10 Best Dark Comedies

Sometimes dubbed a black comedy, dark comedies are a subgenre of film that bring opposing themes to a movie or series. The employment of comedy on top of subject matter that is generally serious gives audiences a chance to laugh at the macabre. While the genre is not for everyone, the mix of comedy and darker topics often complement each other well enough that most can enjoy the project.



RELATED: 10 Black/Dark Anime Comedies That Are HilariousSome films–typically horror–can be tragic and overwhelmingly dark, but the addition of comedic aspects gives audiences a momentary reprieve. Whether a viewer appreciates dark humor or not, most black comedies are well known for their jokes against a backdrop of catastrophe.

10 Shaun Of The Dead Is A Classic Parody Of Zombie Flicks

Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead is a heartfelt comedy about Shaun and his friends attempting to survive a night with zombies. The British comedy is the first film in an anthology titled the Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy. The dry humor is scattered throughout the movie, with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in the lead.

While the living humans are struggling for survival in their journey to the local pub, they crack a few jokes despite having to kill the undead zombies. The ordinary nature of the characters’ personal lives is such a refreshing subject amidst the chaotic invasion of the undead.

9 American Psycho Subtly Makes Fun Of 80s Culture

Although American Psycho is one of the darkest comedies compared to others, its subtle humor and themes are explicit. Christian Bale stars as Patrick Bateman, a narcissistic investment banker by day and serial killer by night. Despite some of the most brutal scenes that show Bateman’s crimes, there are strange nods to the state of 80s consumerism and workplace culture.

RELATED: 10 Amazing Movies With Ambiguous EndingsThe ruthless nature of Bateman is almost a result of his colleagues’ competitive and vain attitude. Although the humorous aspects are understated, they remain one of the film’s best qualities.

8 What We Do In The Shadows Mocks Vampires In A Modern Setting

One of Taika Waititi’s earlier films, What We Do In The Shadows, parodies vampire films of the past in mockumentary style. The New Zealand film features a group of ancient vampires living together in a house like ordinary housemates in current times.

Awkward looks into the camera, ridiculous scenarios involving housemate chores, and their feud with local werewolves make the movie incredibly delightful for fans of dark humor. The hilarious flick is praised for its comedy and has even spurred two spin-off series.


7 Army Of Darkness Never Takes Itself Too Seriously

While the first two Evil Dead films are typically seen as more within the realm of horror, the third film, Army of Darkness, takes the story back into the Middle Ages. The movie features Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams, again fighting off forces of evil, hoping to return to the present.

Ash helps King Arthur fight against an undead army led by an evil copy of himself. The chainsaw and rifle-wielding hero never misses the mark on cracking jokes, and the film remains a lighthearted dark fantasy.

6 Cabin In The Woods Twists Horror Tropes

2011 horror-comedy, The Cabin in the Woods doesn’t shy away from the fact that it’s openly making fun of overused horror tropes. Like typical horror films, the main characters are a group of young college students who take a trip to a mysterious cabin in the woods.

RELATED: 10 Best Horror Parodies, RankedUnlike other horror films, the genre is turned on its head when the characters don’t fit the expected stereotypical roles. Unbeknownst to the group, an underground facility organizes “monsters” to go out and attack the friends. The gory comedy is somewhat dark for the most part, but the jabs at horror cliches make the movie refreshing.

5 Fargo Is A Hilarious Inside Look At A Small Town Murder Investigation

Academy Award-winning Fargo is arguably one of the greatest dark comedies. The film prides itself on the gore factor by focusing on a set of cops in Fargo, Minnesota, investigating a string of murders. Many audiences enjoyed the dry humor that only Francis McDormand and William H. Macy could deliver.

While the film was incredible as a standalone feature, it spawned a spin-off series on FX. The simplistic backdrop of the small town complements the comedic nature of how the cops handle the large-scale investigation well.

4 Death Of Stalin Puts A Satirical Spin On History

The Soviet Union under Stalin was one of history’s darkest moments in the past century. Still, The Death of Stalin gives audiences a controversially comedic reprieve on top of a somewhat inaccurate history lesson. The film recounts the historical figures surrounding Stalin and their handling of his death and, later, the country.

The comedy brings a sense of humanity and flaws to the otherwise staunch and power-hungry figures taken so seriously. Though the film was banned in two countries, it serves as a breath of fresh air for audiences interested in a silly take on history.

3 Krampus Is Unforgiving Of The Christmas Spirit

Krampus highlighted the once lesser-known demonic figure of Christmas that hailed from Germanic folklore. While the figure serves more as a warning to misbehaving children around the holidays, he took on a literal interpretation in the 2015 film. The plot revolves around one Christmas-obsessed boy and his complicated family coming together for the holidays.

When the boy is angered by his family and tears up his letter to Santa, Krampus makes an appearance in the neighborhood. The demon picks off the family and his helpers, punished for their greed and anger. All the while, the film uses outlandish humor to ease the dark tale.

2 Ready Or Not Pits A Bride Against Her In-Laws

Ready or Not details the story of a young newlywed bride attending her in-laws’ family tradition of playing a game on the wedding night. While it starts as a seemingly innocent practice, when the bride chooses “Hide and Seek,” she quickly learns they intend to kill her.

RELATED: 10 Most Badass Female Movie HeroesThroughout the film, the bride, Grace, is hunted down by her new family due to a satanic deal their ancestor made. Oddly enough, dark jokes and practical humor are thrown in to balance the otherwise grim storyline and cold-hearted characters.

1 Death Becomes Her Deals With Love, Death, And Competitive Friendships

Starring Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, and Bruce Willis in the leads, Death Becomes Her is a 1992 Robert Zemeckis film about the consequences of vanity. Streep and Hawn maintain a toxic friendship. After years of a failing career and aging looks, Madeline receives a rejuvenation potion from an immortal woman, who gave the same to Madeline’s rival and ex-friend Helen.

After both cause each other’s death, their potion causes them to keep living, although they must keep their decaying bodies in shape. The film is full of genuine humor and remains a fun watch.

NEXT: The 10 Funniest R-Rated Comedies Of The Past 20 Years

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