The Sunday Scaries are upon us once again! Yes, as the weekend concludes, most of us feel an oncoming sense of anticipatory dread about the week ahead. Anxiety about work manifests itself into a feeling that’s known as the Sunday Scaries. However, we at Awards Radar are here to combat that, by taking back the name. Now, we want you think about a horror-centric piece on the site when you hear the term. So, let us continue on with another installment of the Awards Radar Sunday Scaries! Today, we’re looking at horror comedies, fueled by a recent new release…
Last week, Cocaine Bear hit theaters, bringing with it a return to cinematic dominance for the horror comedy. Yes, the genre mashup that often can delight fans of both sides of the coin. After all, as long as the laughs and the scares each work, audiences coming for one or the other are more than happy to indulge. With Cocaine Bear, plenty of folks went in expecting a comedy, so the gore was a surprise. However, since the film works, you can enjoy it as a hilarious and gonzp movie, or you can look at it almost as a creature feature.
This here, as a reminder, is some of what I said about Cocaine Bear in my review:
Sometimes, a movie just knows what its audience wants. No matter the genre, if a film can do exactly what a viewer wants, it can be something special. When you deliver on exactly what you promise? Yeah, that’s a cinematic sweet spot. I’m here to tell you that Cocaine Bear does exactly that. The flick has a bonkers premise, albeit one based on a true story, and shows you everything you could hope for. On a pure entertainment level, nothing has compared to this in 2023. It represents my number one film to date, and while it’s early, I think it has a great chance of hanging on in my top ten throughout the year. It’s just that much of a twisted treat.
Cocaine Bear is an absolute blast. It makes no bones about being anything other than a zany action comedy about what happens when a bear in the woods gets into some cocaine. Hilarity and insanity ensues, with a game cast, as well as a director clearly enjoying herself, letting it all play out to the extreme. It tickled me pink from start to finish, resulting in my favorite film experience of the year so far.
Horror comedies, when done well, are about as much fun as anything in cinema. Especially when they’re firing on all cylinders, it’s something special. The scares feel even more enjoyable when there’s laughs to be had. Conversely, the jokes can land really well when there’s actually life and death stakes attached. Just look at the best examples (to you) and you’ll see consistent examples of that.
There’s something about a horror comedy that can easily hold a special place in my heart. The Cabin in the Woods is a perfect example of this and an all-timer in my book. Recently, work like Fresh, Freaky, and the Scream franchise (not to mention something else iconic like Shaun of the Dead) consistently combines comedy and horror with aplomb. Sometimes one element takes precedence over the other, but when you have a good one on your hands, both elements are in concert, one helping to elevate the next.
Hopefully the success of Cocaine Bear will lead to more gonzo horror comedies. Time will tell, but at the very least, there’s some box office fuel to add to the fire there. The more lovingly zany works we get like this, the better!
Stay tuned for another Sunday Scaries installment next week!