ironically, Ghostbusters: Afterlife breathed fresh life into the series and is considered a return to form for the long-running comedy franchise, and a Ghostbusters 5 has just been announced that will be a direct sequel. However, Ghostbusters isn’t the only comedy series about the afterlife that will have audiences dying of laughter.
The afterlife has been depicted in many different ways in movies, whether it’s Hell on Earth or pop acts playing their hits in Heaven. And between being haunted by a bio-exorcist and playing Twister with the Grim Reaper in hell, afterlife-based movies make for some of the most creative comedies.
10 Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991) – 6.3
Where the first Bill & Ted movie was a time travel movie that featured historical characters, the sequel completely changed the concept. Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey is more fantasy than science fiction. The beginning of the film sees the two rockers get murdered by evil robot versions of themselves, and what follows is a bizarre trip through Hell.
For a comedy, Hell is surprisingly terrifying and nightmarish, as Bill and Ted are doomed to live their worst dreams and memories for eternity. But after winning Clue, Twister, and Battleship against the Grim Reaper, the latter becomes their servant, and it’s the funniest depiction of Death in movies. What makes the gaming sequence so funny is that, oddly enough, every viewer can relate to San La Muerte, and not even he likes losing.
9 This Is The End (2013) – 6.6
For the most part, This Is The End isn’t about the afterlife. The dystopian movie is about the apocalypse where anybody could perish from almost anything, whether it’s Aziz Ansari falling into a crack in the Earth or Jonah Hill becoming possessed by demons.
However, the final act reveals that the white beams of light that people are being sucked into are vessels to Heaven. Heaven is depicted in a way that’ll make any non-believer really wish the afterlife existed, as it’s one big party where the Backstreet Boys perform and anybody’s wish will immediately come true. Of all the movie’s hilarious cameos, the band’s appearance is one of the best and most surprising. The film is full of dark humor and brilliantly vulgar jokes that the cast is known for, which makes the upbeat ending funnier by contrast.
8 Drag Me To Hell (2009) – 6.6
After directing the original Spider Man trilogy, filmmaker Sam Raimi returned to what he does best, comedy horror. While there were hints of it in his previous movies, Raimi hadn’t made a comedy-horror since 1992’s Army of Darknessbut Drag Me To Hell was a satisfying return to the genre.
The movie follows a banker, Christine, who has a curse put on her by a crone when she’s denied a bank loan, and the banker does everything she can to keep herself from being tormented by demons and evil talking goats. The film is full of gross-out comedy that has audiences watching through their eyes, and few horror movies are as criminally underrated as the 2009 release, and it deserves way more recognition.
7 Death Becomes Her (1992) – 6.6
While it was criticized upon its release 30 years ago, Death Becomes Her has gotten a massive cult following in recent years. The film is about a group of superficial aging socialites who will do anything to stay young and beautiful. They drink a potion that will keep them not just youthful but give them the ability to survive fatal accidents, but they’re actually technically already dead.
After drinking the potion, the socialites no longer have a heartbeat. While it was already misunderstood in 1992, Death Becomes Her is more relevant than ever today. People can be superficial and will go to great lengths to stay youthful, and the movie is a cautionary tale about how people shouldn’t be hung up on looks.
6 Ghost Town (2008) – 6.7
Ghost Town is the first movie where Ricky Gervais plays the protagonist, a dentist who can see and speak with ghosts. The dentist dies for seven minutes during a colonoscopy, but he still has a connection to the afterlife after regaining consciousness. The movie is like a skewed version of The Sixth Sense and the light-weight rom-com is full of genuinely great comedy.
While Gervais’s is universally praised as a comedian and television actor, he hasn’t had the same success when it comes to movies. Gervais proves that he can be a great leading man with ghost town, and it didn’t deserve its underwhelming performance at the box office. The character has Gervais’s typical dry British humor, and it’s combined with the dark philosophical outlook he so often delves into with his other projects like the appropriately titled After Life.
5 Scrooged (1988) – 6.9
scrooged is one of many adaptations of A Christmas Carol, and it’s one of the most creative reimaginings. As is the case with every adaptation of the novel, the main character, in this case, Frank (Bill Murray,) is visited by ghosts who show him why he should be kinder and more optimistic.
But when it comes to scrooged, the ghosts are terrifying, specifically, Ghost of Christmas Past (Dan Akroyd) and Ghost of Christmas Future. But the ghosts are just as funny as they are scary, and Akroyd is endlessly entertaining when reunited with his Ghostbusters costar. The movie’s iteration of Scrooge is almost like a character from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, as he’s so selfish and cruel, but still undeniably comical. The 1989 film is one of Richard Donner’s best movies, and it’s unique in the late, great director’s filmography, which is generally full of family-friendly adventure flicks.
4 Army Of Darkness (1992) – 7.2
Army of Darkness is the final movie in the Evil Dead series, but where Evil Dead II was a partial remake of the original while applying more comedy, the threequel is way more ambitious. Along with being a horror comedy and seeing the chainsaw and shotgun-wielding Ash take on the undead once again, Army of Darkness is a medieval epic.
Though it’s cinematically ambitious given its budget, it doesn’t outstay its welcome, as it’s one of the best movies under 90s minutes. However, it’s just as intentionally kitschy. At one point, when Ash is being attacked by skeletons, they’re clearly being thrown at him by a crew member off-screen. The film is a great ending to the trilogy, but as the movie pulls the same trick as Evil Dead IIit ends with Ash being transported to a different time period through a portal, this time hundreds of years in the future, Evil Dead IV could still happen.
3 Beetlejuice (1988) – 7.5
beetlejuice is now considered a classic. Michael Keaton’s portrayal of the bio-exorcist sees the actor at his eccentric comedy acting best and Beetlejuice’s get-up, specifically the black-and-white pinstripe suit, is iconic. Between the character’s agile movements, his throaty smoker’s voice, and the over-the-top facial expressions, few actors have embodied a character more.
It just goes to show how beloved the character is that he’s only in the movie for 17 minutes but still left such a huge impact on pop culture. there was a Beetle juice 2 planned that saw the character vacationing in Hawaii, but it was left in development hell for decades.
2 Evil Dead II (1987) – 7.7
The original Evil Dead has a great rating on IMDb with 7.4, but though the Evil Dead series is best known for being a horror-comedy, the first film doesn’t actually feature much comedy at all. The director Sam Raimi’s signature comedy was only established in Evil Dead IIbut it did so with such effortlessness.
The movie sees Ash (Bruce Campbell) at war with his own hand, and he casually replaces his severed limb with a chainsaw. The 1987 sequel is by far the best movie in the series and is a cult classic, thanks to the body comedy that Raimi is so great at. While the movie’s villains are Deadites, Ash has more issues with bookcases and his own limbs. The horror comedy was equally subtly referenced in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madnessas Campbell plays a character who is under a spell where he can’t stop hitting himself.
1 Ghostbusters (1984) – 7.8
There are four movies in the Ghostbusters franchise, and they all have high enough IMDb scores to make the list, but the series’ quality is still all over the place. The original movie is a classic that plays with the idea of the afterlife in creative ways, even if the idea of different forms of ghosts doesn’t make any sense.
While Murray has so many classic characters under his belt, Venkman is the most well-known, and it’s the role that best captures his dry wit. It’s a performance that all of the actor’s following roles derive from, but nothing tops the original. What makes the afterlife comedy so unique is how cavalier the Ghostbusters are about the idea of ghosts.
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