Best Horror, Thriller, and Suspense Films with a Sense of Humor

by bfomara | created - 21 Jan 2012 | updated - 3 days ago | Public

So difficult to rank these. The higher they are on the list the greater re-watch value they have.

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1. The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

66 Metascore

When two bumbling employees at a medical supply warehouse accidentally release a deadly gas into the air, the vapors cause the dead to rise again as zombies.

Director: Dan O'Bannon | Stars: Clu Gulager, James Karen, Don Calfa, Thom Mathews

Votes: 53,717 | Gross: $14.24M

2. Ghostbusters (1984)

PG | 105 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy

71 Metascore

Three former parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.

Director: Ivan Reitman | Stars: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis

Votes: 349,334 | Gross: $238.63M

3. The Guest (I) (2014)

R | 100 min | Action, Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

A soldier introduces himself to the Peterson family, claiming to be a friend of their son who died in action. After the young man is welcomed into their home, a series of accidental deaths seem to be connected to his presence.

Director: Adam Wingard | Stars: Dan Stevens, Sheila Kelley, Maika Monroe, Joel David Moore

Votes: 89,631 | Gross: $0.32M

This one starts off like feeling like a bad lifetime film but ends up being MUCH more

This could also go in my favorite synthesizer list but I feel like it's more appropriate here.

4. Blood Rage (1987)

R | 82 min | Horror

As kids, Todd is institutionalized for a murder whilst his twin goes free. 10 years later, on Thanksgiving, Todd escapes and a killing spree begins in his neighborhood.

Director: John Grissmer | Stars: Louise Lasser, Mark Soper, Julie Gordon, Jayne Bentzen

Votes: 3,493

5. American Psycho (2000)

R | 101 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

64 Metascore

A wealthy New York City investment banking executive, Patrick Bateman, hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he delves deeper into his violent, hedonistic fantasies.

Director: Mary Harron | Stars: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, Bill Sage

Votes: 478,372 | Gross: $15.07M

6. Night of the Comet (1984)

PG-13 | 95 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

59 Metascore

A comet wipes out most of life on Earth, leaving two Valley Girls fighting against cannibal zombies and a sinister group of scientists.

Director: Thom Eberhardt | Stars: Catherine Mary Stewart, Kelli Maroney, Robert Beltran, Sharon Farrell

Votes: 18,154 | Gross: $14.42M

These girls are no damsels in distress, they handle their post-apocalyptic world with confidence and good sense of humor. I wish there were more female protagonist films like this.

Another movie could also go in my favorite synthesizer list.

7. The Greasy Strangler (2016)

Unrated | 93 min | Comedy, Horror

58 Metascore

Ronnie runs a Disco walking tour with his son, Brayden. When a sexy woman takes the tour, it begins a competition between father and son for her love. It also signals the arrival of an oily strangler who stalks the streets at night.

Director: Jim Hosking | Stars: Michael St. Michaels, Sky Elobar, Elizabeth De Razzo, Gil Gex

Votes: 6,447 | Gross: $0.04M

This is a comedy first and horror second. It feels like Napoleon Dynamite meets Tim & Eric so if you're a fan of one or both you should like this.

8. Society (1989)

R | 99 min | Comedy, Horror

An ordinary teenage boy discovers his family is part of a gruesome orgy cult for the social elite.

Director: Brian Yuzna | Stars: Billy Warlock, Concetta D'Agnese, Ben Slack, Evan Richards

Votes: 14,301

9. Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

PG-13 | 88 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

43 Metascore

Aliens who look like clowns come from outer space and terrorize a small town.

Director: Stephen Chiodo | Stars: Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson, John Vernon

Votes: 32,555 | Gross: $15.63M

10. Father's Day (I) (2011)

Not Rated | 99 min | Action, Comedy, Horror

A murderer, a priest, and a delinquent try to bring down a father-killing madman.

Directors: Adam Brooks, Jeremy Gillespie, Matthew Kennedy, Steven Kostanski, Conor Sweeney | Stars: Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy, Conor Sweeney, Amy Groening

Votes: 2,700

Another movie could also go in my favorite synthesizer list.

11. The Editor (2014)

Not Rated | 95 min | Comedy, Crime, Horror

A film editor gets embroiled in a string of murders.

Directors: Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy | Stars: Paz de la Huerta, Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy, Conor Sweeney

Votes: 2,396

This feels like "Garth Marenghi's Darkplace" but mostly focuses its style and jokes on the Italian thriller/horror's or "Giallos."

Awesome synth score paying homage to goblin.

12. Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)

PG-13 | 106 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

The Gremlins are back, and this time, they've taken control of a New York City media mogul's high-tech skyscraper.

Directors: Joe Dante, Chuck Jones | Stars: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, John Glover, Robert Prosky

Votes: 91,359 | Gross: $41.48M

13. Blood Diner (1987)

Unrated | 88 min | Comedy, Horror

Two brothers are entrusted by their uncle to uphold the ritualistic cannibalism of the ancient cult of Sheetar. In order to do so, they have to prepare a feast of sacrifice for the resurrection of their goddess.

Director: Jackie Kong | Stars: Rick Burks, Carl Crew, Roger Dauer, LaNette La France

Votes: 4,050

Feels like a really good Troma film.

14. Evil Dead II (1987)

R | 84 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy

72 Metascore

The lone survivor of an onslaught of flesh-possessing spirits holes up in a cabin with a group of strangers while the demons continue their attack.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley DePaiva

Votes: 145,774 | Gross: $5.92M

15. Body Double (1984)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

69 Metascore

A young actor's obsession with spying on a beautiful woman who lives nearby leads to a baffling series of events with drastic consequences.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Craig Wasson, Melanie Griffith, Gregg Henry, Deborah Shelton

Votes: 28,309 | Gross: $8.80M

This is a very 80's stylized rendition of Hitchcock classics Rear Window and Vertigo. This movie is mostly a thriller although it has one scene that feels like a campy slasher.

I can't think of any laugh-out-loud or chuckle moments but, it does parody Hollywood and the Adult film industry a bit. There is also a very amusing diegetic music scene that features the band Frankie Goes To Hollywood. (This is when the characters in the movie can hear and react to the music being played)

16. TerrorVision (1986)

R | 83 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

A family's new satellite TV system starts receiving signals from another planet, and soon it becomes the passageway to an alien world.

Director: Ted Nicolaou | Stars: Diane Franklin, Mary Woronov, Gerrit Graham, Chad Allen

Votes: 6,313 | Gross: $0.32M

17. Army of Darkness (1992)

R | 81 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

59 Metascore

A sardonic hardware store clerk is accidentally transported to 1300 A.D., where he must retrieve the Necronomicon and battle an army of the dead so he can return home.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert, Ian Abercrombie

Votes: 160,743 | Gross: $11.50M

18. Summer of Blood (2014)

Unrated | 86 min | Comedy, Horror

55 Metascore

Erik Sparrow is one of the lucky ones. He's got a good job. He's in a stable relationship. He lives in one of the greatest cities in the world. Does he deserve it? Probably not. He's not ... See full summary »

Director: Onur Tukel | Stars: Jonathan Caouette, Zach Clark, Dustin Guy Defa, Juliette Fairley

Votes: 1,063

19. The Evil Dead (1981)

NC-17 | 85 min | Horror

71 Metascore

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker

Votes: 183,926 | Gross: $2.40M

20. Dead Alive (1992)

R | 104 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy

54 Metascore

A young man's mother is bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey. She gets sick and dies, at which time she comes back to life, killing and eating dogs, nurses, friends, and neighbors.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Timothy Balme, Diana Peñalver, Elizabeth Moody, Ian Watkin

Votes: 90,473 | Gross: $0.24M

21. Encounters of the Spooky Kind (1980)

R | 102 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy

Cheung's wife and boss are seeing each other, and decide to dispatch him with a wizard. But the wizard's rival aids and defends Cheung and a magic war rises.

Director: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung | Stars: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Fat Chung, Lung Chan, Ha Huang

Votes: 1,829

22. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)

G | 85 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

87 Metascore

Wallace and his loyal dog, Gromit, set out to discover the mystery behind the garden sabotage that plagues their village and threatens the annual giant vegetable growing contest.

Directors: Steve Box, Nick Park | Stars: Peter Sallis, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Peter Kay

Votes: 123,803 | Gross: $56.11M

23. The Toxic Avenger (1984)

R | 82 min | Action, Comedy, Horror

42 Metascore

Tromaville has a monstrous new hero. The Toxic Avenger is born when meek mop boy Melvin falls into a vat of toxic waste. Now evildoers will have a lot to lose.

Directors: Michael Herz, Lloyd Kaufman | Stars: Andree Maranda, Mitch Cohen, Jennifer Babtist, Cindy Manion

Votes: 24,788

So why couldn't Troma make all their films this good? Loaded with tons of genuine 80's punk style, over-the-top gore, humor, and sex. Also, a great synth pop score.

24. The 'Burbs (1989)

PG | 102 min | Comedy, Mystery, Thriller

45 Metascore

An overstressed suburbanite and his neighbors are convinced that the new family on the block are part of a murderous Satanic cult.

Director: Joe Dante | Stars: Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher, Corey Feldman

Votes: 67,012 | Gross: $36.60M

Holy crap, the comedic chemistry between Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, and Rick Ducommon is incredible. Lots of great lines and awkward moments. Real underappreciated gem.

25. The Lost Boys (1987)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

63 Metascore

After moving to a new town, two brothers discover that the area is a haven for vampires.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Dianne Wiest, Barnard Hughes

Votes: 121,904 | Gross: $32.22M

Mostly takes itself seriously although the grandfather's hippy/redneck personality can be amusing. The Corey Haim and the frog brothers sub plot is also cheesy and amusing.

26. Demons (1985)

Not Rated | 88 min | Horror

A group of random people are invited to a screening of a mysterious movie, only to find themselves trapped in the theater with ravenous demons.

Director: Lamberto Bava | Stars: Urbano Barberini, Natasha Hovey, Karl Zinny, Fiore Argento

Votes: 19,546

27. The Blob (1988)

R | 95 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A deadly entity from space crashes near a small town and starts to consume anyone in its path. Panic ensues, as shady government scientists try to contain the horrific creature.

Director: Chuck Russell | Stars: Shawnee Smith, Kevin Dillon, Donovan Leitch Jr., Jeffrey DeMunn

Votes: 31,340 | Gross: $8.25M

The tone of this film is more on the serious side although there are some very cute jokes throughout that give the film a little more depth.

I especially like how brutal this film is. It has no problem depicting innocent people being tortured during the blob's digestive process. We even see a pre-teen boy get digested!

I also like the range of humor in the film. The humor gets very Heathers-esque dark when we see a teenage girl almost become sexually violated had she not already been dead.

28. The Lair of the White Worm (1988)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Horror

61 Metascore

When an archaeologist uncovers a strange skull in foreign land, the residents of a near-by town begin to disappear, leading to further inexplicable occurrences.

Director: Ken Russell | Stars: Amanda Donohoe, Hugh Grant, Catherine Oxenberg, Peter Capaldi

Votes: 9,895 | Gross: $1.19M

This is one of the many films that I did not enjoy on VHS or DVD but would eventually fall in love with on the blu ray release. Other films like this include Thief, Suspira, Purple Rain, etc. This says a lot about how much the transfer of the film can set a special look and mood for me if it's done right. These movies aren't very fast paced so the only thing going for them in between scenes is their beautiful video & audio aesthetic.

As far as laughs go, for me it has a few laugh out loud moments but mostly chuckles. I especially love how much like Ken Russell's The Devils, this film combines eroticism and religious absurdity with many of its jokes.

I should add that the film has a decent soundtrack/score which is very important to me. The film's theme is very sythy.

29. The Love Witch (2016)

Unrated | 120 min | Comedy, Horror, Romance

82 Metascore

A modern-day witch uses spells and magic to get men to fall in love with her, with deadly consequences.

Director: Anna Biller | Stars: Samantha Robinson, Jeffrey Vincent Parise, Laura Waddell, Gian Keys

Votes: 12,197 | Gross: $0.23M

All the jokes are very subtle, but they are there and they're very good.

This movie qualified as a Horror because of the supernatural and murder aspects of it. Aside from one bloody stabbing the movie is not gory or scary at all.

Visually, this movie is stunning! The score isn't bad at all either.

30. Matador (1986)

NC-17 | 110 min | Drama, Thriller

A matador is wounded by a bull and can no longer kill in the arena. It just a one flaw besides many others from several characters whom unsuspected collide.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Assumpta Serna, Antonio Banderas, Nacho Martínez, Eva Cobo

Votes: 10,570 | Gross: $0.21M

31. Fright Night (1985)

R | 106 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

62 Metascore

A teenager discovers that the newcomer in his neighborhood is a vampire, so he turns to an actor in a television horror show for help dealing with the undead.

Director: Tom Holland | Stars: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse, Roddy McDowall

Votes: 59,481 | Gross: $24.92M

So Roddy McDowall is practically the film's sole source of humor and his jokes are so few and far between that I'm hesitant to add this to the list. However, because the film's tone is on par with Lost Boys, I feel like it could sit well at least at the bottom of this list for now.

32. Ninja III: The Domination (1984)

R | 92 min | Action, Fantasy, Thriller

25 Metascore

An evil ninja attempts to avenge his death from beyond the grave, by possessing an innocent woman's body.

Director: Sam Firstenberg | Stars: Shô Kosugi, Lucinda Dickey, Jordan Bennett, David Chung

Votes: 3,886 | Gross: $7.61M

This film loosely fits the horror classification as it's mostly a ninja- comedy with some possession from beyond the grave. Just as in "Ninja II" aka "Revenge of the Ninja," director Sam Firstenberg creates a hilarious B-movie world where characters aren't self aware of the bizarre and stupid things that they do. Unlike your typical bad b-movie humor though, it feels like the there might be conscious decision on behalf of the director for the characters to be awkward, and stupid which is a nice layer to add considering the fact that you would expect the movie to be funny by accidental awkwardness and stupidity.

Here's a questionnaire that I'm experimenting with to help identify the type of campy humor we're dealing with:

Q: Is the film overtly satirizing something? A: No Q:Is the film blurring the line between being consciously and unconsciously bad? A: Yes Q: Does the film combine good/decent acting with bad acting? A: Yes Q: Is the pacing slow, steady, or fast? A: Steady/Fast

33. The House on Sorority Row (1982)

R | 91 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

50 Metascore

After a seemingly innocent prank goes horribly wrong, a group of sorority sisters are stalked and murdered one by one in their sorority house while throwing a party to celebrate their graduation.

Director: Mark Rosman | Stars: Kate McNeil, Eileen Davidson, Janis Ward, Robin Meloy

Votes: 7,197 | Gross: $1.29M

Light on the humor, but it's there (mostly in the first half of the film). One hell of a slasher/horror film though and has a nice dark ending. The plot is clearly influenced by the original Friday the 13th but overall it's a much better film in my opinion.

34. The Return of Swamp Thing (1989)

PG-13 | 88 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

39 Metascore

In this tongue-in-cheek sequel, the benevolent bog creature falls for the vegetarian, plant-loving daughter of the evil scientist who created him.

Director: Jim Wynorski | Stars: Dick Durock, Heather Locklear, Louis Jourdan, Sarah Douglas

Votes: 4,229 | Gross: $0.19M

Another movie that I watched so many times as a child that I had to wait 21 years before I could watch it again. I have to believe that the intentional campy humor and synth score in this movie helps establish my taste in film while growing up. The acting isn't the best but it suits the film very well. It's an early example of a superhero film done right as it blends surrealism, romance, action, humor, sci-fi, horror all in one movie. As an added bonus, the movie features Monique Gabrielle in a small but very sexy roll.

35. Freaked (1993)

PG-13 | 80 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi

A vain actor, his best friend, and an activist end up at a mutant freak farm run by a weirdo scientist.

Directors: Tom Stern, Alex Winter | Stars: Brooke Shields, William Sadler, Eduardo Ricard, Henry Carbo

Votes: 6,311 | Gross: $0.03M

I watched this over and over again on HBO when I was a child. This is definitely one of the films that help shape my sense of humor and taste in comedies at a young age. The first 30 minutes is hit or miss, afterwards it's non-stop laughs.

36. Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1989)

NC-17 | 101 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

55 Metascore

An unbalanced but alluring former mental patient takes a porn star prisoner in the hopes of convincing her to marry him.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Victoria Abril, Antonio Banderas, Loles León, Julieta Serrano

Votes: 24,157 | Gross: $4.09M

37. Law of Desire (1987)

NC-17 | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Thriller

A film maker has a fling with a homicidal possessive fan who threatens his true love and sister.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Eusebio Poncela, Carmen Maura, Antonio Banderas, Miguel Molina

Votes: 10,650

38. Get Out (I) (2017)

R | 104 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

85 Metascore

A young African-American visits his white girlfriend's parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.

Director: Jordan Peele | Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener

Votes: 477,806 | Gross: $176.04M

As a white man who interacts with black individuals in Baltimore on a regular basis, I really enjoyed how uncomfortable this movie made me feel. Most of the jokes stem from white racism or racial discomfort and despite the fact that I did laugh a lot, I would have appreciated a greater range in styles of humor. This film can only be seen with a racially diverse audience, otherwise you're not going to feel the full effect.

The only other problems I have with the film are it's predictability and deer metaphor that it tries to beat you over the head with.

39. The Last Horror Film (1982)

R | 87 min | Comedy, Horror

A New York taxi driver stalks a beautiful actress attending the Cannes Film Festival, which coincides with a series of violent killings of the lady's friends.

Director: David Winters | Stars: J'Len Winters, John Kelly, Joe Spinell, Simone Overman

Votes: 1,553

40. Fido (2006)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror

70 Metascore

Space radiation turns the dead into Zombies. Zomcon fights zombies and finds ways to pacify and use them. On pre-teen Timmy's (Kesun Loder's) 1950s suburban street, they all have a zombie doing menial chores. Timmy's zombie becomes his pet and friend, and is named Fido (Sir Billy Connolly).

Director: Andrew Currie | Stars: Kesun Loder, Billy Connolly, Carrie-Anne Moss, David Kaye

Votes: 27,949 | Gross: $0.30M

41. What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

R | 86 min | Comedy, Horror

76 Metascore

Viago, Deacon and Vladislav are vampires who are finding that modern life has them struggling with the mundane - like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs and overcoming flatmate conflicts.

Directors: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi | Stars: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Jonny Brugh

Votes: 152,800 | Gross: $3.33M

42. Drag Me to Hell (2009)

PG-13 | 99 min | Horror, Thriller

83 Metascore

A loan officer who evicts an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse. Desperate, she turns to a seer to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Ruth Livier, Lorna Raver

Votes: 186,024 | Gross: $42.10M

43. Ghosthouse (1988)

Not Rated | 95 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Visions of a deceased girl and her doll bring doom to the visitors of a deserted house.

Director: Umberto Lenzi | Stars: Lara Wendel, Greg Rhodes, Mary Sellers, Ron Houck

Votes: 2,122

This isn't a true horror comedy but anybody who's seen it should agree that the tone of this movie isn't entirely serious either. The film's blend between poor acting and legitimate creepiness is something I've only seen in 1983's The House on Sorority Row. This seeming unbalanced talent between the Director/crew and actors gives the film a unique feeling that's strangely refreshing.

Even though there is an obvious sense of campiness from some characters such as Valkos and Pepe, you're never sure if the others are simply untalented or they're intentionally trying to act campy. On the other hand, there are a few actors who appear to be genuinely trying such as the character Susan played by Mary Sellers. In this sense, the movie comes off as an entertaining game of "do we know what we're doing or don't we?."

44. This Is the End (2013)

R | 107 min | Comedy

67 Metascore

Six Los Angeles celebrities are stuck in James Franco's house after a series of devastating events just destroyed the city. Inside, the group not only have to face the apocalypse, but themselves.

Directors: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen | Stars: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel

Votes: 379,741 | Gross: $101.47M

45. Prom Night III: The Last Kiss (1990)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror, Thriller