The Best Scary Movies For People Who Don't Like Gore

Screenshot: Misery, Columbia Pictures

If you’re the kind of person who gets squeamish at the sight of blood, you might think that horror movies aren’t for you—but you should know that the genre isn’t all gore and guts. Take, for instance, movies like Get Out, A Quiet Place and Paranormal Activity which are (mostly) gore-free.

If you’re looking for a scary movie⁠ without all the blood and stabbing⁠, we have a few suggestions. Beginning with a few staff favourites, below you’ll find our list of gore-free films that won’t leave your stomach churning.

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Hear us out: If you’re looking for a non-gory classic, George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead might be your answer. It’s largely because of this film that we now have shows like The Walking Dead—or basically any modern movie with zombies. As for blood and gore, it’s a mild movie by today’s standards.

Misery (1990)

Kathy Bates is a national treasure and Misery is proof of that. The film is a two-hour exploration of one fan’s obsession and mostly free of jump-scares and gore. Spoiler alert—when she starts strapping James Caan’s character to the bed, it’s probably best to look away.

The Craft (1996)

In the late 90s, the mainstream horror genre largely belonged to bloody dramas centered around young people, as in films like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer—but few come close to the campy high school drama, The Craft. Watch it because of how weird and wonderful it is.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

In The Blair Witch Project, you won’t see any blood or gore—but that’s exactly what makes this film particularly terrifying. The film is largely about your imagination—and what’s scarier than that?

Gremlins (1984)

If you want something a little lighter than your standard horror flick, Gremlins is a good place to start, as a film that explores what happens when a bunch of Furbys come to life and wreak havoc.

And in case you haven’t found something you’re look for just yet, here are even more ideas:


Comments

    If you're after horror (or thriller) movies that don't rely on gore here are a couple more;

    Session 9 (2001)

    Attack the Block (2011 ) - more fun than scary, but a great flick.

    Insidious (2010)

    Sinister (2012)

    It Comes At Night (2017)

    And I can't believe you missed The Exorcist.

    Tucker & Dale vs Evil actually has a fair bit of gore in it, though in a comic way. If I had to put together a few horror/comedy films for people who aren't really big on horror it'd be top of the list. I'd also add Zombieland, Shaun of the Dead, Lesbian Vampire Killers, Tremors, Army of Darkness and Blood Sucking Bastards.

      Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead still have some gore in it.

        That's why I separated the comedy horror from the other movies. The tone makes the gore less noticeable. Call it the Wile E Coyote effect. You can do horrible things to a character as long as it's done for a laugh and get away with it.

          I guess it depends on the person and why they don't want to see gore.

          I often find over the top gore turns what was supposed to be a serious movie into a comedy.

            True, but that's also why I included Army or Darkness rather than Evil Dead 1/2. I mean there are a bunch like that, Bad Taste, Braindead, Deathgasm, Reanimator, just to name a few. But the gore can be a bit overwhelming for a non-horror person, even though it's super over the top.

            Shaun of the Dead isn't super gory, while there is some, a lot is implied. Zombieland is about on a par with Tucker & Dale (IMO) and they're not overwhelming.

            Side note, Shaun of the Dead has a lot more swearing than I remembered. Watched it with my Dad and a younger sister a couple years back and was surprised the number of C-bombs dropped.

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