny moments in horror movies are a staple of the genre, running the gamut from intended hilarity in flicks like The Cabin in the Woods to unintended laughs brought on by poor writing and acting, as in Manos: The Hands of Fate. Other times, a character's comic relief role overtakes the scares. It's a rare movie that can seamlessly weave together the terror and humor, leaving most funny scenes jarring to the audiences watching otherwise frightening movies. 

Even classic horror movies like Alien have moments that make the audience stop and giggle in the midst of being terrorized by a Xenomorph alongside the crew of the Nostromo. Moments like this are often unintended by the director and actors, but come across as cringe- or laughter-inducing to the audience right before the film plunges them back into the depths of horror. So go ahead and vote up the scenes most likely to elicit a chuckle in the midst of real fear.

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    Julian Runs For His Life In 'Halloween' (2018)

    The Halloween franchise was rebooted in 2018, bringing back Jamie Lee Curtis as a grown Laurie Strode dealing with a lifetime of PTSD from her encounters with Michael Myers. In a departure from the previous films and most horror, this sequel/franchise reboot decided to focus on the survivor and not the background of Myers or a new bunch of faceless characters headed into slaughter. It remains one of the best entries in the franchise due to those choices. 

    One set of scenes stands out from the rest for different reasons. Vicky (Virginia Gardner), a friend of Laurie's granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), babysits Julian (Jibrail Nantambu) in his home, where they are attacked by Myers.

    This scene should be as devastating and terrifying as other scenes in the flick, but Julian takes the entire sequence to a precocious level that elicits more joy and laughter from audiences than dread. 

    • Actors: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Nick Castle
    • Released: 2018
    • Directed by: David Gordon Green
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  • The horror films of the 1980s come with a certain amount of cheese, but Freddy's Revenge manages to remain scary while allowing it to flow. A new family is living in the former home of Nancy Thompson and her mother, setting Freddy's (Robert Englund) sights on their teenage son Jesse (Mark Patton). The movie has lots of gory scenes featuring Freddy and his victims - and some body horror thrown in for good measure, as Freddy takes over Jesse to annihilate people. 

    One scene stands above the rest in its goofiness, and involves Jesse dancing in his room. From the generic music Jesse plays on his radio to the use of a tiny golf club as a phallic substitute during a dance move, this scene is genuine comedy in an otherwise frightening flick.

    • Actors: Robert Englund, Hope Lange, Clu Gulager, Marshall Bell, Lyman Ward
    • Released: 1985
    • Directed by: Jack Sholder
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  • Amid the psychological and physical terror shown onscreen in Alien, one moment is so jarring that it pushes the viewer into laughter for just a moment before terror seizes them again. Unlike some movies, this moment of levity and giggles doesn't cloud the rest of the film. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is attempting to make a plan, but Parker (Yaphet Kotto) just keeps mumbling interruptions in the background. 

    In a moment felt by every woman who ever attempted to be heard in a tense situation, Ripley forcefully tells Parker to "shut up," forcing him to close his yap and prompting audiences to laugh in spite of themselves.

    • Actors: Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto, Harry Dean Stanton
    • Released: 1979
    • Directed by: Ridley Scott
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  • The Cheddar Goblin Commercial In 'Mandy'
    Photo: RLJE Films

    Mandy follows Red Miller (Nicolas Cage) as he fights his way into and through a cult to avenge the demise of his girlfriend Mandy (Andrea Riseborough). The film has lots of trippy moments and visual violence throughout, so the Cheddar Goblin stands out as hilarious and out of place in the film.

    The Cheddar Goblin is a macaroni and cheese mascot that retches his product all over children in his commercials, much to their screeching delight. By itself, the scene from the movie elicited lots of laughter from audiences at the 2018 LA Comic-Con panel for Mandy, so seeing the extremely odd commercial in the middle of a revenge flick where audiences see a woman burned alive earlier is extremely - and purposefully - disconcerting.

    • Actors: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache, Bill Duke, Richard Brake
    • Released: 2018
    • Directed by: Panos Cosmatos
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