While the horror genre isn’t typically known to be jovial, there are some exceptions to the general rule of thumb. When thinking about horror, in all its gory, gruesome grisliness, the immediate connotations aren’t fun-filled imagery of sunshine and rainbows. Instead, the sub-genre is heavily associated with devastating deaths, petrifying possessions and spooky scares. Still, horror is the easiest sub-genre to cross-over with others, giving rise to the comedy-horror, horror-thriller and action-horror categories among others.
While not every horror junkie does so, there are some fans that tend to gravitate more towards the tame PG13 horrors over the stomach-churning R-rated horrors. Just like some animated films are darker than others, some horrors are lighter than others. Some title suggestions, courtesy of the subreddit r/horror, paint the popular sub-genre in a softer light.
Achieving almost 50 upvotes, The Cabin in the Woods takes the cake for fun-loving horrors. Made more appealing by its combined star power of Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, and Bradley Whitford, The Cabin in the Woods centers on a group of college students who vacation to a remote cabin and become the victims of horrifying monsters operated by puppeteering technicians in an underground facility.
Directed by Drew Goddard and written by Joss Whedon, The Cabin in the Woods perfectly balances standard horror tropes with its fair share of silly moments and laughable special effects. While the story is a unique one, the main appeal of Goddard’s horror comedy is that it revitalizes the slasher genre while acting as a critical satire on torture porn. There’s more than enough goofy antics and downright ludicrous scenes to qualify for a ‘fun’ horror.
With enough upvotes to surpass even that of The Cabin in the Woods, the fan-favorite award for hilarious horror goes to Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, a 2010 black comedy horor featuring Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk and Katrina Bowden as the leading trio. In an interesting twist that turns the conventional horror format on its head, Labine and Tudyk play a pair of amiable hillbillies who are mistaken for killers by a group of college students. Clearly borrowing inspiration from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and possibly even Wrong Turn, Eli Craig’s bizarre horror parodies beloved slashers while approaching their concepts from a new, refreshing angle. Believe it or not, there are equal parts laughs, scares and heartfelt moments in Tucker & Dale vs. Evil.
Listing off a few more candidates, some more ‘gentle’ horrors include Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Wish Upon, A Quiet Place, Insidious and Happy Death Day. While we can at least agree with the majority of these suggestions, Insidious is somewhat questionable because it has often been cited as terrifying and paved the way for even more horrifying copycat films in The Conjuring series, Lights Out, Mama and more — which are anything but fun.
Besides that, all the other films mentioned above have elements of subdued horror that aren’t as harsh as the genre typically permits.
There’s no shame in being squeamish. At least these horror films are easier to stomach than Saw and Hostel.