5 Frighteningly Funny ‘SNL’ Horror Spoofs
From its first season when a possessed Laraine Newman spewed pea soup all over Richard Pryor during an Exorcist parody, Saturday Night Live has leaned hard into horror. So now that we’re in the scariest month of the calendar year, let’s revisit five of the show’s funniest horror movie spoofs.
The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders
Wes Anderson parodies are all the rage thanks to A.I. engines programmed to rip off his aesthetic, but the idea was pretty new when Edward Norton broke out his eerily accurate Owen Wilson. What makes this spoof rise above the algorithm-generated versions is the actual carnage wreaked throughout. The stop-motion mouse wields a bloody meat cleaver, the twee children arm themselves with an assault rifle and Tilda Swinton gets a blade in the back two seconds after she’s introduced. Fangoria Magazine says, “Da fuh?”
The Unknown Caller
Pete Davidson’s oblivious Chad is a one-joke character, but it’s a joke that actually works in the context of a horror movie. What good is it making treacherous death threats to an idiot who doesn’t understand he’s in danger? So frustrating! Chad’s tormenter has a number of horrors in mind, but it’s hard to phase a potential victim whose biggest, unlikeliest fear is “dick falls off.” And who can listen to death warnings when you’re watching a hilarious episode of Ridiculousness?
The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave
One of SNL’s earliest horror parodies — the terror of a houseguest who overstays his welcome — could have been based on John Belushi himself. He often found himself crashing at one place or another, once nearly burning down Lorne Michael’s apartment when he fell asleep smoking and the mattress caught fire. “Sometimes (Belushi) would just knock on my door at three in the morning,” remembered Penny Marshall in SNL oral history Live From New York. “We’d know when John got up in the middle of the night to eat because there’d be spaghetti sauce imprints all over the kitchen.”
It probably says something about Sarah Sherman that the role of Chucky seems like a natural for her. No less an authority than Chucky creator Don Mancini endorsed the bit.
Chucky’s official social account went after the sketch’s Janet character. “I’ve done a lot of f***ed up things,” says the murderous doll, “but even I would NEVER eat tuna in the office.”
Speaking of murderous dolls, SNL imagined a sequel to last year’s horror hit M3GAN that leaned into the titular character’s status as a gay icon. Chloe Fineman and Aubrey Plaza play two versions of the overprotective android and both of them absolutely slay at the club. Props to the cameo from the movie’s Alison Williams, who instantly earns club acceptance for her sexual antics on Girls — “Mama, if you’re getting your ass ate on TV, you’re an ally!”