non scary horror movies
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“Non-scary horror movies” might sound like a bit of an oxymoron, but just stick with me here. There are (thankfully) more than a handful of films that fall under the “horror” umbrella that aren’t scary. Now, I am a certified Scaredy Cat- I do not do well with horror movies, I do not enjoy scary things. So, if I can handle the horror films on this list, you can too! 

Just a note before we begin- while these are non scary horror films, they may contain elements such as gore, sexual content, or language. To determine if these films are okay for your teenager to watch, I’ll be listing the link with each subsequent film. Now, let’s get into the best non scary horror films just in time for Halloween! 


Poster for the movie Scream

This is the horror movie I was introduced to first to ease me into the genre. While it is classified as a horror film, it is largely a suspenseful mystery; it’s a lot of fun trying to pick out who the killer may be before the big reveal. Scream also plays with the conventions of classic horror films in a way that I really appreciated. It’s rare that films are willing to get meta like that. Usually in horror films, no one’s ever even HEARD of a horror movie, much less seen one. Scream gifts us with “The Rules”, which avid moviegoers and horror fans know already just through watching so many movies. Scream qualifies as a non scary horror film due to its lack of pop out scares and overall lack of gore. 

Common Sense Media link

Stream it on: HBO Max 

Halloween (1978) 

Halloween (1978) poster

I was so afraid that the original Halloween would scare me too much. Let me tell you, I could not have been further from scared. Halloween is the introduction of one of cinema’s most classic killers who just doesn’t die, Michael Myers. Halloween does have themes of sex and violence (this is a 70s slasher, after all, there are boobs on screen), but as far as I remember, not bloody violence (also worth noting, I watched this for the first time on TV). If you want to appease a horror-loving friend while staying firmly away from the scares, Halloween is the choice for you. 

Common Sense Media link

Stream it on: Shudder or rent it on Prime video (or, if you have access to Hoopla through your library, you can stream it for free! Also worth noting if any of these films exist on DVD, you can rent them from your library.)

Trick r Treat 

Trick r Treat movie poster

Trick r Treat is FANTASTIC. It presents an interconnected series of stories all on Halloween night, and contains enough surprises to keep you delighted and invested the whole way through. As a scaredy-cat, this is one of my all-time favorite non scary horror movies. To the point where I own Sam’s little Jack o Lantern lollipop, and I make sure I leave my Jack o Lantern lit all night on Halloween. Like Scream, Trick r Treat provides us with a set of rules, but specifically for Halloween. Trick r Treat has moments of violence that might disturb some younger kids, so I wouldn’t advise showing them without further research. 

There is no entry for this film on 

Stream it on: HBO Max 

Fear Street Films 

The Fear Street trilogy movie poster

The Fear Street Trilogy is not scary. It is bloody and has its moments of overt sexuality, but it’s not scary. The first film follows in the footsteps of classic 90s horror films like the aforementioned Scream- Part 2 is a summer camp slasher ala Friday the 13th, and Part 3 takes it back even further, invoking the vibes of films like The VVitch. This film is DEFINITELY rated R, and I wouldn’t suggest it for younger kids at all based on the brutality of some of the kills presented in each film. But, if you or your child are in the mood for something horror-adjacent but not actually scary, the fear street films are the choice for you. You can read my full review of the trilogy here

Common Sense Media for part 1, part 2, part 3 

Stream it on: Netflix 

The Shining 

The Shining movie poster

This Stanley Kubrick classic definitely falls under the umbrella of non scary horror movies. While it’s certainly suspenseful, there are less than a handful of moments that are actually pop out scary. Don’t get me wrong, the film is masterfully crafted, and its reached iconic status for a reason. Everyone’s heard “Here’s Johnny!” Even if they haven’t seen the movie. The Shining is more on the side of a supernatural suspense story than a true scare-you-silly horror film. There are moments that may upset a younger audience, but from what I remember, it’s fairly tame and safe for teenagers to watch. As usual though, please check the page before making your decision. 

Common Sense Media link 

Stream it on: HBO Max 

Cabin in the Woods 

Cabin in the Woods poster

One of my all-time favorites, there’s no way I was leaving this meta horror-comedy off the list. Cabin in the Woods qualifies as a non scary horror movie because there aren’t really any pop-out scares (save for one moment that isn’t really a scare, it’s moreso sudden than scary). If you’re a fan of Scream’s commentary on the horror genre, you’ll love Cabin in the Wood’s take on the classic slasher. Cabin in the Woods is definitely VERY bloody, so keep that in mind when deciding if you want to watch it or not. There’s also drug use (one of our main characters is a typical stoner character type) and sex (in the tradition of slasher films, of course). 

Common Sense Media link 

Stream it on: Peacock 

Freddy vs. Jason 

Freddy vs Jason poster

If you’re even vaguely familiar with who Freddy and Jason are, you’ll be able to understand this story just fine. While Freddy vs Jason does have some moments where I was told to close my eyes (shoutout to Andrea, she’s a real one!) it largely qualifies as a non scary horror movie. While it stars two absolute icons and powerhouses of their own horror franchises, when they come together it feels more like an action/suspense comedy than a horror film. There’s some gore and violence, and themes of a sexual nature (if you know Jason’s origin story, then you know). For reference, I was told to close my eyes so I wouldn’t see eyeless people that they know would really freak me out. If you can handle that, you’ll be fine. 

Common Sense Media link 

Stream it on: HBO Max 

Silence of the Lambs 

Silence of the Lambs poster

I was truly worried that this film was going to terrify me. Thankfully, it’s more of a suspenseful murder mystery than a pop-out-scary horror film. There are disturbing elements (Hannibal is a cannibal, after all) So I’d recommend this for teenagers and older. This film is iconic to the point where even those who haven’t seen the film have heard of Hannibal Lecter. I adore watching this film every time spooky season rolls around, because the vibes are just scary enough without actually being truly scary. 

Common Sense Media link 

Stream it on: Pluto 

Non Scary Horror Movies 

And there you have it! A list of scaredy cat-approved non scary horror movies for your Halloween viewing pleasure! If you’re looking for non Halloween fall movies in the meantime, you can find a list of those here. For a daily dose of pop culture and all things geeky, you can follow me on Instagram @glamgeekguru. 

By Hannah

Lover of all things geeky.

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