Scary Movies That Aren’t Really Scary

I was going to do this list for Halloween, but I will be in Korea then teaching English so I foresee being quite busy. But it was a list a really wanted to do, so I’m doing it now. As I have expressed in many previous posts, I am quite possibly the biggest scardy cat alive. I do not watch scary movies. I can’t, because my over-active imagination will keep me awake for weeks, and a girl needs her beauty sleep. So it’s really frustrating when Halloween rolls around and all of my friends want to watch horror marathons and I can’t join them. However, over the past few years I have discovered movies that have either a Halloween theme or scary topic so you can legitimately watch them on Halloween with friends while they aren’t actually scary at all. So anyone else out there who also cannot tolerate scary movies, this list is for you. These are ten movies that will make for a perfect Halloween or scary movie marathon without actually being scary.

10. Stardust


Yes, this is more of an adventure movie, but Michelle Pfieffer pretty much disintegrates into a corpse before your eyes. And it is a really fun, entertaining movie, and you get to see Robert DeNiro be a cross dresser. What more do you want?

9. Twilight


Okay, before you yell at me, let me explain. Twilight or any of its sequels is quite fun if you have junk food, booze, and friends to make fun of it with. And the presence of vampires ties it to Halloween enough to go on the marathon list without scaring you. No, it probably will scare you, but not the kind of way that will keep you up at night.

8. Hocus Pocus


I have never actually seen Hocus Pocus, but I know of enough people who like to watch it every Halloween that I’m confident it would work. Considering that I think its mainly oriented toward children, I don’t think it’s that scary. So if anyone watches it on my advice and ends up having nightmares…oops.

7. Cannibal the Musical


The title of this movie alone should suggest how it connects with scary subject matter. People eat each other. Not exactly zombies, but close enough. And it is quite hilarious.

6. The Corpse Bride


This Tim Burton flick was made in the style of The Nightmare Before Christmas (hey, guess what else is on the list?). It didn’t make a huge impression on me when I saw it, but it’s creepy enough to work but not too creepy.

5. Practical Magic


This movie about witches living in modern society starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman is actually a lot of fun, and deceptively creepy at some points. It will make a good addition to any Halloween or “scary” movie marathon.

4. Teen Wolf


I’m busting out a classic. This fantasy comedy from 1985 will have you rolling on the floor with its badly done, well, everything, its over the top contrivance, it’s cheep tricks, and 80’s hair styles.

3. Dracula: Dead and Loving It!


Another vampire movie for you! And this one is made by Mel Brooks, so you don’t have to make fun of it to enjoy it. It’s hysterical.

2. The Nightmare Before Christmas


We all know about this movie. I think it is the only bi-holiday movie. It can be watched for Halloween and Christmas. While it is a children’s movie, it’s a Halloween classic and fun.

  1. Young Frankenstein

Ever since my junior year at college, I have tried to create a tradition of watching Young Frankenstein every year for Halloween. I love this movie so much. And it is perfect for those of us who like watching movies on Halloween but not being scared out of our wits. Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder are a perfect combination, and this is them at their best.

Honorable Mention

Shawn of the Dead: I didn’t include this movie because it scared me half to death. But it is very funny, so if you happen to have a somewhat higher tolerance for fear than I do, it will make a perfect addition to your marathon.

The Brother’s Grimm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Birdemic: Shock and Terror

Cannibal the Musical!: Yes, There is Actually a Movie Called That


This movie was a real wildcard for me. Honestly, the only reason I watched it was because today I was watching movies with a bunch of my friends in celebration of the end of finals. My friend Kinsey was searching on NetFlix and cried, “Let’s watch Cannibal the Musical!” When you hear a title like that, even if you’re not a big fan of either cannibals or musicals, you just don’t walk away from it.

Cannibal the Musical is an independent black comedy directed. produced, and starred in by Trey Parker (yes, the later South Park creator) in 1993. It loosely (very loosely) follows Alfred Packer’s notorious trip across the Rocky Mountains which lead to him resorting to cannibalism for survival. In the movie, Packer (Trey Parker) is being persecuted for allegedly killing his travel companions who were all found dead and partially eaten on the mountainside. Before he is sentenced and later sent to execution, he tells the true story of what happened to journalist Polly Pry (Toddy Walters).

Warning: this humor is not for everyone. As can be imagined with a movie about cannibals, there are some very Tarantinoesque scenes mostly in the first five minutes for shock value. So if you can get through the first five minutes, you should be okay.

I personally really enjoyed the humor, mostly the fact that through most of the story, Packer is completely in love with his horse. It’s a little bit hard to get through the first 20 minutes of the film, because it’s a bit dry, but the movie does get better.

Probably what I love best about this movie is how in a self aware way, it is completely ridiculous. Nothing really makes sense. For example, at one point in their journey, Parker’s party comes across some Japanese people parading as Native Americans. And need I mention again that the main character is in love with his horse? Oh, and don’t forget, this movie is a musical. So every now and then, when the emotions get ramped up, the characters express themselves in catchy, ridiculous songs. My favorite is “Let’s Build a Snowman” which I will undoubtedly be humming as I walk across the stage at my college graduation this Sunday.

As far a complaints, it is hard for me to criticize a movie that is intentionally ridiculous and completely unserious. I guess I wish the beginning (other than the Tarantino scene) were a bit more interesting, but other than that I thought this movie was a lot of fun. A great way to spend time with your friends. I give Cannibal the Musical a 6. If you like South Park, you will probably enjoy this movie, so give it a shot. Most preferably with alcohol. Yeah, it’s that kind of film.