10 Best Comfort Horror Movies

9. Coraline (2009)

Shaun of the Dead
Focus Features

Neil Gaiman-penned dark fantasy horror Coraline (2009) is a no-brainer when it comes to comfort watching, never mind that there are button-eyed doppelgängers and that souls get stolen and that a malevolent creature in the guise of a little girl's mother tries to sew up her eyes and keep her in a netherworld forevermore...

Coraline (Dakota Fanning) discovers a secret door in her new home, behind which lies the Other World, a mirror dimension that, unlike similar fare in Stranger Things (2016–) or Us (2019), actually seems better than reality. The doppelgängers of her parents (voiced by Teri Hatcher and Jon Hodgman) have her feeling quite at home, until a plan is revealed to kidnap her real parents and try and keep her there indefinitely.

Stop-motion animation lends Coraline additional airs of familiarity, harking back to the Wallace & Gromit adventures of our youth; and creepiness, in the relative unreality of characters' movements and the way in which the form facilitates every kind of dark, Burtonesque vision. Nevertheless, the voice cast (which also includes Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders) root our minds in popular TV and cinema, allowing us to journey as deep as the rabbit hole goes without ever feeling out of our depth.


Writer, editor and lifelong critic of test screenings, money men and films-by-committee.