Arts and Entertainment

Horrorble Gallows-een Humor

The Arts & Entertainment Department takes on five of the most comedic(ally bad) horror films.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

A proper Halloween night wouldn’t be complete with a horror film marathon, but for those of you who are too afraid for jump scares and freaky clowns, here’s five recommendations for some more comedic(ally bad) horror films.

“Silent Hill” (2006), by Laura Ilioaei

Have you got some emotional baggage that you just can’t face head-on? Would you prefer to venture into a foggy town, deserted but for yourself and physical manifestations of the things boggling your psyche in the form of zombies, all for the sake of trying to resolve your inner conflicts? You’ve reached the right place. Welcome to Silent Hill!

At least, that’s the general synopsis for every game in the series. For some reason, the company responsible for the games, Konami, allowed a movie director to create a spin-off film (very) loosely based on the first game. “Silent Hill” (the film) features Rose Da Silva (Radha Mitchell) and her daughter Sharon (Jodelle Ferland) venturing into the town of Silent Hill to sort out Sharon’s internal issues. Of course, they get more than they bargained for. Zombies aside, who was expecting an entire satanic cult?

The movie tried. It really did. But the graphics were too surreal to have any sort of scary effect. The blood looked like Kool-Aid even when it splattered in the manner that blood is meant to. Chalk it up to the mix of CGI graphics with live action; clearly, the directors didn’t look at CGI films such as “Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children” to see that even when using CGI alone, something as simple as making a character move realistically is an arduous animation task.

Well, this isn’t going to stop me from grabbing the bag of Caramel M&Ms and watching this again for the sake of Halloween. Cue me protesting at Pyramid Head.

“Trolls 2” (1990) by Jacqueline Thom

In the sequel to the unrelated 1986 film (The horror comedy was named “Troll 2” so that it could be falsely marketed as a sequel to the successful “Troll.”) Joshua Waits (Michael Stephenson), a freckled little boy, keeps seeing his deceased grandfather, Seth, who warns him of the goblins living in Nilbog, a small farming town with more than the 26 people that Joshua’s father claims live there.

After the Waits family arrives at Nilbog for vacation, Seth reappears, trying to prevent the family from ingesting a vibrant green liquid that painfully turns them half-plant, half-human, the goblins’ favorite food.

From the start, things are already very wrong. There aren’t any trolls in this movie, just goblins. These so-called gobins are played by short people wearing very tacky Halloween store masks, and they’re...vegetarian? None of the family members besides Joshua seem aware that non-sentient people are trying to force-feed them green goop, and the Waits instead spend half the movie unaware of the creepy monsters roaming Nilbog.

When the real action comes along though, the incredibly bad acting (think about what it sounds like when your friend is being sarcastic) only adds to the comedy of what is going on. Everyone’s drawn-out screams last for about twenty seconds, and apparently, double-decker bologna sandwiches are poisonous to goblins.

“Troll 2” is, in fact, so terrible that Michael Stephenson himself, who was 31 at the time, released a documentary about the movie, “Best Worst Movie.” The documentary, ironically, is much better than its subject matter, which has since then garnered quite the cult following.

“Hocus Pocus” (1993) by Lucy Lu

* Okay, but who doesn't love ‘90s comedy-[insert other genre] movies.

* A witch raises her cheating ex from the dead to chase children. A teenage boy tries to impress the girl he likes by lighting a black candle that is rumored to resurrect witches. What could go wrong?

* The witches decide to suck the souls out of children.

* Sanderson sisters are iconic, and this movie is a classic.

* Good for people who want to get into the spirit of Halloween but can’t watch scary movies.

* If you’re spending “cuffing season” alone and you’re sad about it for some reason, maybe you’ll relate to the lonely Sanderson hags.

“Scream” (1996) by Lena Farley

Though a classic horror movie, “Scream” is the best horror movie for those too scared to watch actually scary movies. It still has the same jump scares and mystery of a typical horror movie, but what’s even better is watching how stupid these high schoolers can be! Some of the ways they managed to get killed are almost comedic, and take away from the shock of the movie. Note: the original is the only one worth watching.

“Shaun of the Dead” by Jiahe Wang

“Shaun of the Dead,” a gory yet witty British comedy, tells the story of middle-aged loser Shaun (Simon Pegg), whose routine life is interrupted by a sudden zombie apocalypse. It is not for the weak-hearted, in the sense that it is a typical zombie film—people get disemboweled, intestines are thrown around, and zombies are shot down by the dozen. However, it is full of gags perfectly paced to brighten the dark plot. Visionary director Edgar Wright adds many wry twists to make the plot unexpected and refreshing. For example, when Shaun and his friend Ed (Nick Frost) run out of things to throw at the zombies trying to break into their house, they resort to flinging old records at them. However, Shaun grudgingly murmurs, “Some of these are limited,” as he slowly chooses which ones to hurl at the walkers. And when Ed comes across the Batman Soundtrack, Shaun shouts without even thinking, “Throw it!”

“Shaun of the Dead” is also a family movie centered on the growth of its characters: Our couch potato main character, Shaun, proves his courage during the apocalypse and wins back the heart of his girlfriend (Kate Ashfield), who was disappointed with his drinking problems. He reconciles with his obnoxious stepfather after he gets bitten and makes a moving speech about his love for Shaun. While all of this may seem cheesy in any other movie, Edgar Wright executes these scenes perfectly with fitting music and captivating visual storytelling to elevate this wickedly funny spoof film to a new level.

As the Brits say, this movie is bloody good.