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11 Not-So-Scary Halloween Movies to Watch If You’re a Wimp

Everything is fine. Photo: Columbia Pictures, Rogue Pictures, Equity Pictures, Tribeca Film Festival, Focus Features, Melvin Simon Productions

Halloween! A time for chills and frights and many, many suggestions for horror movies to watch. But what if you’re the kind of wuss who absolutely cannot stand scary movies, but still wants to get into the holiday spirit? Must you sit this weekend out, watching something seasonably inappropriate like, I dunno, The Great British Bake Off? No! Instead, check out these horror-adjacent movies that are utterly devoid of scares. This isn’t a list of failed scary films; rather, it’s a list of Halloween movies that have other things on their mind besides making you go jump in the night. You can even watch them with the lights off, we swear.

Zombieland (2009)
Why choose a version of the zombie apocalypse where people get their heads beaten in when you could choose the one about the shy college student who gets to hang out with Woody Harrelson and fall in love with Emma Stone? Of all of the living dead, zombies are the funniest and least threatening, and this perfectly deadpan, feel-good road trip through the wasteland of America keeps the maiming light and loose. Plus, Bill Murray is in it. How can you be scared when Bill Murray is around?! You’ll laugh yourself to sleep.
Available to rent on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.

ParaNorman (2012)
Scared of zombies? What if the zombies are scared of you? Not every creature of the dead or undead is out to get you, and in the world of ParaNorman, they can actually be quite friendly. Preteen Norman is an outcast because he can see ghosts and speak to the dead, but the skill that gets him bullied at school turns out to be actually just what his town needs when faced with a curse from a 300-year-old witch. And the stop-motion animation makes sure even the most gruesome moments — such as a wrestling a corpse after rigor mortis has set in — stay on the light side.
Available to rent on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.

Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
“Bruce Campbell stars as Elvis” should be enough to get you to give Bubba Ho-Tep a gander. If it isn’t, Bruce Campbell stars as Elvis, who is very much alive and residing in an old folks’ home, doomed to live out his days in obscurity and regret. Suddenly, a mummy starts hunting the home’s elderly residents, and the King must rise to the occasion with the help of, of course, an African-American JFK (Ossie Davis).
Available to rent on iTunes.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)
If for some reason you haven’t seen the first film from Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s Cornetto trilogy, head to the TV, stat! Pegg is a disillusioned British bloke who’s so hung-over after a night of carousing with his boorish best friend (Nick Frost) that he doesn’t realize a zombie apocalypse has taken over London. This is an end-of-days story that recognizes that zombies are slow-moving and dumb enough that even these dolts could hole up in their local pub and have a fighting chance of making it out. And, really, at its heart, it’s a buddy comedy, about friendships that last even when one of you is trying to eat the other one’s face off.
Available to rent on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.

The Wicker Man (2006)
The original 1974 Wicker Man is quite scary. Neil LaBute’s remake is … not. Star Nicholas Cage has admitted that the movie is the work of a “mischievous mind,” and sometime around “How’d it get burned?” it seems clear we’re not supposed to take the ridiculous proceedings entirely seriously. By the time Cage starts running around in a bear costume, a certain glee takes over — it’s really fun to watch something this silly.
Available to stream on Netflix.

Beetlejuice (1988)
The afterlife doesn’t have to be a torture chamber of eternal damnation — sometimes, it’s a bureaucracy. And the dead aren’t always monsters; sometimes, they’re people, too. When Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin die, their case worker tells them they have to haunt their old home and scare away the humans taking up residence there. This proves harder than they think, so they enlist the help of Michael Keaton’s bio-exorcist (don’t say his name!), a perverted prankster who is so hilarious, you almost don’t want to get rid of him. How bad can spectral possession be if it makes you lip-sync Harry Belafonte?
Available to rent on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.

Jennifer’s Body (2009)
Okay, yes, Megan Fox does get possessed by a demon and become some kind of cheerleader succubus, but Diablo Cody’s 2009 horror comedy is really about the kind of intense, emotionally complicated friendships you can only form in high school. Being a teenager can really suck, and maul, and levitate, and … you get the picture.
Available to rent on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.

Love at First Bite (1979)
Dracula is practically toothless in this 1979 comedy that sees the count move to New York, only to discover he’s hopelessly outdated. “I couldn’t even scare a field mouse,” he laments to his faithful servant. “In a city where taxicab drivers live in little cages, who’s afraid of a bat anymore?” Struggling with feeling like a has-been, Dracula moves on from trying to frighten people to hitting up the discos and hitting on a fashion model, his reincarnated first love. Bonus for him — she thinks the biting is “kinky.” It’s a vampire rom-com, with Van Helsing’s descendant playing the third in a love triangle. (Pair with 1985’s Once Bitten for a double feature.)
DVD available to purchase on Amazon.

Cursed (2005)
This Wes Craven horror comedy features multiple deaths-by-werewolf, and yet Craven’s light tone (the result of a studio-mandated PG-13 rating) keeps the stakes from ever feeling too high. Today, the only gasps Cursed earns are for its casting: This movie somehow got Jessie Eisenberg, Christina Ricci, Joshua Jackson, Judy Greer, Milo Ventimiglia, Shannon Elizabeth, Portia de Rossi, Nick Offerman, and Scott Baio (playing himself) all in the same room together.
Available to stream on Amazon Prime and HBO.

The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Joss Whedon co-wrote this meta-horror film, which follows a group of young people who experience all manner of torments while spending a weekend in the titular cabin. That may sound scary, but we promise, it isn’t.
Available to rent on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.

Hocus Pocus (1993)
Kathy Najimy, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Bette Midler star as the flamboyant, sinister Sanderson sisters in this modern cult favorite. The witch trio are accidentally resurrected by a plucky trio of kids, who must prevent the sisters from sucking children’s souls. Lucky for the kids, they’ve got the help of an immortal talking cat. Lucky for the audience, Midler gets a musical number. If Hocus Pocus is too scary for you, perhaps it’s time to give up the ghost on the horror genre altogether?
Available to rent on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.

11 Not-Scary Halloween Movies to Watch Right Now