Jonathan Crocker

Editorial Director | Journalist

How To Survive A Horror Movie

Posted by Jonathan On April - 11 - 2010

1. Don’t go out there (or in here)

The basement, the attic, the closet, the garage, that alley, those woods… Just. Don’t. Doesn’t matter if you heard a noise. Doesn’t matter if the generator just broke. You go to investigate something that’s ‘not quite right’, you’re dead meat. Wait till morning. If it’s still night-time it’s still dangerous.

As seen in: Evil Dead 2

2. Don’t answer the phone

Riiiing, riiiing! Riiing, riiiing! Trust us. That’s not your mum phoning to wish you happy birthday. It’s Mr Death – and he’s calling collect. If it’s a local call, he’s outside or in the next room. If he’s phoning long distance – from Japan, say – get ready for a weird and very fatal throat-rattle. Lozenge, anyone?

As seen in: Ring

3. Don’t have sex

The horror genre is a prude with an attitude. You get laid, you get laid to rest. Any frisky teen hottie who can’t resist a naughty wrestle between the sheets is guaranteed to get skewered in a significantly less enjoyable way very shortly. Use protection: become a nun.

As seen in: Friday The 13th

4. Be the first name on the credits

Watch carefully as the opening credits roll. If your name isn’t there, you’re not going to make the sequel. If it is there but you’re not the main character, your best bet is to listen very carefully to what they say. If they claim there’s a loony on the loose, he’s probably right behind you.

As seen in: Scream

5. Listen for the music

Why do horror movies always have brilliantly eerie soundtracks? They’re your clue to staying alive. Any time you hear the signature tune start to tingle, you can bet there’s a nutter with a hockey mask and a machete sat in the back seat of your car.

As seen in: Halloween

6. Be a woman (who’s not super-hot)

Bad news, chaps. No Y chromosome means you’re a dead man walking. The only one who ever survives is a female. But ladies, check yourself: if your hair is blonder and your breasts are bigger than the other sisters in the room, chances are you have looks that’ll kill.  

As seen in: The Shining

7. Don’t play pranks

You’re not a bad person. You just got carried along in a high-school prank on some poor, unsuspecting kid. Too bad that gag just went to hell – now the joke’s on you. Pranksters get their comeuppance in the bloodiest way possible. Be nice. Live longer.

As seen in: Sorority Row

8. Don’t go looking for your cat

Yes, it’s Mr Tiddles. Yes, you can hear him mewing, somewhere in the dark. He’s close. But you can’t quite see him. Or the big man with the mask and the butcher’s knife who’s standing next him. Same goes for your friend who’d “be back soon”. No, they’re dead. If they’re not, you will be.

As seen in: Alien


9. Stay away from water

Don’t go swimming in a lake. Or a pool (especially at night). Don’t even take a shower. For starters, it means you’re either naked or skimpily dressed. And we know how horror movies feel about that. Our guess is, when you get out of the water, there’ll be someone waiting for you. That’s not a towel they’re holding.

As seen in: I Spit On Your Grave

10. Stay away from hotels

Admittedly, camping isn’t what you want to be doing in a horror film. But hotels aren’t much safer. Especially family-owned joints in the middle of nowhere that nobody else appears to be booked at. Go for franchised rented accommodation instead of places with ‘Overlook’ and ‘Bates’ in the name.

As seen in: Psycho


11. Beware of animals

Birds, spiders, dogs, whatever. Any of them start acting weirdly – glowing eyes, gather in aggressive numbers, start eating human flesh – don’t stick around to find out why. Seriously, just get out. Don’t call a vet. Don’t make friends with a local scientist or school-teacher who happens to be an expert in that animal. Just go.

As seen in: Arachnophobia

12. Don’t look in mirrors

So you’re having a bad hair day? Live with it. Either your reflection will show you as a terrifying monster or that monster will jump out of the mirror and get you. Or, while you’re gazing in disbelief at all this, the real monster will be sneaking up… LOOK BEHIND YOU!

As seen in: Candyman

Publication: MSN Movies

2 Responses to “How To Survive A Horror Movie”

  1. Gargantua says:

    A very good list of things NOT to do if you want to survive. Another one I’d add is “Never ever split the group up!”

  2. Wow wie immer ein informativer Beitrag. Wenn doch nur alle Texte so schön zu lesen wären. Gruß Shirl Partipilo

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Jonathan is a London-based journalist, critic and editor. He currently works for data visualisation agency Beyond Words.

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