Gaining popularity in the 1970s and 1980s with hits like Halloween (1979) and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), the slasher horror subgenre features quick and creative kills and tried-and-true film tropes. You’ve got classic settings like cabins in the woods or high schools with promiscuous characters getting killed off before the Final Girl virgin. Though most of the classic slasher movies are serious in tone, if a little campy, sometimes you want a dash of humor with your bloody murders. That’s where slasher comedies come in.
Almost as soon as slasher movies had their footing in the world of horror, so came the parodies and comedy versions of the subgenre. While there have of course been duds, most slasher comedies have been killing it since the 1980s. From the early parodies like Saturday the 14th (1981) and Student Bodies (1981) to the recent classics like Happy Death Day (2017) and Ready or Not (2019), these funny/scary hybrids clearly have staying power. If you’re looking for something fun and bloody to watch, read on for our favorite slasher comedies.
Best Funny Slasher Movies
Mashing together several horror subgenres, from slashers to monster flicks, Saturday the 14th is a classic horror parody that predates the Scary Movie franchise by nearly two decades. With a name cleverly based on the slasher classic, Friday the 13th (1980), this horror comedy finds a family living in a house hiding a secret. A group of monsters are hell-bent on stealing the evil book secreted within its walls, and hilarity ensues. While the slasher elements don’t reach far beyond the title, it’s still a fun movie that held a special place in the hearts of ’80s kids of the era.
All those tropes you love seeing in your favorite teen slasher movies? They’re ever-present in parody horror Student Bodies. When a deep-breathing killer stalks and kills the students of this high school, you’ll get all the creative kills you could hope for. And of course, the students having the most sex are the first to go. Student Brodies brings slapstick to the horror comedy genre with a solid cast despite the obviously lower budget.
Muffy has invited her college friends to her family cabin on a remote island only accessible by ferry. When the ride over results in a horrific accident, the attendees begin to die in gory and imaginative ways. It’s up to the survivors to figure out who’s doing the killing. April Fool’s Day has the perfect balance between light moments of humor and genuine scares that makes it a favorite so many years later.
Don’t let the name fool you; Return to Horror High isn’t a sequel to anything. Instead, it finds a film crew making the site of a former high school murder spree the backdrop for their new horror movie. Unfortunately, someone is killing the crew much in the same way they killed the former students of Crippen High School. This one is less of the absurd parody variety of slasher comedy with more of a balance between the genres.
While the first offering in the Sleepaway Camp series was straight horror (with one of the best twist endings in slasher cinema), its first sequel melds a bit of comedy in with all the killing. Years after the events of the first film, Angela is back to camp, and now she’s a counselor. But if anyone gets out of line, whether camper or fellow counselor, she’ll come up with cheerful and creative ways to take them out. One of the funniest scenes finds Angela considering all manner of murder weapons to eliminate an annoying camper.
Film students turn their school project into a real life old-school triple feature. They’ve got Mosquito, a 3D creature feature, The Attack of the Amazing Electrified Man with in-seat buzzers, and The Stench with “Odorama.” But there’s a killer slowly murdering the students–and wearing their faces in the process. While light on the comedy, Popcorn has just enough silliness to create a fun a memorable watch for this underrated early ’90s slasher.
Not only did Wes Craven’s Scream revive the stalling slasher genre for a new generation, it added meta wit and whimsy to give a light-hearted feel to an otherwise scary premise. Scream, in which a Ghostface killer is stalking the teens of Woodsboro, is self-aware, often talking about the classic horror tropes we’ve all come to know and love. Though it features funny and irreverent dialog, it still scared the pants off audiences then and now.
Tiffany Valentine (Jennifer Tilly), former lover of the serial killer, Charles Lee Ray, wants to resurrect him through the doll he inhabited before he died. The resurrection process goes awry and Tiffany finds herself transformed into her own living doll. While the original Child’s Play movies were all fear and no laughs, this offering moved the needle well into the realm of comedy–and Bride of Chucky turned into a cult classic masterpiece.
While Scary Movie parodies many of the horror films that have come before it like Halloween, The Sixth Sense, and The Blair Witch Project, the main basis for the plot of the movie is previous entry on the list, Scream. Heavy on the comedy, Anna Faris, Marlon Wayans, and Regina Hall steal the show. Scary Movie spawned an entire series of its own with four sequels, though the original is often considered the best of the bunch.
Paradise Island is the place to go when you want fun in the sun–a true island paradise. Beach volleyball, summer romance–it’s all here. It’d be perfect if it wasn’t for the killer stalking and slaughtering everyone they can get their hands on. Club Dread was created by comedy troupe Broken Lizard, who made Super Troopers (2001) and Beerfest (2006). Though it’s had mixed reviews Broken Lizard themselves name this their funniest movie.
Tucker and Dale just want to spend their off-time at their new cabin in the woods, but a group of college kids sure aren’t making it easy. They keep accidentally killing themselves, and they’re blaming Tucker and Dale for it. This slasher comedy–with a dash of romance–is considered by many as one of the best horror comedies of all time. Fans are on to something, since it’s both funny and heartwarming with incredibly likeable characters.
A group of college friends drive out to a remote cabin in the woods to spend their vacation drinking and having fun. They fit all the horror movie stereotypes, like the virgin, the jock, and the stoner. When they stumble upon a slew of spooky objects in the basement, they bring about a group of supernatural slashers. The Cabin in the Woods is scary, funny, and surprising. If you’ve managed to avoid this movie so far, go in blind for the best experience–because it might not be what you think.
What do you do when your deceased mom starred in a popular ’80s camp slasher? Invite everyone to watch it with you. But when a fire starts in the theater, Max has to bust through the screen to save herself. There’s just one problem: Now she and her friends have been transported into the movie. This is a fun tribute to the summer camp slasher movies of the 1980s that we all know and love.
Tree is just a normal sorority girl–until she gets murdered on her birthday. When she wakes up the next day, back where she was before, she realizes that she’s reliving her birthday/death day over and over. If you’ve ever wanted a funny horror version of Groundhog Day (1993), here you go. Best of all: Happy Death Day truly hilarious and clever, which helped it spawn a not-quite-as-good sequel.
Cole has a major crush on his babysitter, Bee. Unfortunately, when he refuses to go to bed and sneaks out to see what Bee’s up to, he’s confronted with an unfortunate truth: Bee invited her friends, and they’re all a part of a death cult bent on stealing Cole’s blood to perform a murderous ritual. Directed by McG, The Babysitter is gory as hell while packing in the humor. Samara Weaving kills it as Bee, and this won’t be her last big mention on this list.
Someone is slashing the throats of pizza delivery drivers in Ghost Town, and it’s up to Astrid to find the werewolf who’s doing it. If you like your slasher horror comedies to have equal parts slasher and supernatural hijinks, then this is the movie for you. Produced by A24, Slice has an all-star cast with Zazie Beetz, Chance the Rapper, and Joe Keery.
Grace (Samara Weaving) just married into the famous Le Domas family, creators of a board game empire. On the night after the wedding, they initiate her into the family with a random family game. She pulls the “hide and seek” card, and so starts a gruesome night of a deadly game of everyone’s childhood favorite. The entire cast is stunning and perfectly deliver honest scares and hilarious dialog.
Millie is just a regular high school girl. She’s a bit of a nerd, but she’s got great friends. Unfortunately, there’s a killer slaughtering people in town, and when he tries to go for Millie, they end up swapping bodies instead. Now she’s walking around in the killer’s body (Vince Vaughn) and has to figure out a way to switch back and stop the real killer. By the same director as Happy Death Day, Christopher Landon.
A bunch of young people decide to weather a hurricane in the fancy house of a friend. They kick the party up a notch by playing a classic game of “bodies. bodies, bodies.” It’s like hide and seek, except everyone who gets found pretends to get murdered. Unfortunately it goes from pretend to real-life slashings really quickly. Bodies Bodies Bodies is filled with irreverent 2022 Gen Z humor that ended up with a 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
More Funny Slasher Movies
- National Lampoon’s Class Reunion (1982) features a killer stalking a class reunion. Though it was billed as written by John Hughes, he insisted he was fired very early in production, so he couldn’t be blamed for how terribly it turned out.
- Slumber Party Massacre (1982) gets a nod since it was originally meant to be a parody movie. The final cut is a serious slasher, but it still has a few funny moments that hint at its origin.
- Killer Party (1986) shows that college sorority initiations can sometimes be lethal when they unleash slash-happy demonic forces.
- Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988), where chainsaw-wielding prostitutes are out for gruesome revenge. Linnea Quigley fans will enjoy her role as Samantha.
- Jack Frost (1997) finds the titular serial killer dying in an elaborate way that transforms him into an animated snowman bent on killing anyone he finds.
- The Gingerdead Man (2005) is the first in an extended series where a walking, talking gingerbread man just wants to kill.
- The Tripper (2006) is an homage to Wes Craven slasher films directed by Scream alum David Arquette.
- Tormented (2009) has a group of teen bullies getting stalked and murdered by the ghost of the kid they terrorized.
- Detention (2011), a killer is working its way through a high school and the principal puts all of his suspects in detention on the night of prom.
- Stitches (2012) has the titular clown back from the dead to kill off all the kids who contributed to his death.
- You Might Be the Killer (2018) has a killer terrorizing a summer camp, starring favorites Fran Kranz and Alyson Hannigan.
Slasher Comedy TV Shows
- Scream Queens (2015-2016) was created by Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story) and finds a university being terrorized by a murderous slasher.
- Scream: The TV Series (2015-2019) was a reimagining of the original Scream film franchise for television with an updated version of the classic Ghostface mask.
- Chucky (2021-) continues the Chucky doll’s terror as a direct TV sequel to the 2017 film, Cult of Chucky.