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How to Survive a Horror Film

Because dying isn't an option.

By Cody DeitzPublished 7 years ago 5 min read
Yes, the rules may have been started in Scream, but we all know there are more.

Horror movies are a go-to choice anytime, but are especially prevalent for Halloween. The fright and adrenaline rush that follows a horror flick proves how amazing the genre is to provide a physiological response (such as jumping, screaming, maybe having popcorn explode into the sky by a scary scene).

These films carry a death toll with them, with many characters being killed off as the show goes on, with audiences knowing exactly what is going to happen when the girl opens the door. Watching these movies that carry the same tropes over the decades, we have become aware to the plot of a horror movie, but that doesn’t mean we will survive one if we were to magically be in one. Proclaiming myself as a master of the rules for a horror movie, I find myself at the internal debate of whether I would die during the climax of the film due to my horror film knowledge, or if I would be the one to make it to the sequel. That being said, here are my rules for you all to survive a horror film.

Never say "I'll be right back."

No, you won’t be right back. We all know this to be true. It is almost ironic in the way that you are saying exactly what isn’t going to happen. This may be the most famous, and often made fun of, sayings that fall on this list. On your autonomous adventure of getting a drink from the fridge at the party—or simply following the noise you heard down the hall—guarantees that the murderer is on their way to you. It never works, and you are certain to run right into the hands of your killer. Excuse us audience members as we throw popcorn at the screen. You were just to predictable.

Parties never end too well.

Whether it is alcohol or drugs, both always lead to an impairment whether it is visually or mentally. Stumbling around the house or outside leads to wandering off, and you are just a sitting duck waiting for the killer. When you finally spot them, your only option is to run away, which means you’re going to be too impaired to watch out for the branch in your way or the stairs coming up. Just sit on the couch and people watch; you may luck out. A better option would be to stay home and read a book anyway.

Unless you're Sidney Prescott, don't have sex.

I cannot think of a slasher movie where the trope of having sex leading to death isn’t enacted until Wes Craven’s Scream. I know there is a lot of heightened masculine and feminine costumes that are worn on Halloween night, but don’t let that land you in bed, unless you want to land in a grave, too. Maybe stick to some abstinence for the duration of the film. You'll thank me later.

White clothes show red so well.

If you insist on going out to the party, do not wear white. If you notice in many horror films, someone is always wearing white. For example, in Scream, Drew Barrymore’s character is wearing a white sweater, and when she is stabbed, the red blood contrasts the white shirt to emphasize the wound and her impending death. A common saying is “don’t wear white after Labor Day,” so for the sake of life and death maybe just pick a different color shirt.

Don't be a prankster.

If you are that person that likes to pull pranks on your friends, you’ll never make it. Yes, you’re somewhat of a comic relief for audiences, but you gave us one too many jumps that were just fake. You had to go, sorry not sorry. We couldn’t take you seriously, and neither could the killer, which makes a ton of sense why you had to die. Maybe keep your jokes for April 1.

Don't follow the creepy sound.

I don’t know why characters insist on checking behind the door that just creaked, or that something just dropped in the room next to them. I hear something and I am out. No questions asked. If you are unfortunate enough to be in a horror film and hear something, it is either the killer making a distraction for you to follow so they can catch you off guard or it is you discovering a dead body, which most likely follows up with the killer showing up as well. Either way, just run the exact opposite direction.

Seriously, opposite direction.

Yes, not the way of the sound.

Don't trust horror movie cops.

The movies always feed the protagonist with hope when someone announces that cops will be stationed outside of the protagonist’s location. Not only do the films always portray the cops as suspects themselves, they also always end up dead, or in some plot twist they were the killer the whole time. Either way, cops are no good. Prepare yourself, and don’t let your guard down.

Keep your phone charged.

If you know that you are going to a party, or a place that is basically the set of a slasher film, make sure you charge your phone battery. There are way too many times that phone lines are cut or phone batteries are dead. We have these types of technology for emergencies, so use them as they were meant. Now I completely understand if you have an older generation iPhone with all of the hub that is on them slowing down the phones, but try and keep a (charged) portable battery with you. This is life or death. Maybe you should have upgraded after all. If not, you will be just as dead as the phone battery.

Always double-tap.

You finally turned the tables and you are face-to-face with the murderer. You gain the upper hand, and you are able to vanquish them. At this point, we still have a couple minutes left in the film, so we know something is still waiting to happen. Don’t—and I mean don’t—just run away thinking that you escaped for good. The terrifying thing about slasher film monsters are that they never truly die, or they do not die so easily. Why do you think there are so many sequels? Make sure you always double-tap, whether that means shooting them a couple times, or getting that knife at them. The importance of killing the antagonist is to do the job right, so don’t just leave because you think you got away.

You may just end up in a sequel.

Good luck to you all, and I hope to see you in the new Blumhouse films coming soon.

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About the Creator

Cody Deitz

I'm just a graduate student that loves music, reading, and too much Netflix.

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    Cody DeitzWritten by Cody Deitz

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