8 Not-So-Scary Horror Films To Watch On Halloween If You're A Wimp
Everyone loves a good horror film.
However, with great entertainment, comes great sacrifice – and most of the time, the one thing that takes the brunt of that sacrifice happens to be any possibility of a good night’s sleep.
Why? Well, mainly because, in order to fully immerse yourself in a good horror film, you need to be willing to be scared half-way to death.
And one expected byproduct of being that frightened just happens to be nightmares. And nightmares don’t really help when you’re in need of a good night’s sleep.
Hence the problem.
And with Halloween just around the corner, it’ll be all the more difficult to avoid all the Saw’s and Insidious’s of the binge lists. As a result, such an inevitable dilemma begs the question – are there any horror movies out there that’ll scare you without scaring you too much?
Well, we’ve compiled a list of films that we think might fit that description. If you’re a wimp, but still want to join in with the Halloween festivities, try watching these flicks and see if they tickle your fancy.
Get Out (2017)
Depending on how you look at it, Get Out isn’t exactly a horror film – in the sense that it isn’t traditionally scary. There are no ghosts walking past, no demons or werewolves running wild, and certainly no serial killers on the loose (technically).
However, the plot does involve some subjects that many viewers might find rather horrifying, and it is chock-full with jump scares. Thus, we’ve deemed it scary – but not scary enough to keep you up at night (we hope).
One thing that really gets under our skin about horror films is that they tend to draw on irrational fears.
Ghosts, vampires and zombies may not be real but that doesn’t make us any less scared of them. You set off to bed and, for some reason, you begin to wonder if the shadow of your coat hanging on the door might actually be an evil spirit waiting for you to fall asleep so it can possess your flesh and consume your soul from the inside out.
Only us? Okay. The point is that horror films that focus on real-life fears, like sharks and spiders, hardly ever gain as much traction, because we’re viewing it from a rational viewpoint.
You know that it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to find yourself in the middle of the ocean, in an abandoned, sinking yacht, surrounded by blood-thirsty super sharks with a certain amount of intelligence instilled in their brains thanks to a science experiment gone wrong in a secret laboratory or something of the sort.
Hence the reason why Jaws is on the list. A shark is hardly likely to walk into your room and kill you. A ghost on the other hand …
The Village (2004)
Are we the only ones who viewed this flick as a romance? Yes, we know that it’s supposed to be a psychological drama, but, in all honesty, who didn’t swoon over the relationship between Joaquin Phoenix’s and Bryce Dallas Howard’s characters? All she had to do was hold out her hand and he’d be there to hold it – all the time!
And, despite there being beasts in the forest, she still went through that treacherous journey in order to find the medicine to cure him after he was injured trying to save her. How could anyone watch this film and perceive it as horrifying? Give this flick another watch and you’ll realise that it has Titanic-levels of romance.
Black Swan (2010)
Okay, in our books, Black Swan is scary. But it isn’t “oh-my-god, now-I-can’t-go-to-the-toilet-in-the-middle-of-the-night-because-my-reflection-in-the-mirror-might-turn-out-to-be-a-ghost” kind of scary. It’s more of a twisted cringe-fest, which still guarantees a good night’s sleep.
Darren Aronofsky employs all the tricks associated with the horror genre, mind you. In this film, you’ll find jump scares and blood-play aplenty, but all of those horrifying scenes come with a spell-binding soundtrack and Mila Kunis going down on Natalie Portman. So yes, you’ll be scared. But only a little while. Most of the time, you’ll probably just be weirdly turned on.
Donnie Darko (2001)
In all honesty, this film won’t necessarily scare you – but it will make you feel super low. There is definitely a dark vibe to this flick, from the characters to the plot itself, and it may even leave you feeling worse off than if you had just settled down to watch a genuine horror movie.
Having said that, we love this film. Young Jake Gyllenhaal plays a moody teen with an imaginary friend that no child would ever wish to have. He also is forced to ponder the concept of life and death, and, in all honesty, we don’t really think that any teen should have to deal with such things. Puberty is difficult enough.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
By all standards, Sweeney Todd should be terrifying. A story about a murderous barber who chops up his customers and bakes their flesh into meat pies for the bakery downstairs should scare you. But the one thing that makes this film more of a delight than a scream is the singing. Sweeney Todd is a musical, and a bloody terrible one at that.
Johnny Depp can hardly hold a tune, and let’s not even get into the voices of Helena Bonham Carter and Jamie Campbell Bower. The film definitely doesn’t stand as a horror, but hey, if you fancy a good old laugh and karaoke – this is just the ticket.
This Tim Burton classic begs more laughs than screams, and we mean that in the best way. Seeing as the plot does focus on a couple who have died and are sticking around to haunt their house as ghosts, it does feature a few themes that some might consider to be rather spooky – but trust us when we say that you’ll be more entertained than scared out of your wits.
The titular character of this film, Beetlejuice, is played by the magnificent Michael Keaton, and he’s definitely in the film for comic relief. Also, if you’re a massive fan of Winona Ryder, then you’ll love her in this. It’s one of her earliest roles (she was 16-year-old when it was filmed) and she’s absolutely electric as the moody teenager, Lydia Deetz.
This film is not – emphasis on the ‘not’ – scary at all. It is, however, the kind of film you would watch when you’re sleepy and looking for something to provide the appropriate amount of background noise before you doze off.
Okay, it isn’t that bad. Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg play siblings who get attacked by a mysterious beast and realise, shortly afterwards, that it cursed them (aka. they’re turning into werewolves too). We recommend that you watch this film when you’re winding down from the nights events and want something to occupy your time whilst you sober up. We’re sure that the twist at the end of the film (although, let’s face it, everyone saw it coming) will keep your attention for long enough.
Final Destination (2000)
Final Destination isn’t what we’d refer to as traditionally scary. It focuses on a bunch of people who are targeted by death itself, and find themselves having to avoid pretty much everything in order to survive. We’d deem this film a lot more of a thriller than a horror flick, despite it featuring some of the most hair-rising scenes of blood, guts and gore that we’ve seen on screen.
Despite those scenes being truly disturbing, this certainly isn’t a flick to keep you up at night. Not unless you find yourself contemplating the concept of death itself – then you’re screwed.
Will you be watching any of these flicks on Halloween? Let us know in the comments!
Images via Dimension Films / Geffen Company / Pandora Cinema / Fox Searchlight Pictures / Touchstone Pictures / Universal Pictures / Blumhouse Productions