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

Dracula: Dead and Loving It


It’s kind of difficult for me to critique comedies, because when I see movies I look for the story. But the nature of comedy in film usually requires a simplistic story because the goal is not to make a profound point, but just to make people laugh. Considering this, the only way I feel I can legitimately critique this movie is if I do it on its own terms as a comedy.

Mel Brooks’s Dracula: Dead and Loving It was released in 1995 and satirizes classic vampire horror flicks going all the way back to Bela Lugosi. He achieves this with great panache. In the movie, a somewhat clumsy and not so diabolical Count Dracula (Leslie Nielson) travels to London to wreak havoc and claim a big-breasted lady as his wife for eternity. He sets his eyes on the beautiful Mina (Amy Yasbeck) who must be saved by her fiancé, Jonathan Harker (Steven Weber), her father (Harvey Korman), and the strange yet knowledgeable Professor Van Helsing (Mel Brooks).

I honestly had never heard about this movie until I saw it listed on NetFlix on Monday. I have no idea how I missed it for so long (well, except for maybe the fact that I was four when it came out). Such a shame because this movie is hilarious. What I like most about Mel Brooks’s creation is that it is a comedy I can claim to enjoy without feeling ashamed of myself. It has a good combination of high and low humor to appeal to may different types of audiences. Whether it’s Professor Van Helsing using an autopsy to intentionally make his medical students faint, Or Count Dracula gliding imposingly out of his coffin only to bang his head on a chandelier, there is never a long portion of this movie without laughs. I, having changed my system from out of 5 to out of 10, give this movie a 5 for Brooks’s clever hilarity. Go find this movie, some liquor, and some friends, and you’ll have a very fun Saturday night.