A Cracked Guide: How To Survive A Summer Slasher Movie

Happy summer, everyone!
A Cracked Guide: How To Survive A Summer Slasher Movie

With so many dangers to watch out for come the dreaded summer season — we're talking UV rays, dehydration, and spawning inner hell demons because the heat fries our human souls — we can be glad that, at least, we're not in some summer slasher horror movie where we'd have to deal with a group of annoying teenagers (probably), and one deranged stalker who is also a wacky-masked killer person, too. Then again, that does sound like a scenario one would encounter in most any U.S. coastal town all year round.

If, for some extremely unfortunate reason, you do find yourself in one of these classic summer slasher scenarios, we're sorry. The odds aren't in your favor at all. The real point of this list is to avoid any and all of the entries in here, but if you do find yourself in one of these red flag situations, here are some tips on making it through and basically becoming the Final Girl. You probably won't — the odds are really, really bad, you guys — but hey. Everyone likes a character who tries…before they die a horrible, horrifying death. Happy summer, everyone!

So You Woke Up On An Exotic Vacation Island…

Well, first of all, that was stupid. You shouldn’t have done that. You obviously bought the tickets and planned this thing — we’re not aware of any summer slasher horror that’s about someone getting kidnapped just to go get their tan on in some four-star joint named Hotel Paradise or whatever. You willingly (and most ignorantly) went into this with rose-tinted ideas of sun, surf, and relaxation … and now you’re hiding away from a killer, drenched in a bout of unexpected monsoon rain and your own stinky sweat as you frantically try to read this list while both your flashlight and phone’s batteries are dying. You might say that you probably should’ve seen this coming. You might say that maybe, you even deserve this. 

Upgraded Points/Unsplash

She obviously has a death wish.

Rule #1 for Exotic Island Slasher Scenario: Stock up on batteries — chargeable batteries, preferably. And make sure all the batteries are actually charged at all times. Be that person who incessantly checks and charges, checks and charges. This is how lives are saved, people. 

Also, don’t ever leave your phone or whatever kind of communication device you’re using on the beach or in a place where you are not. What even is the point of that? It basically ties into Rule #2: Don’t go anywhere away from the resort/people where no one knows where you are. That means no hiking some magical, isolated island trail. Unless, of course, you want to be murdered.

The Perfect Getaway, Rogue Pictures

Do you, Timothy Oliphant? Do you?

And it’s not just humans you have to worry about. Animals can stalk too, you know, and sharks are arguably the serial killers of the ocean (in horrors, at least). So yeah, no hiking and no surfing on an isolated beach where no one knows where you are because you want to be sad for a while. You will encounter a shark. It won’t be fun. And you will die because you’re probably not Blake Lively.

The Shallows, Sony Pictures

Hopefully, you’ll make a new bird friend before the shark chomps you dead. That way, you won’t be totally alone in the end, even though you wanted to be alone to begin with. So stupid.

Rule #3: When you see these faces welcoming you to your island resort, turn around and get the hell back on that boat. 

Club Dread, Searchlight Pictures

You will not seduce us, Coconut Pete! 

Or, you know, stay. Enjoy. And get embarrassingly macheted to death by a disgruntled island employee.

So You Woke Up In A Cabin In The Woods…

Wow … we actually don’t know what to make of you, honestly. Did someone drug you? Is this some weird, dark Squid Game challenge where you’ll win a million dollars if you can stick it out in a cabin in the freaking woods? You know what? Don’t tell us. We’re not ready for what’ll most likely be the most disappointing answer we have ever received from any of you. You’re there, so let’s see what you can do to make it out alive (with hopefully a grain of our respect).

The Cabin in the Woods, Lionsgate

Pictured: Not how you gain a grain of our respect.

Rule #1: Don’t make out with taxidermied animals, hunting trophies, or whatever these cabin interiors have to offer. It’s not sexy, it’s probably unhygienic, and you will definitely die. In fact, Rule #2 ought to make this easy: Don’t do anything they did in 2011’s The Cabin in the Woods. That movie is basically a blueprint of what not to do — from reading out loud the words inside an ancient and obviously cursed book, to being friends with Jock Chris Hemsworth. All bad ideas, folks.

That actually leads us into Rule #3: Don’t trust any privileged teenagers/young adults — especially not a whole group of them. Remember Tucker & Dale vs. Evil? Yeah, those two friendly and good-natured hillbillies sure faced evil … in the form of a bunch of spoiled, bratty city teens moments away from demanding everyone reveal their star sign.

So You Woke Up In A Foreigh Country…

Well, look at you, trying to be all traveled and stuff. Got tired of the ol’ home base, hey? Wanted to see the world, did you? Actually, that’s great. Good for you, we mean it — so many people never see anything outside of their basements. Alas, it is absolutely tragic, then, that you had to share your experience of seeing the world, learning about other people and their cultures, and opening your mind to life outside of your own little bubble with a bunch of absolutely gonzo psycho killers. We’re sorry. There are no refunds for that because life doesn’t give you refunds. 


Just ask burning bear man.

Rule #1: Do not go to Sweden. Yes, this is a preemptive rule, but it needs to be repeated ever so often. Don’t go to Sweden. Just don’t.  

Rule #2: Do not piss off the Swedish. This rule is because you ignored rule number one, and now you’re one communal dinner away from getting your nuts roasted in front of a cheering crowd of overwhelmingly white people. Again, we can’t help but wonder if you maybe deserve all of this. Why would you be such a jerk to foreigners on their own turf anyway? See, this is why we can’t take you anywhere. You’ll probably die happy at the hands of blood-lusting cultists as long as you get to participate in their massive orgy before they burn you alive.

Okay, so you didn’t go to Sweden (good). Instead, you traveled to Eastern Europe for a helping of their massive orgies, and now you’re tied up in some dank room with a rich guy who’s about to torture you some. You’re clearly in an Eli Roth movie, which means most people aren't going to give a crap about you. You also ignored Rule #3: Don’t take a Dutch businessman’s word about the best hostel in town. What would a businessman know about hostels? Exactly. Rookie mistake. And if your buddy disappears, you get your butt the hell out of there and try to locate him from a safe distance. Or just get a new friend. It’s your best bet.

Hostel, Lionsgate

Also, make sure you’re actually in Europe and not in someone’s basement in Arizona.

So You Woke Up Next To A Lake…

You’re at summer camp, aren’t you? You’re absolutely impossible. We should just let you die at the hands of some sad sack’s mental mother. 

Generally, you’d want to stay away from any place that’s seen a drowning, but if you do find yourself at Camp Come On You Know How This One Goes By Now, you know what that means — Rule #1: No sex. Yep, it’s the ‘50s again, and everyone’s super weird about bumping uglies. 

And you can’t be a prude about it, either. It’s a tricky balance to navigate while trying to avoid a slasher killer who clearly has a great deal of sexual repression, but that’s just what you have to do. This fundamental law of Summer Camp Slashers was perfectly illustrated and delightfully mocked in The Final Girls, with hot girl Tina first completely covered up to keep Drown Boy Psycho away … only to have her do a wild rendition of a striptease to lure the killer into the group’s trap.

As you can see, that all went terribly for Tina, as it has for so many young camp counselors over the years. That, and any camper who is just a straight-up jerk. So, Rule #2: Don’t be a jerk, okay? And if you’re the jerk of the group, better make sure you don’t have any curling irons lying around.

Of course, not every lake slasher happens at camp. What the original Funny Games, as well as the remake, have taught us is that nowhere is safe, and no one can be trusted. Not even your dog. This brings us to Rule #3: Never lend a neighbor some eggs. Ever. We don’t care how people want to reason or justify the act of being “a good neighbor” and giving away eggs when eggs are requested. That is clearly how you die. Over a couple of damn eggs.

So You Woke Up In The Middle Of The Chihuahuan Desert/Rural Texas…

Right. We’ve got nothing. You’re screwed because there’s just no way out of this one, pal. The odds of surviving a Texas Chainsaw Massacre scenario is 1:8, or 12.5%. You’re more likely to beat Michael Myers than make it out of Snake Country alive. Surviving this type of summer slasher is like trying to convince Texans to give up their guns. It’s not going to happen, buddy. 

Not only will you most certainly get caught while trying to find gas because your sorry ass ran out of some, but there will also be no escape for you here because everyone in desolate Texas and the arid parts of Arizona work together in these type of plots to capture, torture, and devour anyone who isn't them. Man, it’s almost like these silly slashers have actual metaphors to them.

Searchlight Pictures

For instance, Wes Craven’s 1977 masterpiece The Hills Have Eyes is clearly about Man wanting to transcend nature and become Unicorn.

Anyway. Hope you put up a solid final fight, at least. We’re rooting for you. Just don’t try to use a snake as a weapon, okay? That only ever works in movies.

Zanandi is on social media here and here.

Thumbnail: Lionsgate


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