Author Interviews

{Guest Post} “Scared Silly: Horror That Makes You Laugh”, by Matt Betts

by Matt Betts
Genres: comedy, Horror
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Scared Silly: Horror That Makes You Laugh


I’m a pop culture junkie and not afraid to say it. While I love reading books, movies are my weakness. I like good movies, bad movies, whatever.

If you’ve read any of my books you know I enjoy injecting humor into my work. I’m a huge fan of throwing a laugh into a scene to ease or ratchet up the tension in an especially dire scene. I think this practice came from some of my favorite horror/scary movies. I’ve never really loved the serious horror films-all the gross-outs and the dismemberments aren’t really my thing. But if a movie can toss in some well-timed jokes, it has a good chance of winning me over.

Hopefully, my new book The Boogeyman’s Intern has a few laughs and scares that readers will enjoy.

To illustrate my point, here are five of my favorite movies that mix scares and laughs in an interesting way.

  1. Ghostbusters

Okay. Is it a horror movie? Maybe not. But it definitely mixes its comedy with scares and the supernatural. The cast was just a machine of comedy greats.

2. Shaun of the Dead

One of my favorites.  Really manages to throw in a gross-out here and there, while really maintaining an incredible streak of fun.


3. Army of Darkness

Skeletons, hags, and a bunch of tiny little Ashes make for some frightening moments, while not forgetting the funny. If Bruce Campbell isn’t your spirit animal, I don’t want to know who is.

  1. Zombieland

Probably the goriest film on this short list, and one I was sure I wasn’t going to like because of the gross factor. Pleasantly surprised that the humor in this one was so good that this is now one of my favorite movies.


  1. Tucker and Dale vs Evil

This is another that I was on the fence about watching, but I’m glad I did. This story of misunderstood characters and intentions was a lot of fun, and partly because it does get so gory by the end.


Honorable Mention

If we’re talking about funny mixed with scary, I want to make sure I mention Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein. Pure hilarity, but it does manage to poke fun at some of the most iconic horror in motion picture history.

These are my picks for five (six) of my favorites. It’s a subjective list and there are a lot of films that could’ve easily made it. I purposefully decided to make this list so short in order to give you room to tell me what your favorite movies are that manage to make you laugh while you squirm. Put your favorites in the comments below!

Hopefully, my new book The Boogeyman’s Internhas a few laughs and scares that readers will enjoy. It’s available now from Dog Star Books!

The Boogeyman’s Intern

ISBN: 9781947879041



Not everyone lands their dream job.

Take Abe: He’s bottomed out as an Imaginary Friend and has to find a new job before his bosses assign him a truly crappy one. Just as he’s about to resign himself to a life of making toys in a workshop, he’s given a reprieve–of sorts. Now he has the opportunity to be the first policeman on the Hill and solve an impossible murder.

For assistance he ropes in his career counselor, a Bigfoot, and his best friend, a Boogeyman. The job requires him to talk to Tooth Fairies, Leprechauns, Yetis and everything else humanity has dreamt up over the years. None of them offer any clues, but since Abe’s supervisors are Mother Nature, Father Time and Death, he can’t just give up and walk away.

Dream job? Dream on.


“A dreamlike quality permeates this story, and the basic whodunit set-up turns into a multilevel metaphysical quandary as Betts injects one twist after another into an increasingly unsettling tale.”–Publishers Weekly

“The moments of humor are well-earned, and Brady and Zane are standouts….The ending manages to be both fascinating and endearing. An offbeat, entertaining look at timeworn mythical characters.”–Kirkus

“There is something under your bed. There is something going bump in the night. Something is following you.’ Betts’ novel finds a way to encapsulate that chilling sentiment in a surprisingly hilarious way…”–Booklist

“What starts out as a quirky tale about a burnt-out Imaginary Friend turns into a locked room murder mystery for a creature that cannot die. An entertaining mash-up of “Monsters Inc.” and “Chinatown” in a world populated by Bigfoot, Tooth Fairies, and Boogeymen. Perhaps, the start of its own genre: Imagin-noire.”–Josef Matulich, author of Camp Arcanum



About the Author

Matt Betts worked for years in radio as an on-air personality, anchor and reporter. His fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. His work includes the steampunk novel, Odd Men Out, urban fantasy book Indelible Ink, the dark fantasy The Boogeyman’s Intern, and the giant robot vs giant monster novel The Shadow beneath the Waves. His poetry collections include See No Evil, Say No Eviland Underwater Fistfight.


About Matt Betts

My first novel, ODD MEN OUT, is steampunk/alternate history with a little horror thrown in for good measure. Indelible Ink is my crime story with a supernatural twist. Underwater Fistfight is my new collection of scifi poetry inspired by old cartoons, scifi pulp and more nerdy stuff. Giant robot vs giant monster in The Shadow Beneath the Waves.


I am an avid reader/reviewer and collector of books--primarily horror, supernatural, and supernatural-themed thrillers.

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