With a low box office opening of $24.3 million—for a movie that cost at least $200 million to make and market—Disney’s Haunted Mansion might end up haunting its producers more than any fright it invoked in audiences. Arguably, you could attribute such a big flop to the two giants it’s competing against—Barbie and Oppenheimer. But let’s be honest, the film isn’t great either.
Don’t let that put you off horror-comedy as a genre, though. Here’s a list of movies that do an exceptional job of balancing their jump scares with their punchlines. From a Zom-com set in Goa to a meta-humour murder mystery filled with screams, and a holiday getaway gone horribly wrong—here’s a list of movies that brilliantly blend horror and comedy, leaving audiences entertained, spooked, and in stitches.
Shaun Of The Dead
Shaun of the Dead follows the misadventures of Shaun, a loveable yet aimless man played brilliantly by Simon Pegg, who finds himself caught in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. Alongside his bumbling best friend Ed, Shaun embarks on a mission to save his friends, family, and, most importantly, his beloved girlfriend, Liz. While the zombies provide plenty of eerie and spine-chilling moments, the heart of the film lies in its well-developed characters and their relationships. As the story unfolds, we witness Shaun’s growth from an underachiever to a hero, with a relatable vulnerability that makes us root for him throughout. What sets this movie apart is its perfect blend of wit and genuine emotion.
Available on Amazon Prime
The sixth and highest-rated instalment in the Scream franchise is one of the best examples of how to get a sequel right. Scream V was written in such a way that the film offers something to the hard-core fans of the franchise without putting off the first-time viewers of the franchise. Scream VI attempts a similar balancing act, and pulls it off with style.
Series protagonist Sam Carpenter accompanies her younger sister Tara and their fraternal twin friends Chad and Mindy Meeks-Martin to New York, where they are all now attending college. However, when the Ghostface killer reappears, the original four find themselves in danger even in the most public locations. The franchise nailed what is praised for and loved by it’s fans the most—making modern, meta-humour-filled whodunit murder mysteries in which the focus is on a group of teens who may all be the potential culprit. Is it the last game’s survivor, the love interest, a new buddy, or even a copycat killer?
Available on Amazon Prime
Go Goa Gone
Set against the picturesque backdrop of Goa, Go Goa Gone follows the escapades of three friends—Hardik (Kunal Khemu), Luv (Vir Das), and Bunny (Anand Tiwari)—as they embark on what was supposed to be an epic rave party. Little did they know that their plans would be derailed by a zombie outbreak, turning their weekend getaway into a fight for survival. This movie ingeniously combines zombies, comedy, and a beach vacation gone awry, delivering a fresh and exhilarating experience that stands out in its genre. What sets Go Goa Gone apart from typical zombie movies is its innovative approach to the undead. Imagine partying in Goa and zombies join you and now it’s the last dance, literally. Not to mention it was Bollywood’s first zombie-comedy.
Available on Netflix, Zee5, YouTube and Apple TV
This Is The End
The film features a star-studded cast, including Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, and Danny McBride, with each actor playing an exaggerated version of themselves. This Is The End begins innocently enough as the group of friends gathers at James Franco’s lavish house to celebrate and have a good time. But when the apocalypse unexpectedly descends upon Los Angeles, chaos ensues, and the six friends find themselves trapped in the mayhem. The film’s genius lies in its unapologetic self-referential humour and inside jokes that poke fun at Hollywood culture, and the personalities of its main cast. It is a joy to see these talented comedians riff off one another while adding an extra layer of absurdity to the apocalyptic setting.
Available on Amazon Prime
In a world overrun by the undead, a diverse group of survivors try to navigate their way through the chaos. Columbus, portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg, is a neurotic and rule-abiding young man whose hilarious list of survival tips serves as the backbone of the movie’s humour. He teams up with the rough-and-tough Tallahassee, played by Woody Harrelson, whose unwavering love for Twinkies becomes an endearing and comical obsession. Along the way, they encounter the resourceful and fearless sisters, Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), forming an unlikely family unit amidst the apocalypse. The chemistry between the four leads is palpable, providing an excellent balance of humour, action, and heart throughout the film.
Available on SonyLIV
Set in the quaint town of Chanderi, Stree revolves around the urban legend of a vengeful female ghost who preys on men during an annual four-day festival. The mysterious disappearances of men have gripped the town with fear, prompting hilarious safety measures, such as writing “O Stree, Kal Aana” (O Woman, Come Tomorrow) on the walls to ward off the spirit. Leading the charge is Vicky, portrayed brilliantly by Rajkummar Rao, a talented tailor with a skeptical mind. His encounters with the enigmatic and alluring Shraddha Kapoor, who plays the mysterious woman with a secret, add a layer of intrigue to the story. Stree effortlessly transitions between moments of spookiness and laugh-out-loud humour, creating an engaging narrative that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The screenplay, written by Raj and D.K., strikes the perfect balance between horror and comedy, making sure the scares never overshadow the comedy, and vice versa.
Available on Netflix, Hotstar and JioCinema