8 best horror comedies to watch before Scream 5

The Scream franchise returns next Friday with the release of Scream, the confusingly entitled 5th movie of the renowned meta scary franchise. Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, and David Arquette repeat their functions as Sidney Prescott, Wind Weathers, and Dewey Riley together with a brand-new generation of survivors scared by yet another Ghostface killer, while Prepared or Not directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett step up to helm this newest installation in the wake of series developer Wes Craven’s death in 2015.

It’s not an overstatement to state that the tradition of the Scream franchise is inextricably connected to the renewal of slasher scary movies in the late ’90s and the continued advancement of the category to this day. While definitely not the very first franchise to parody the tropes of cinematic scary, the success of Craven’s 1996 initial and its subsequent follows up has actually generated both replica and reinvention alike in the years considering that.

Here are 8 of the very best horror-comedies offered to stream and watch prior to


The Cabin in the Woods

Picture: Allstar/Lionsgate

Drew Goddard’s The Cabin in the Woods has actually ruled undisputed as the go-to modern example of satirical scary considering that it was launched back in 2011. As such, you’re more than most likely to currently know the twist behind its facility, however simply in case: the movie centers on 5 university student who take a trip to a cabin in the woods for a long weekend trip. While there, the group are assailed by a host of horrific creatures, all of whom seem to be connected to a terrible ritual in which the hapless co-eds find themselves entwined.

The Cabin in the Woods is available to stream on Peacock.

Evil Dead 2

Bruce Campbell and Denise Bixler in Evil Dead 2

Photo: StudioCanal

At once a sequel and a soft remake of the original Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2 finds oafish everyman Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) holed up in a cabin with a new group of survivors as they’re forced to fend off an onslaught of deadites unleashed through foul magical powers of the Necronomicon. With a bigger budget, improved special effects, chilling scares, and a thoroughly unhinged Ash wielding a chainsaw mounted on his stump of wrist, Evil Dead 2 is a horror film that manages to be shocking all the while winking to its audience. —TE

Evil Dead 2 is available to stream on HBO Max.

Freaky

Lit entirely in red, Freaky star Kathryn Newton brandishes a chainsaw

Photo: Universal Pictures

Happy Death Day director Christopher Landon tries his hand at the body swap subgenre with his 2020 slasher comedy Freaky starring Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton. A twist on the facility of Freaky Friday, the movie centers on a teenage girl (Newton) who accidentally switches bodies with a middle-aged serial killer (Vaughn) and must find a way to switch back while avoiding being murdered herself. As Roxana Hadidi wrote in her review for Polygon, “Freaky is committed to a cheeky upending of genre conventions, with a concluding act that delivers one last bloody thrill […] amusing and gory enough to still be an entertaining slasher movie with its own satisfying spin on the final-girl trope.” —TE

Freaky is available to stream on HBO Max.

Happy Death Day

The babyface killer in Happy Death Day.

Photo: Universal Pictures

Paranormal Activity 2 director Christopher Landon’s 2017 black comedy slasher Happy Death Day can be best described as “Groundhog Day meets Scream.” The film centers on Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe), a self-centered student and sorority sister who is murdered by a mysterious masked assailant on her birthday only to wake up miraculously back in the bed of her classmate Carter (Israel Broussard). While at first taking advantage of her apparent immortality, Tree attempts to track down her killer and break the cycle when she realizes her body is slowly deteriorating from the repeated attempts on her life. Funny, quirky, and at times legitimately terrifying, Happy Death Day is an excellent horror comedy with a clever concept executed to perfection. —TE

Happy Death Day is available to rent on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu.

Ready or Not

A woman in a wedding dress holds a sign that says “hide and seek”

Image: Searchlight Pictures

Samara Weaving (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) stars in Ready or Not as Grace, a newlywed bride who finds herself in the middle of deadly game of hide and seek orchestrated by her in-laws. Forced to hide in the labyrinthine corridors and secret passageways of the family’s mansion, Grace thwarting repeated attempts on her life while searching for a means of escape, ultimately transforming into a ruthless survivor who turns the tables on her would-be hunters. Weaving is phenomenal here with a performance worthy of the title of ‘Scream Queen’. Considering that directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett are helming the fifth Scream film in the wake of Wes Craven’s passing in 2015, it only seems right to watch Ready or Not in the lead up to this new installment. —TE

Ready or Not is available to rent on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu.

The Return of the Living Dead

An shambling zombie from The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Image: Shout Factory

At once a spiritual sequel and satire of 1968’s Night of the Living Dead, Dan O’Bannon’s Return of the Living Dead injected new life (pun-intended) into the zombie horror genre, introducing the idea of the brain-devouring undead capable of sprinting after their prey while sprinkling in generous amounts of slapstick humor, punk aesthetics, and leering nudity. The film follows a bumbling warehouse worker and his assistant who accidentally unleash a deadly biochemical gas capable of re-animating the dead. Throw in a motley crew of delinquent teenagers, impressive special effects, and a rockin’ soundtrack, and you’ve got horror comedy more than worthy of its cult status. —TE

The Return of the Living Dead is streaming on HBO Max.

Scream

drew barrymore as casey screams into the window when she catches ghostface’s reflection

Photo: Dimension Films

How better to prepare for 2022’s Scream than to return to the beginning? Wes Craven’s meta-horror original is widely acknowledged for having revitalized the flagging slasher genre when it first slashed across screens in 1996, borrowing from the psychological horror of the 1970s and onward to create a film that interrogate the well-worn tropes of horror films while simultaneously carving a new path forward. Sidney Prescott and co.’s decades-long battle against a swath of copycat Ghostface killers wouldn’t have existed were it not for the immense success of the original, so it only makes sense to pay respects to the original before watching the series’ fifth entry. —TE

Scream is available to stream on Peacock.

Tucker and Dale Vs Evil

Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk as Tucker and Dale in Tucker & Dale vs Evil

Image: Magnolia Home Entertainment

Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine star in Eli Craig’s Tucker and Dale vs. Evil as the eponymous Tucker and Dale, two affable hillbillies who find themselves in a whole mess of trouble after crossing paths with a group of skittish college trainees out camping in the woods. A twist on horror classics like The Hills Have Eyes and Evil Dead, the strength of Craig’s film is in how it subverts the expectations of genre tropes to maximum comedic effect, transforming what on its face would be a horror scenario into a comedy of failed communication on par with that of a Looney Toons skit, albeit with way more gore. —TE

Tucker and Dale Vs Evil is offered to stream on Kanopy with a library card.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.