Do you love a good movie night, but feel like you’re missing out on all the “scary” fun because you don’t like horror films? Fear not! This article will provide you with a list of non-scary horror movies that still have enough thrills to keep you on the edge of your seat.
From cult classics to psychological thrillers to Halloween flicks, there are plenty of movies out there to appeal to a wide variety of tastes – all without having to resort to terrifying flicks that will keep you up at night.
Whether you prefer a suspenseful drama or a comedic take on the horror genre, you’ll be sure to find something to love in this list of thirty horror-adjacent films that are sure to make you jump without making you hide behind the couch in terror.
So take a deep breath, grab some popcorn, and get ready for a thrilling movie night.
When unfortunate events start to haunt their small town, a group of friends are faced with the killer’s frightening mission: to take them out one by one. Wes Craven’s classic horror movie, Scream, offers us plenty of unforgettable quotes and scenes that will bring back a wave of nostalgia. It’s the perfect balance of thrilling and humorous – a must-see for those who love a little horror without the scare factor.
The Menu (2022)
A state-of-the-art dinner at an exclusive destination restaurant promises an unforgettable date night for a couple, especially with the menu the head chef has in store for his wealthy customers. Darkly humorous and highly entertaining, The Menu is a must-watch, perfect for movie buffs who prefer not-so-scary horror movies.
I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
In an idyllic coastal town, four friends linked by tragedy reunite the following summer only to find themselves the victims of a mysterious stalker who knows what they did last summer. Prepare for an unforgettably killer summer.
The Shining (1980)
Experience the timeless classic of horror in The Shining, hailed as a masterpiece for its chilling artistry. Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of the Overlook hotel’s caretaker, Jack Torrance, is unforgettable as he plummets into the abyss of madness. Feel a sense of dread when his wife Wendy, played by Shelley Duvall, discovers his horrific writings, as all the secrets of the hotel come to a climatic head. Perfect for those who enjoy horror movies without the jump scare, this movie will leave you with a chill.
Ready or Not (2019)
Following her wedding, Grace thought it would be a romantic night of wedded bliss—not a deadly, high-stakes game of hide and seek with the in-laws. With no one to turn to, Grace finds herself in a terrifying situation but is determined to fight for her life. Fans of non-scary horror movies should check out this thrilling story of survival as Grace attempts to outwit her in-laws and make it out alive.
The Cabin In The Woods (2011)
Hang on to your guts – a weekend at a secluded cabin in the woods becomes a fight for survival for five college friends when the dead start to rise. As they attempt to flee the sinister government experiment gone wrong, they soon realize that their escape might be too late. Toilet paper supply won’t have a chance if the zombie apocalypse is here to stay. Join these five brave souls as they uncover the horrors behind their scare-filled getaway and attempt to survive until help arrives. Who says horror movies can’t be thrilling without the fear?
When a high school senior switches bodies with a notorious serial killer, she must evade the police, convince her friends she is inside a middle-aged man’s body, and save her classmates from the killer that has taken over her body. And she must do all of this before time runs out. Easy, right?
The Lost Boys (1987)
Before Twilight, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Interview with the Vampire saw the light of day, The Lost Boys was one of the reigning vampire flicks to grace the big screen. Keifer Sutherland plays the leader of a local vampire gang that terrorizes town newcomers Michael and Sam. Break out the garlic and holy water because these vamps mean business.
Happy Death Day (2017)
In this horror comedy rendition of Groundhog Day, a college girl finds herself in an unfortunate time-warp that forces her to relive her birthday and untimely death.
When the evil clown Pennywise emerges from the depths of the town’s sewer system to terrorize the residents of Derry, Maine, no one will be safe, especially not the ragtag group of young outcasts. It and It: Chapter Two are fun horror films overflowing with a mix of humor, action, drama, and scares.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
In this eerie psychological thriller, a child psychologist confronts his most perplexing case yet: a young boy haunted by ghostly visitors. From the film that launched the famous line “I see dead people” comes a not-so-scary horror picture perfect for people who hate scary movies.
John Carpenter’s iconic slasher classic, Halloween, has been a fan favorite for 40 years and counting. But it’s not the spooky season that makes it so captivating — it’s the legendary boogeyman himself, Michael Myers. With an unstoppable urge to murder babysitters every Halloween, Myers ensures an intense, terrifying viewing experience. Whether you’re a fan of classic horror or a casual watcher of non-scary fright movies, Halloween is the perfect film to get you in the mood for Oct 31st.
In the thrilling horror flick Split, three girls are kidnapped by a man with twenty-three personalities and face the terrifying threat of an unknown identity determined to emerge to the surface.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Clarice Starling, soon to graduate from the FBI’s academy, is sent to interview the wickedly intelligent Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a serial killer imprisoned for his cannibalistic legal transgressions. Between their witty exchanges and Lecter’s twisted mind games, The Silence of the Lambs provides an entertaining yet horror-filled look at the complexities of the human psyche. Perfect for those who enjoy the thrill of non-scary horror movies, this psychological masterpiece keeps viewers on the edge of their seats throughout.
In a world infested with zombies, four survivors join forces to traverse the war-torn terrain to make their way to the promised safe haven in Los Angeles.
In this thrilling home invasion movie, a deaf writer living in seclusion must fight for her life when she finds herself caught in the crosshairs of a masked killer.
Get Out (2017)
Jordan Peele’s directorial debut Get Out shook up the movie industry, leaving viewers both horrified and amazed. This subversive, satirical horror movie eschewed traditional scare tactics and gore to instead focus on character building and a compelling story that challenges the audience to think in new and unexpected ways.
Friday the 13th (1980)
If you’re planning to work in a woodsy area as a summer camp counselor, it may be wise to use Friday the 13th as a cautionary tale of what not to do when being chased by a machete-wielding maniac in a mask.
The Craft (1996)
Nothing says Halloween like a good old-fashioned seance followed by a game of light as a feather, stiff as a board. For a light horror film, look no further than The Craft. With next to zero jump scares, this witchy flick is perfect if you prefer non-scary horror movies.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
When you least expect it, your sleep can become your greatest vulnerability. For the teenagers in A Nightmare on Elm Street, they knew Freddy Krueger all too well. Wes Craven’s legendary dream killer brings with him a slew of scary scenarios and spine-chilling moments. Don’t let yourself become a victim of Krueger’s terror – delay your bedtime and stay safe! Non-scary horror fans, beware!
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
The Blair Witch Project is unsettling, but less so now than in 1999 when the world believed it to be found footage. However, it was all a marketing ploy. Nowadays, it is less scary and should not greatly hinder your sleep schedule.
A Quiet Place (2018)
Imagine living in a world where a single cough can spell your death. That is the life of anyone living in Krasinski’s monster-inhabited apocalyptic world swarmed by mysterious creatures with bionic hearing. A Quiet Place will undoubtedly keep you on the edge of your seat, but it should not leave you terrified to go to bed.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
Never mess around with cauldrons in abandoned shacks on October 31st. If you do, you might get a surprise visit from the Sanderson sisters. Not only is Hocus Pocus a great Halloween movie, it also makes for a fun not-so-scary movie.
The Invisible Man (2020)
Cecilia Kass is convinced that her brilliant scientist ex-boyfriend, Adrian Griffin, didn’t commit suicide – but is instead a maniacal killer on the loose. In The Invisible Man, everyone’s worst fear is realized as the audience is taken on a suspenseful ride full of jaw-dropping twists and turns. This non-scary horror movie is sure to leave you guessing until the very end.
When it comes to Coraline, I have conflicted feelings. No children’s movie has ever left me more unsettled than this film. Despite that, I would recommend this for anyone looking for non-scary horror movies, as it is a beautiful stop-motion animation that offers a unique experience.
The Babadook (2014)
Are you looking for a horror film with a healthy dose of psychological thrills, but without the jump scares and gore? Look no further than The Babadook, an artful horror flick that will keep you thinking long after the credits roll. Featuring macabre imagery and intense scenes, this unique take on a classic horror formula follows a mother and her child as they grapple with the nightmarish character from a pop-up book come to life.
With its iconic “shower scene” and groundbreaking methods, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho revolutionized horror cinema, spawning a documentary dedicated to said scene and a much-loved TV show about the odd mother-son duo. What’s more, Psycho was the first movie to feature a toilet flushing on camera, a shocking concept for its time.
It Follows (2015)
It Follows is a non-scary horror movie that will leave you feeling uneasy long after the credits roll. After 19-year-old Jay sleeps with her boyfriend Hugh, she finds herself pursued by an invisible yet malevolent force.
The Witch (2015)
The Witch is a masterfully crafted tale of terror that will send a chill down the spine of any horror movie fan. Set in 17th century New England, this atmospheric story follows a family whose peaceful homestead is besieged by sinister forces. With a stoic, foreboding setting and a palpable sense of dread, The Witch serves as a thrilling reminder of why horror can be so captivating. For those seeking thrills without the fear, this eerie classic is sure to deliver.
Haunting unsuspecting trespassers may seem easy enough. Being a typical ghost is not as easy as it seems. Ask the Maitlands. For a fun horror flick, look no further than Beetlejuice.
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