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First look poster of horror-comedy ‘Phone Bhoot’ unveiled
Are you bored of the same old live-action horror movies you see making the rounds every Halloween? Don't get me wrong, the classic horror icons and their multi-film franchises are great, but if you're looking for something different this year, look to animation.
Yeah, animation! These are great on their own and they have their place in your annual Halloween festivities, but if you're aiming for something spooky that you may not have seen before, animated horror films are rife with possibilities. So with that in mind, I've put together 20 of the scariest animated horror films you're likely and not so likely to come across in your search.
And since not everyone's tastes are the same, nor are their experiences with horror movies identical, I've included a range of scares for all ages. I'll start off with some age-appropriate suggestions for our younger viewers out there, including stop-motion classics, computer-generated fright-fests, an oft-overlooked Disney film, and, yes, even a Scooby-Doo feature.
Then, once you've tucked the little ones into bed, I'll pull out the big guns with animated films that feature more mature thematic material, increasingly brutal levels of gore and violence, and even some surprisingly sophisticated psychological humor that will haunt your dreams. And as this list nears its end with more mature themes and subject material, there will undoubtedly be people who are quite Mad Online about the movies in or left off of this list.
So I ask you to check your inhibitions at the door while encouraging you to share your favorite scary animated film in the comments below! ParaNorman remains one of the studio's best efforts and their scariest original feature to date. It's got zombies, witches, ghosts, and a title character who feels alienated due to his ability to talk to the dead; lots of spooky stuff!
This one's got some fun scares to it, and it takes a lot of inspiration from decades of horror movie culture and mythology that preceded it. But ParaNorman also flips a lot of those tropes on its head throughout the telling of the story. The obvious villains end up being misunderstood victims, and an ancient grudge that stems from another misunderstanding ends up being the cause of the town's ills.
But while the final battle between the two sides could be pretty frightening for the little ones out there, this is still the tamest entry on the list. ParaNorman is perfect for a family gathering this Halloween! Here's another holiday classic that skews much more closely to the Halloween side of town than it does the Christmas side. You can still watch The Nightmare Before Christmas during either holiday, though the scary one's more appropriate.
Look, even Jack Skellington, the "Pumpkin King" of Halloween Town, gets tired of the same old holiday festivities now and then. He just wants to shake things up a bit and bring his own peculiar sense of holiday cheer to Christmastime. But while Jack and his ilk may be scary by nature, there's an even more terrifying terror that lurks beneath the surface to scare kids with his ghoulish glow.
Selick's excellent stop-motion animation adds a creepy vibe to a world that's suffused with a spooky, scary aesthetic. There's a monstrous character around every corner of Halloween Town, and once that bleeds over into the Christmas festivities, the film's humor really takes off.
Jack Skellington may be the best there is at scaring the stuffing out of people, but The Nightmare Before Christmas is still gentle enough to work into your family's regular Halloween movie rotation.
I know, I took a shot at Scooby-Doo earlier, mostly because the show's decades' worth of content almost always ends with the spooky villain being unmasked and revealed as a very human ne'er-do-well.
Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island is different because it pokes fun at this running gag and then subverts it in a very clever and scary way.
For the first time, Scoob and the gang find themselves face to face with a real supernatural threat thanks to the haunting presence of pirate ghost Morgan Moonscar. The tone of the direct-to-video film is rather darker than the toons that came before it thanks to the inclusion of "real monsters", but the scares don't stop with zombies. There's voodoo, shape-shifters, angry alligators, and even a vengeful cat god out to make your viewing experience an unexpected one.
Believe it or not, it's been about 20 years since Scoob and the gang visited Zombie Island, so it's well worth the time to revisit it yourself!
Okay, now we've started to get out of the basic scares and spooky stuff and into some more psychologically horrifying territory.
While a haunted house is a classic setting for many a horror film over the years, rarely is this seen in the medium of animation. Enter Monster House , a computer-generated scare-fest that has some truly disturbing ghost stories haunting its foundation Without getting into spoiler territory, Monster House sees a crabby old man as caretaker of a creaky old house, but when health issues take him away, the house itself is revealed to be a source of terror for the neighborhood.
A trio of kids risks their necks to explore the abandoned home and the secrets that lie buried within it. There's enough comedy to keep the kids from getting too scared, but this is one haunted house story that actually improves with age. The thing about horror is that it can infect just about any other genre and the film will work just the same. The Last Unicorn is certainly more fantasy than horror, but boy does this thing have some spooky elements that still carry impact today, 25 years later.
Rankin and Bass are probably better known for their holiday classics, but this adaptation of Beagle's novel about the titular unicorn is an absolute gem. The talking unicorn and the natural world around her that's showcased during her quest are beautiful, though elements of that world are downright terrifying. There's the evil witch Mommy Fortuna and her illusory magic, an honest-to-goodness harpy, a talking skeleton, and the granddaddy of all of this film's horrors, the fiery Red Bull.
There's a lot of magic and wonder along the way, but like many great live-action fantasy films, the hero's journey is fraught with terrors that make the ultimate victory all the sweeter. You can't really talk about animated movies without mentioning Disney, the flying elephant in the room. And while Disney classics certainly have some terrifying moments scattered throughout their films, this much-maligned film is a horror show from beginning to end. The Black Cauldron 's infamous deleted scenes were scrubbed away, removing the worst of the trauma-inducing moments, but what's left is still pretty haunting.
The dark fantasy film, based very loosely on a book series, centers on the evil and scary Horned King who aims to conquer the world with the assistance of the mythical cauldron. Of course, he's opposed in this quest by good-natured heroes, but boy do they have a lot of horrors standing in their way: There's the king, of course, his undead army and creepy minions, a trio of witches in the Marshes of Morva, and the cauldron itself, which comes with a cruel curse that shapes the narrative in traumatic ways.
The movie doesn't end well for the Horned King either as he meets his ultimate fate in a nightmarish sequence that might be too intense for the little ones. And just imagine if the film had included the scenes of the undead army being born from the cauldron, said soldiers brutally attacking people, and the king's men having their flesh dissolved in a magical mist!
On the surface, Coraline is a very silly story about a misunderstood girl who finds a hidden door to a secret world where the people are a little strange but otherwise perfect. That's well and good for kids who find the button-eyed other-worlders funny, but the fun comes to an abrupt end when the parallel world's dark secret is revealed. Very little of Gaiman's work comes out of a place of pure joy; there's always an undercurrent of darkness or a twinge of the macabre about it.
Coraline is no different, though it may take younger viewers a few times to pick up on the themes at play here. So if LAIKA's ragdoll-like characters and their button-eyed cohorts aren't enough to freak you out, I'd bet good money that once you find out about Other Mother's propensity to sew buttons over people's eyes and consume their souls, you'll be sufficiently freaked out.
If not, Other Mother's spider form and the transformation of the ideal mirror world into a hellish, nightmare dimension should drive the point home. This thing is freaky. Writers: Robert C. One would think that animated movies featuring talking animals would be all sunshine and rainbows. There are dark parts of every great animated tale, but a precious few films choose to go way, way dark in order to tell more mature stories One such tail tale is The Secret of NIMH , an adaptation of O'Brien's children's novel that features a dark undercurrent to the entirety of the story, punctuated with truly terrifying moments.
The critters referenced by the title are survivors of a series of scientific experiments, a plot point that's laid out in a psychedelic scene featuring one of the film's scariest characters.
It's not surprising that creatures like the rat-eating cat Dragon and the villainous rat Jenner are drawn to be scary, but it's unusual to find that the protagonist's mystical allies are every bit as terrifying. Nicodemus, a wizened old rat, has glowing eyes like coals and a long, flowing mane; The Great Owl is cut from the same cloth; both of these characters are ominous by design and the display of their powers make for some potent nightmare fuel.
While the horrors of lab experimentation on animals take a back seat for a moment, the savagery of the animal kingdom and the cruelty of man takes center stage in this horror-fantasy classic, Watership Down. This is one case where Richard Adams ' book, brilliant as it is, benefits from a lean and mean animated adaptation.
The movie gets to the heart of the rabbits' plight, be it due to the dangers posed by snares; hawks, cats, and dogs; rival warrens; and the chemical and mechanical weapons of human beings. There's a rabbit who experiences seizures when he sees visions, a near-death experience of another caught in a trap, and brutal battles against both friends and enemies alike.
It's fun for the kids! A lesser-known Adams tale is The Plague Dogs , a ruthless movie that does not shy away from man's cruelty to animals in pursuit of scientific knowledge. Half of the film is overt criticism of such practices while the other half is a commentary on mankind's same behavior carried out against his fellow man.
The film's PG rating for violent imagery and thematic elements is well-earned, making it the last of the film's on this list that might be okay for younger viewers to watch. Then again, this thing starts off with the drowning of Rowf, a dog in a science lab, who is then resuscitated by siphoning the water out of his lungs.
The "adventure" film goes on to criticize the cruelty of animal vivisection, tinkering with animals' brains as evidenced by the protagonist Snitter's scar and dog-sized cap , and animal experimentation. It ain't an easy watch. And it's all the more heart-breaking once the title pups escape, only to find themselves hunted by their captors, local gunmen hired by the lab, and even soldiers. While the ending of The Plague Dogs is as emotional as Old Yeller 's , it's more ambiguous, but what's clear is that this movie will mess you up for life.
All right, here's your reminder to put the little ones to bed, because it's time for some grown-up animated horror movies. Once again returning to the fantasy realm, we have the expertly Rotoscoped classic Fire and Ice. Following up on the delightfully insane film Wizards , Bakshi and Frazetta's collaboration tells of a battle between the forces of Icepeak and Firekeep, and the souls caught in the crossfire.
While Fire and Ice is probably best known for the bikini-clad Princess Teegra running around nearly naked the entire film, there's a lot of scary stuff going on here. From the outset, a brutal attack from the powerful magician Nekron sends glaciers sweeping down upon humanity, but it's his primitive sub-humans and their violence that's the more unsettling.
They chase our protagonists through swamps full of nightmare creatures, into interactions with reanimated corpses, and into a final confrontation between fire and ice.
There's dread around every corner, a threat Fire and Ice paints very well. I couldn't talk animated horror without mentioning Resident Evil. Though the more recent animated features have shifted to more of an action focus than a horror one, Resident Evil: Degeneration stayed true to its roots.
First, the events of the movie are actually canon within the world of video games; the live-action films can't claim that nor would fans be happy if they tried. Secondly, if you love the antics of the zombie franchise and would prefer to watch them unfold without being behind the trigger for a change, the animated features are quite enjoyable. Now one of the scariest features of Resident Evil: Degeneration might actually be the uncanny valley aspect of the human characters, but if you can get past that, then the T-Virus etc shenanigans, the infected zombies, and the final boss fight are pure delights.
And it's always fun seeing Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield on an adventure. Just be ready for a jump scare here and there. If you haven't seen the relatively new live-action zombie film Train to Busan , you should remedy that immediately. And once you have, you'll be better able to appreciate the animated prequel film, Seoul Station. While the medium may have changed, the terror-inducing hordes of rage zombies is still the same. Taking place in the title station, it appears that a homeless man is Patient Zero of the impending zombie outbreak.
Infection through bites may prove deadly in this film, but there's an overarching social pressure that weighs down on the main characters of the film as well.
While that's not as scary as wave after wave of flesh-hungry monster running after you, it's an important bit of characterization to keep in mind. It's also worth mentioning that Seoul Station is a story set in a world beset by fiends who might just arrive when you least expect them
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Creating terror with animation means that you aren't limited to our concept of reality. In anime, the body can be bent, stretched, and ripped apart using excruciating and fantastical methods that can only be realized via hand-drawn or computer-generated images. Films such as "Vampire Hunter D" and "Wicked City" realize horror anime's grotesque potential, creating hellish worlds where women become spider demons and eat men alive. Old tropes and well-tread creatures such as zombies are given facelifts and realized in new, repulsive ways that can't be replicated by actors in front of a camera. There's going to be a lot of gore on this list, especially from director Yoshiaki Kawajiri, who is known for his uncanny ability to create disgusting, sexual creatures with depraved desires. Animation lends itself perfectly to body horror, after all. But that isn't all that the world of horror anime has to offer; there are plenty of haunting ghost stories and psychological thrillers that will appeal to fans more interested in the supernatural side of the genre.
There are still a few Disney classics, modern surrealist flicks from France, and existential shorts to suit every taste. Here are your best animated movie options currently streaming on Netflix. Lupin and his loyal sidekick Daisuke Jigen investigate the source of expertly crafted counterfeit money, a fictional European duchy that just so happens to be mired in its own drama involving an aristocratic villain bent on forcing a marriage to secure his inheritance of the throne. Woman respecter that he is, Lupin figures he can help out the princess while making off with as much of Cagliostro's fortune as he can. This feature film from Studio 4C and director Ayumu Watable is a lush dive into the fauna of the ocean itself. There, she meets Umi and Sora, two boys who were raised by dugongs and feel just as drawn to the sea as she does. Featuring music from frequent Studio Ghibli collaborator Joe Hisaishi, this one's certainly an emotional journey. It might seem like a dream come true if, say, burgers started falling from the sky whenever you're really hungry—or any time, really. This, plus other snack-based precipitation, is in the forecast of this animated feature loosely inspired by the picture book of the same name.
Horror comedy movies can be a great gateway into the genre for movie lovers who aren't quite accustomed to full-on horrors just yet. Plus, they often have enough horror-filled imagery that even the most hardcore horror fans can enjoy. Insider has gone through Netflix's catalogue of scary movies to come up with the best horror comedy movies you can watch right now. Some of them lean more towards comedy than horror, such as stop motion movie "ParaNorman," while others are genuinely creepy, like anthology movie "Holidays," which puts a dark spin on our most popular holidays and folklore. Whether this film is supposed to be more of a comedy than a horror is up for debate, but the fact remains that the clowns or aliens in the form of clowns in this movie are terrifying.
5 Old Children's Cartoons Way Darker Than Most Horror Movies
The dual genres of horror and comedy have more in common than one might notice at first glance. In fact, films which mix comedy and horror together have become important touchstones in monsterfic--from Dick Briefer 's comedic take on the Frankenstein Monster and 's Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein , to 's An American Werewolf in London and 's Monster Squad , to 's Shaun of the Dead and 's Little Monsters. Far from being opposing genres, comedy and horror often serve to complement each other. Below, find links to great articles about monster comedy movies and TV, books, comics, and games. Top 13 Zombie Comedy Movies. Flashback: Shaun of the Dead
Horror Film Vectors
When people think of Comedy , they rarely associate it with Horror and vice versa. However, both make great partners in crime together. The reason they work so well together is that viewers need "breathers" between nonstop screaming or nonstop laughing, and one can easily segue into the other. For purposes of this trope, we'll divide Horror and Comedy hybrids into three categories, Horror dominant, Comedy dominant, and balanced. Horror dominant works will use comedy as a mood lightener or "breather" from the tension or gore. Characters will crack wise while they're in a safe spot, and have the monster use a Barrier-Busting Blow just as they relax. The benefit of this is that just as viewers relax along with the characters, tension is restored along with the scare.
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Looking for animated horror movies? Then you've come to the right place. These are the scariest cartoon feature-length films that you'll find anywhere. Not all of these animated horror films are appropriate for kids but you will find some family-friendly animated scary movies such as Frankenweenie , Caroline , and Haunted House, along with some animated ghost movies. These tend to be more spooky than terrifying but the list wouldn't be complete without them. But are these the top animated horror films available?
Horror movies have been around since the beginning of cinema, and their execution and tropes have shifted with time. In it, a historic castle is under siege by a mischievous demon and his jokes. Animation allows a sense of wonder to the eye and mind that a regular movie cannot offer, so it seems only natural to take on fantasy and certain horror concepts with these kinds of films. Within the horror genre, animation allows certain freedom that allows filmmakers to create something inhumane, terrifying, and not human. These are the best animated horror movies, ranked. Seoul Station is the prequel to the much-beloved zombie film Train to Busan.
Sometimes we reach that magical, surprising area where things that are not necessarily aimed at children become marketed to them anyway. Others, not so much. While not specifically based on The Mummy although the remake did get its own animated series Mummies Alive gets the point because it borrows more from the classic mummy tropes we all grew up with. But at the same time, it turns mummies into a team of undead superheroes.