I hate horror films. I always have and chances are good that I always will. Because of that, Halloween is the time of year that forces me to be strategic because I’m always being asked to recommend a good horror movie or, worse yet, a scary movie to watch with friends. I know there are plenty of people out there that hate horror films as much as I do and because of that, I’ve created a list of movies that could be considered scary, but aren’t actually scary. So if you’re at a Halloween party and someone suggests putting on a movie, feel free to pipe up with one of these films.
10. TREMORS – I find movies that blend humor and horror are usually more funny than scary, so picking a movie like TREMORS is a safe bet. It’s a fun, lighthearted movie and also, it’s hard to take giant, angry worms too seriously.
9. OPEN WATER – The great thing about OPEN WATER is that it sets a frightening tone throughout the film without ever showing you anything. You’re scared for the two divers, but it’s not really a scary movie as much as it is a movie about survival.
8. MONSTER SQUAD – If kids can fight vampires, mummies and werewolves, then surely you can muster the courage to watch them. MONSTER SQUAD is a classic 80’s film about a group of kids that fight various supernatural beings in their neighborhood. I loved this as a kid and when I re-watched it a few years ago, I was surprised by how intense it was for an 80’s movie.
7. THE MIST – Most people that saw THE MIST wonder why it wasn’t more successful. It’s an intense, exciting film about a strange mist that takes over a small town and the team of townsfolk that hold up in a supermarket. It’s not very scary and like OPEN WATER, it’s more about what could happen than what actually happens.
6. CLOVERFIELD – Of all the found-footage films out there, I consider CLOVERFIELD to be the best. For those that are looking for a semi-intense film that might be too much for young viewers, this should suffice. It might be a stretch to consider this “scary”, but it’s a nice way to ease into the scary movie genre.
5. SIGNS – The first of two M. Knight Shyamalan movies on the list, SIGNS is another film that I never considered scary until I heard others label it as scary. I consider it more of an alien-invasion film, but I can see how it might make some people jump. The good news is that the intense scenes are dramatic without the gore, which should help those that don’t like the blood.
4. SCREAM – I just can’t take high school kids seriously, so there’s no way I can be scared by a movie that features random kids being killed in hilarious fashion. Some might argue that this is scary, but I found it more funny and inventive (at the time, anyway) than most horror films.
3. ALIEN – ALIEN is not scary, it’s intense. It was billed as a horror movie back in the day, but time has turned it into more of a science-fiction story than a horror story. Be warned; it is a little gory at times, so if that makes you nervous, you might want to skip it. However, if you’ve been avoiding it because you think it’s too scary, you’re doing yourself an injustice.
2. PSYCHO – This is a good one to suggest to friends because a) you’ll look smart for picking a Hitchcock movie and b) you won’t be scared because there’s no gore or blood. The brilliance of the film is in Hitchcock’s direction, which means he made scenes look scary despite his limitations with the censors. But it was made in 1960 and is black and white, so it’s obviously not that scary.
1. THE SIXTH SENSE – I consider this a drama, but I know a lot of people that would consider this a horror film. It’s a creepy film, but I wouldn’t call it scary. It’s another one that shouldn’t be missed just because you don’t like horror movies. Hopefully, you don’t know the ending, but even if you do, you should still enjoy it.