first a generell definition of horrorfilms:
Horror films are a movie genre seeking to elicit a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on the audience's most primal fears. They often feature scenes that startle the viewer through the means of macabre and the supernatural, thus they may overlap with thefantasy and supernatural genre. Horrors frequently overlap with the thriller genre. - Wikipedia
And now the definition of a comedy horror film:
In comedy horror film, gallows humor is a common element. While comedy horror films provide scares for audiences, they also provide something that dramatic horror films do not: "the permission to laugh at your fears, to whistle past the cinematic graveyard and feel secure in the knowledge that the monsters can't get you - Wikipedia
As you can obviously see, comedy horror is kind of an extension of JUST horror and thats why we have choosen comedy horror and not just horror because its a challenge to give the audience a fear feeling and laugh permission at the same time but if a filmmaker achieves this "effect" the reaction will be imense because thats what the audience is looking for ... comedy and horror at the same time and a horror comedy film's goal is not only the +18 age area they look specificly to persons under 18 as well so as you can see the end gross is way higher then just a horror film but as I said in the beginning, the producer needs to achieve either laugh and fear.
Lets take the ilm "Tacker & Dale vs Evil" in my opinion a perfect example because as a huge fan of this film I can honestly say that this film scared at the beginning the shit out of me because the film location was ecellently choosen which gave the whole film this noir feeling in the beginning and later on and on it went more and more funny instead of scary. If I now compare "Zombieland" with this film i notice that zombieland is from the beginning constantly armed with jokes but tacker & dale vs evil is building the jokes up and that is probably also the reason why it just made 4.000.000 dollars while Zombieland made over 100.000.000 dollar because its just a perfect example of horror comedy while Tacker & Dale vs Evil is something new and needs more attention !
So now to the audience, most zom coms or horror films look in the dark humor in depth because thats what makes a good zombie comedy film/ horror film and thats why so many people like it. The only way a filmdirector can find out why and what people like on a film is ... just to ask them so I researched and found this website --> http://bradwestwoodasmediafoundationportfolio.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/audience-expectations-analysis-research-through-questionnaire/
In this questionnaire the people who were asked were 5 females and 5 males so fair survey. I noticed that every point in this questions was exactly related to our ideology, e.g. what sort of character ? stupid (my character)
what would you expect the caracters to be ? simple like in our film
and so on ...
I think people like to see in a horror-comedy film how the main characters getting on with their adventure and that the audience can see themself in the position of the characters so for example difficult characters could ruin this feeling because the audiece just cant get in the position of the actor and thats an important fact to look at . Furthermore the timing must be right so the audience is'nt ready for the fun moment therefore they laugh more because unexpected things are funny (proofen) and the age range is therefore 14- 50 because some jokes are a bit to hard to understand for children under 13 and some others are just to unfunny for people over 50.
but the MAIN MAIN audience is 16-19 because I thing they just really celebrate good zom coms and talk about them the whole day with friends and share them on social website and they are the main part of the zom com audience not just because they like the mix of dirty jokes and brutal violence they have something to think about and they're gonna show other people like family members the film and so on the film. Furthermore
16 - 19 years old persons go the most to the cinemas and they dont just watch a film ones like normal people they watch it 3 to 4 times if its a really good one because they just cant get enough and thats what a good zom com needs to have.
And its not just for males its for females as well because its just in most zom coms (apart from dead snow) not that realistic and they are not scared, they are happy because its funny. Ok some girls just watch films because they are scary but thats soemthing else.