Surviving Horror Films Is A Breeze If You Follow These Rules
Do you like the horror? Sure you do, unless you're one of those "No I don't" types. In that case, I'm not sure I fully trust you. You need fictional horror to help your mind cope with real-life horror, I say. Keeps things in perspective. Is the world going to shit in a shitbasket full of shitty shitlets? Yeah, but at least no alien pupae are metastasizing in your scrotal sack before trying to turn you into a skin suit. But what if they were? You need to know how to navigate a horror movie. I recently caught my friend James Cullen Bressack's new movie Bethany, which you should totally watch for the cereal eating scene alone, but feel free to check out the trailer and try not to cringe at the fingernail part.
The top-shelf scares in it made me ponder the skills that one needs to have in order to refrain from being turned into chump meat. For example...
Never Trust The Dead
This generally goes without saying: People who are already dead are probably not the most trustworthy individuals. If you can't even trust them to stay dead, you sure as shootin' 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. Because 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 cock punch you with it sure as a puppy's got a wet nose.
Basically, we're talking here about your Samaras, your 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 bullshit with Samara turned out in The Ring when Rachel tried to set her free? Little shit was all too stoked to get out of that well and keep fucking up people's VHS tapes like the world's most diabolical horizontal hold. The dead don't need your help to move on, there's no unfinished business. Fucker, 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 bullshit. Same goes for the dead. Only reason they're sticking around after hours is some horseshit. Sort yourself out and don't play with dead things.
She's not getting over-time pay for this. She's just in it to screw with you.
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 pants-shitting 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 prick, he's still going to get up. He's always going to get up.
And then throw your empty gun at his stupid, scarred face. It certainly wouldn't hurt.
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 your dickhole or, as is popular in horror films, your lady-dickhole.
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 have a care for the state of your dew-beaters and 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 that shit if you want to live because I'll tell you right now, not a damn 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.
Don't let a seemingly clear path fool you. A trail in a horror movie is basically one long banana peel.
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? Fuck no. It's time to move. This was the most egregiously perplexing part of the movie Poltergeist, when the reckless mom sees shit moving around the kitchen and she opts to pop a helmet on her kid and let her skid across the linoleum under ghost power. The fuck is your damage, lady?
I know you're going through some weird stuff right now, but check yourself.
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 asshole. This is the ghost saying "Fuck 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
Christ almighty, 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 shit is yours, why are you playing with it? Keep your hands off the devil's baubles, they're guaranteed to be just saturated in Stygian semen and sneeze residue.
Have some hand sanitizer with you when you start to fiddle with this thing. And possibly a priest.
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 and 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 goddamn doll that looks like the doll-maker constructed it in the ass 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 Dick-Brand electronics. This is why batteries from the Dollar Store are bullshit. You're going to want to do yourself a favor and either use the light on your phone like a normal person does in 2017 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 shit's ingenious. Let's see you kill those batteries, malevolent shit spirit.
We had a good thing going with the torch, but nooo, we had to go and have an Industrial Revolution.
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 son of a bitch 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 goddamn 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 buttfuck 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.
People use these for practical fireplace reasons, too? News to me.
Here's the hard part: You wait. In any horror movie when you go looking to investigate the sound, the scary son of a bitch 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. Fuck that game, we're playing Monopoly now and you got the car. So give him the shitty 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 asshole. 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. Especially if your horror manifestation involves creepy hellscapes like Hellraiser or you start seeing crazy, awful shit like in The Ring and Bethany, all up in your grill with their drippy tentacles and testicles.
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 puckey. 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 the fuck cares now? It's going to jump scare you and probably disappear. Don't fall for the shock and awe.
You can handle any abandoned mental hospital if you've got a solid grasp of feng shui.
Panic and bewilderment is the chief weapon of every sinister force of douchery. Nine times out of ten, those ghostly sons of guns 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 pro-active 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. I have faith in you.
Ian tweets all the time on Twitter and it's guaranteed to be 67 percent hilarious. Follow him. Follow your heart.
For more check out 5 Terrifying Implications of Surviving a Horror Movie and The 7 Most Easily Escapable Movie Monsters.
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