Have you seen the insurance commercial where the people in a horror movie do stupid stuff? Those are things we’ve all said while watching horror movies. Why don’t these people understand there are easy ways to avoid catastrophe? I mean, really easy ways. Check them out.
Never Trust The Dead
This generally goes without saying: People who are already dead are probably not trustworthy. If you can’t even trust them to stay dead, you sure can’t take investment tips from them or expect them to honor their promise that they won’t try to drown you in a pool of bile. Let’s be honest, all they’re thinking about is drowning you in a pool of bile. Probably not even your bile. Gross. If you ask a dead guy to hold your drink for a sec, he’s going to sharpen his femur and then punch you with it.
Basically, we’re talking here about your Samaras, Freddy Kruegers, Jasons, zombies, anyone who should be ashes in a Cracker Jack box on the mantle, gathering dust. When they come back, it’s in a bad way. And you don’t want to believe the ones you think have a sympathetic plight. You remember how that mess with Samara turned out in The Ring when Rachel tried to set her free? She was all too stoked to get out of that well and keep screwing up people’s VHS tapes. The dead don’t need your help to move on, there’s no unfinished business. I’ve got unfinished business every week, I don’t spend my weekend trying to catch up. When you clock out, you stop worrying about that garbage. Same goes for the dead. Only reason they’re sticking around after hours is evil. Sort yourself out and don’t play with dead things.
Never Check A Corpse
Speaking of the dead, you’re going to want to never make assumptions in a horror killer situation. If you take a shot and the unstoppable force of evil goes down like a sack of russets, do yourself a favor and don’t close the gap to roll their carcass over. What the hell are you looking for, anyway? You going to steal his wallet? Teabag him and post a pic on Instagram? Save yourself the trouble and put about five more bullets into his spine from across the room. And then still don’t go and check on the body because if your boogeyman is a supernatural jerk, he’s still going to get up. He’s always going to get up.
Look at it this way, you’re not CSI. You don’t really need to investigate the body. You don’t need to get nose-to-nose with him to make sure that he’s been properly dead-ed. Carpe that diem and run like a five-year-old with a scraped knee to the nearest church, police station, or police church before the guy gets up and pulls your face through a doorknob.
Watch Your Step
According to the CDC, the leading cause of twisted and broken ankles is horror movie wind sprints. You’re probably going to panic a little when the dude with the chainsaw and your best friend’s head in his jeggings is running through the woods after you. We’re not judging you for that. But that’s no reason for reckless stupidity. Now more than ever, you need to run with some caution. Watch for stray branches, errant rib-cages and slippery forest turds. They’re all going to inevitably be in your way and you need to juke around them if you want to live. Not one person ever crawled their way to safety with a serial killer on their six. Keep a frosty head on your shoulders and pitter patter, ’cause you’ve got a life to save.
When Things Move On Their Own, Leave
Oh hey, look at the dining room chair just gliding across the floor! Isn’t that a trip to the carnival? NO! It’s time to move. This was the most egregiously perplexing part of the movie Poltergeist, when the reckless mom sees stuff moving around the kitchen and she opts to pop a helmet on her kid and let her skid across the linoleum under ghost power.
No ghost ever starts by showing all his cards. They’re a crafty lot, and they’d much rather play around with you for a bit before they start their phantasmagorical squash match. It starts with a closed door and a creeper in the mirror and your stupid kid skidding across the kitchen floor like a dog with an itchy butt. This is the ghost saying, “Screw it, I’ll give you one free shot to not die here.” Take that shot! It’s a gift! The ghost doesn’t care, as it’s literally got all eternity to make something happen. You have the better part of a week in which to live. You don’t want to double down on that kind of stupidity, so just pack an overnight bag, grab some road snacks, and leave. Forever.
Don’t Play With Sinister Knick Knacks
What is your deal? The Lament Configuration in Hellraiser? The Dybbuk Box in The Possession? Every underworld tchotchke in The Cabin in the Woods? None of that stuff is yours, why are you playing with it? Keep your hands off the devil’s baubles, they’re guaranteed to be evil.
I’m as curious as the next George. I like playing with toys and boobs and whatnot but there’s a time and a place for everything. It’s been my observation that every evil curio in a movie tends to be presented to us in a less than Disney-fied ambience. So if you discover a bloody box in a bloody corner of a bloody cellar, it doesn’t matter if Willy Wonka’s golden ticket is inside, you really don’t need to open it because come on.
This is another situation where evil is kind of winking at you to see if you’re paying attention. Evil never takes up residence in an awesome pair of sunglasses or a Nintendo Switch. It’s stuck in Annabelle, a doll that looks like the doll-maker constructed it in the backside of a dead bear.
Invest In Proper Flashlights
I don’t use flashlights a lot, my home has electricity. But when I do use a flashlight, it’s never flickered twice exactly at the moment I needed it then died because I don’t buy Idiot-Brand electronics. This is why batteries from the Dollar Store are garbage. You’re going to want to do yourself a favor and either use the light on your phone like a normal person does in 2019 or, if you’re afraid your phone’s about to die like it does in all horror movies that refuse to acknowledge the existence of power banks and portable chargers, then you get yourself one of those flashlights that you can wind up. That’s ingenious. Let’s see you kill those batteries, malevolent spirit.
Ignore Weird Sounds Or Investigate With Backup
You and the boys are relaxing, watching the game, and wouldn’t you know it, some spare parts SOB starts rattling a chain in the root cellar. Well hold on there, Johnny Investigator, there’s no reason to leave the party alone and look into the situation based on the premise that “It’s probably just the wind.” First of all, you live indoors, there’s no wind. And if there’s a sound of significant enough stature to require an investigation, you’re going to want to pause a moment and take stock of the situation. That noise could very well be some meth-fueled ax-clown eager to screw your corpse. Don’t fall for his guile.
If you NEED to go investigate the mysterious noise, for god’s sake, bring a friend. If you don’t have a friend, plan strategically. Grab yourself a blunt instrument because a knife is always getting batted out of your hands or turned around and shoved in your eye socket. And if it’s a gun, you’re going to shoot your mom. Happens all the time. You need a bat or a golf club or a nice poker with that spikey bit that was made exclusively for skull-crushing good times.
Here’s the hard part: You wait. In any horror movie when you go looking to investigate the sound, the scary SOB gets the drop on you because he just started a game of Tic-Tac-Toe and put his X down before you even saw the game board. Screw that game, we’re playing Monopoly now and you got the car. So give him the thimble. Wait him out. He can’t hide in your closet forever. Within a half hour, he’s going to start feeling like a real jerk. Keep in mind, as a maniac, he probably has a lot of patience but he’s still going to be second-guessing himself if he sets the trap and you don’t take the bait. Then, if he pops out to see if you’re still there, you leap like a gazelle from behind the sofa and rain holy hell down on his melon.
This is going to be a challenge for even the best of us, but probably the most important thing you need to possess in order to survive any and all horror situations is a calm demeanor. When you can’t be sure if the things you see are real or not real, you need to go inward. Get full on Cartesian. “I think therefore I am” is all you need to see you through the night. You know you’re you, assume everything else is a load of paranormal horse-hockey. The moment you question everything is the moment nothing has the edge on you. Is this creepy ghost in the shower real or in my imagination? Well who cares now? It’s going to jump, scare you and probably disappear. Don’t fall for the shock and awe.
Panic and bewilderment is the chief weapon of every sinister force of douche-ness. Nine times out of ten, those demons don’t even lay hands on you, they just trick you into doing something silly that gets you killed. Of course, if your adversary is flesh and blood, you may need to be a little more proactive in your survival technique, as you need to dodge those knife slashes and jump from windows, but keeping your head on your shoulders literally involves keeping it there figuratively. You can do it!