There’s an art to striking the right balance between the gory, gruesome horror and laugh-out-loud humor that goes into a supernatural comedy.
The best films make it look easy, delivering ghost-hunting escapades and zombie-filled cross-country road trips that thrill and terrify and leave us in tears — the good kind. They’re able to find the funny in the frightening which means even if you’re not a fan of scary movies, you can still enjoy them. And if you are, you might discover you like a few laughs with your screamfest.
Either way, the supernatural comedies on this list are masterclasses in blending dark subject matter with sharp comebacks and outrageous bits. Have fun watching them all.
Run Time: 105 min | IMDb: 7.8/10
Did the supernatural comedy even exist before this 80s action flick broke Hollywood’s genre-limiting glass ceiling? We’re not sure. We do know that even 36 years after this ghastly riot first premiered, it’s still one of the best horror comedies out there. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis star as the original trio of paranormal-scientists-turned-bumbling-ghost-hunters. Their research leads them on a city-saving mission that involves cult leaders and evil deities and a possessed Sigourney Weaver.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Run Time: 99 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
Edgar Wright’s early aughts horror romp has done as much if not more than most of the films on this list when it comes to defining just what a “supernatural comedy” really is. Simon Pegg – who co-wrote the story – and Nick Frost play a couple of directionless bros named Shaun and Ed who deal with their lackluster lives by knocking back pints at their local pub. When a zombie outbreak threatens their town, they seek refuge in said pub, but first they’ve got to wade through hordes of the undead to get there.
Run Time: 88 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
Risk-taking. Bold. A trailblazer. Jesse Eisenberg’s character in this adventurous zom-com is none of those things, but this 2009 apocalyptic trip is. Eisenberg plays Columbus, an uptight doomsday prepper who follows a strict set of rules to survive the zombie outbreak that’s ravaged the world. When he meets up with Woody Harrelson’s Tallahassee, a gun-toting maniac and Twinkie fanatic, he’s forced to bend those rules a bit. And when his world collides with Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin’s sisterly-duo, Wichita and Little Rock, the rules are basically thrown out the window – just like Bill Murray’s corpse.
Run Time: 109 min | IMDb: 6.2/10
A decidedly unusual twist on the giant monster movie, Nacho Vigolando’s Colossal follows Gloria (Anne Hathaway), an unemployed writer who moves back to her hometown after her boyfriend Tim (Dan Stevens) breaks up with her. After moving into her childhood home, Gloria’s heavy drinking starts to take a toll on her before she starts to realize that she may have a significant connection with a towering monster that spontaneously appears over Seoul, South Korea.
Army of Darkness (1992)
Run Time: 81 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Here at UPROXX, there are very strong opinions on which installment in the Evil Dead franchise reigns supreme. Of course, we welcome you to choose your own favorite, but as far as supernatural comedies go, this one feels like a clear “best of” titleholder. Bruce Campbell’s Ash Williams is transported to the Middle Ages this time around where he’s forced to battle a legion of Deadites and some scheming royal aristocrats, to get back to the present.
Run Time: 92 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Say the title of this gory 80s comedy three times and you might conjure up a deranged-looking Michael Keaton spitting the kind of green-gooed nonsense you’d expect from a freelance bio-exorcist ghost. Keaton plays the titular bad boy, an eviction-notice deliverer for the undead. He’s charged by a recently deceased couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) with giving a newly-moved-in, definitely-alive human family (Catherine O’Hara, Winona Ryder, and Jeffrey Jones) the boot but things quickly go sideways and the group’s forced to work together to prevent Beetlejuice from unleashing total chaos on their small town.
Death Becomes Her (1992)
Run Time: 104 min | IMDb: 6.6/10
We’re not sure what’s more far-fetched: the plot of this film or the fact that somehow, the producers convinced thee, Meryl Streep, to sign on. Still, as far as supernatural comedies go, this is one of the highlights, mainly thanks to its female leads. Streep plays Madeline, an aging actress looking to regain her youth. Goldie Hawn plays her arch-nemesis Helen, a struggling writer wanting to slim down and win her boyfriend (Bruce Willis) back. The two drink the same immortality potion, accidentally die, and are left trying to cover up the fact that they’re now walking corpses. It’s a real riot.
Lost Boys (1987)
Run Time: 97 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
Maybe Lost Boys isn’t strictly comedy – its roots lean more towards horror and mystery than anything else – but the film has only gotten campier with age and much of that is thanks to Kiefer Sutherland’s iconic turn as the leader of a rowdy group of young vampires. Well that, and the over-the-top gore-porn this film trades in. When two brothers arrive in a seaside California oasis, they stumble into a vampire’s nest. One is turned, but only partially, and to regain his human status, he must kill the head vampire of the clan. Did you know a bathtub full of garlic and holy water caused the undead to disintegrate? Because we didn’t.
Little Monsters (2019)
Run Time: 93 min | IMDb: 6.3/10
Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o stars in this darkly comedic zombie flick, playing a plucky schoolteacher charged with keeping her class safe amidst a surprise zombie outbreak. Josh Gad joins her as Teddy, an obnoxious television personality who hosts the class on the field trip gone wrong and, with the help of a washed-up musician, the three try to fight off the undead — and not kill each other in the process. It’s a nice change of pace to see Nyong’o flexing her comedy muscles and there’s enough gore and thrills to keep horror fans on the edge of their seats.
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Run Time: 105 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
We can’t talk about quirky supernatural offerings without mentioning director Tim Burton, who’s arguably done the most to make this genre go mainstream. Some of his best work remains this delightfully weird dark comedy starring Johnny Depp as an unfinished, artificial man named Edward with blades for hands. When Edward ventures into town and falls for the girl-next-door (Winona Ryder) he’s faced with the tough, mishap-filled job of fitting in.
Life After Beth (2014)
Run Time: 89 min | IMDb: 5.6/10
Aubrey Plaza and Dane DeHaan star in this horror-comedy about a guy named Zach mourning the loss of his girlfriend, only to discover she’s come back to life. Plaza stars as Beth, the dead girl revived, who begins exhibiting strange behavior, eventually going into full-blown zombie mode while her devoted boyfriend Zach (DeHaan) tries to manage her mood swings and her pesky craving for human flesh. John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon play Beth’s parents, who hilariously try to cover-up their daughter’s current undead state, and though things go off the rails in the final third, watching Plaza play a moody, angst-ridden walking corpse is one hell of a good time.
Addams Family (1991)
Run Time: 99 min | IMDb: 6.9/10
There’s more to this family-friendly supernatural comedy than just its iconic opening theme song, and though the film’s sequel feels a bit livelier – thanks to Joan Cusack’s serial killing seductress – the original is a must-watch if only to cement your undying love for this clan of weirdos. There’s the mysterious, elegant Anjelica Huston as Morticia, the family’s matriarch. There’s Raul Julia as Gomez, all suave mustachioed masculinity. There’s Christopher Lloyd as the good-natured younger brother whose disappearance fuels much of the plot. And then there are Wednesday (a deliciously dark Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman), with their macabre shenanigans that help unearth a plot to swindle the family fortune. Oh, and hairy cousins and sentient hands and two-headed relatives.
Fright Night (2011)
Run Time: 106 min | IMDb: 6.3/10
Sure, this is a remake that might not be as good as the original but it does have one thing that no other supernatural comedy on this list has: Colin Farrell … as a vampire. Anton Yelchin plays Charley, a suburban kid who discovers his next-door neighbor Jerry (Farrell) is actually a bloodsucker. With help from his mom (Toni Collette), his girlfriend (Imogen Poots), and a magician (David Tennant), Charley sets out to destroy Jerry before he can turn anyone else from his block.
Run Time: 88 min | IMDb: 5.7/10
Elijah Wood and Rainn Wilson star in this absurd dark comedy that manages to elevate the zombie horror genre. How? By giving us a virus that only turn preadolescents into crazed flesh-eaters. Wood, Wilson, and Alison Pill play teachers at an elementary school in Fort Chicken, Illinois. When a student eats a contaminated chicken nugget containing a mutant strain of a virus that turns her into a mindless cannibal, the teachers are forced to fight their way through swaths of bite-sized biters to survive. It’s ridiculous and full of humor, and yet, there’s something deeply disturbing about child zombies.
Run Time: 106 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
This 80s horror-comedy from Joe Dante follows the story of a kid named Billy who receives a magical creature named a mogwai as a pet. When the boy breaks the rules while caring for the pet, he inadvertently causes the creature to spawn smaller, evil monsters’ intent on destroying the world. It’s an 80s classic that’s a bit graphic considering the main villains are live-action Furbies and, let’s face it, there’s nothing scarier than kids with weird-a** pets.