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Baby, it’s cold outside! Forget going out; spend date night inside while cuddling up to five of the best horror comedy films of all time.

I guess it’s pretty obvious by now if you’ve been following my “Date Night” series on this site; I’m a romantic! For me, there’s no better way to spend quality time with someone special than cuddled up on the couch watching movies. My genre of choice is, of course, horror. However, if you’re on a first date, or connecting with someone who (heaven forbid) isn’t as obsessed with the genre as you are, hardcore horror may not be the best way to go. Never fear, though, you can still get your taste of the dark side without horrifying your date.

The absolute best way to do that is with a great horror comedy. These tend to be heavier on the comedy and lighter on true visceral terror. But there’s usually enough of the creepiness, creature effects, and/or red stuff to get your horror-loving heart pumping.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to get horror comedy right. Most are either forgettable or laughably bad. But the ones that get it right tend to become instant genre classics that stand the test of time. The five truly outstanding films I’m featuring below are almost impossible not to love.

Dating consultants from Maturedating.com conducted an internal poll among their users to cull this list of the top 5 comedy horror movies to watch on a first date.

1. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

While there has been a seemingly infinite number of films inspired by zombies, most blend into the background. Rarely does a movie come along that brings something fresh and innovative to the crowded sub genre. Even more rare is a film intent on not just terrifying, but also tickling funny bones at the same time. Not only does the beloved horror comedy hit Shaun of the Dead do just that, but it does it with incredible panache. Written by and starring the always hilarious Simon Pegg — with an ensemble cast of stellar comic performers, including Bill Nighy, Dylan Moran, and long-time collaborator Nick Frost — this is a wild and uproarious romp.

Hugely successful at the box office, the movie sends up the zombie horror genre while simultaneously relishing its power to keep audiences (and courting couples) enthralled.

WHERE TO WATCH: Stream for free with HBO/HBO Max. 

2. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

Originally released in 1981, writer/director John Landis (famous for The Blues Brothers) has produced a masterpiece in comic horror. Two US students are visiting rural Northern England during their vacation. Unfortunately, one of them is slain by a supernatural human who has morphed into a ravenous wolfman, with an insatiable desire for bipedal flesh. In true werewolf fashion, anyone bitten by this demonic entity is condemned to suffer the same transformation.

There are as many laugh-out-loud moments as genuine, gut-wrenchingly gory killings — including one hilarious scene where, David, realizing he is doomed to change at the next full moon, cajoles a policeman into arresting him. The wolf transformation scenes were rightly regarded as a milestone in this genre.

WHERE TO WATCH: Stream for free with HBO/HBO Max. 

3. Beetlejuice (1988)

Directed by the master of gothic fantasy, Tim Burton, the irreverent plot centers around married (and recently deceased) couple Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara (Geena Davis), who move into a new home in Connecticut. The only trouble is that this abode is haunted by various other ghosts, including the titular character (played with relish by Michael Keaton), a mischievous poltergeist, summoned when his name is stated three times.

Renowned for its bravura performances, including renowned Canadian comic actress Catherine O’Hara and an early outing for Winona Ryder, this was a critical and commercial success when first released in 1988, winning a slew of awards for performances and special effects.

WHERE TO WATCH: Buy or rent via most VOD platforms, including Apple iTunes, Vudu, Amazon Video, and YouTube.

4. Zombieland (2009)

Those pesky walking dead cannibals strike again! Once again, you and your partner will be wrenched into a world turned murderous by yet another zombie apocalypse. But there is no danger of you or your date getting ‘zombie fatigue.’ In this debut by director Ruben Fleischer, the actors fizzle with chemistry. World-weary Tallahassee continually spouts the essential rules for surviving in this blood-drenched environment, such as, “beware of bathrooms,” “get a kickass partner,” or simply, “Swiss Army Knife.”

You’ll be gripped, revolted, and entertained in equal measure. You can also make it a date-worthy double feature by watching the worthy and equally entertaining 2019 sequel, Zombieland: Double Tap.

WHERE TO WATCH: Buy or rent via most VOD platforms, including Apple iTunes, Vudu, Amazon Video, and YouTube.

5. Gremlins (1984)

Directed by Joe Dante, a master of giving B-movie plots an A-listing for entertainment, this 1980s classic was produced by a certain Steven Speilberg. The gremlins of folklore were malicious entities who would incapacitate machinery and suchlike. Here, they are mutant creatures who develop when a mysterious but adorable mammal, a mogwai, transforms. When Zach (Billy Peltzer) receives a pet mogwai, it comes with three strict provisos: avoid exposure to light, don’t get it wet, and never, ever, feed it after midnight.

Are these rules broken? Of course. What happens next? Glorious, hilarious chaos!

This one also comes with a dating tip: Immediately break up with anyone who doesn’t love Gremlins!

WHERE TO WATCH: Watch for free on HBO Max. 

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