How to survive a horror movie

Cody Deitz, Staff Writer

      Horror movies are a go-to choice when Halloween comes around. The fright and adrenaline rush that follows a horror flick adds to the aesthetic of a true All Hallows’ Eve, which is meant to be scary. These films carry a death toll with them, with many characters being killed off as the movie progresses, 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. It is almost ironic the way you are saying exactly what isn’t going to happen. On your autonomous adventure of getting a drink from the fridge at the party—or simply following the noise you heard down the hall—you are guaranteeing 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.

Parties never end well.
     Whether it is alcohol or drugs, both always lead to an impairment, either visually or mentally. Stumbling around the house 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 in your path. A better option would be to stay home and read a book.

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

     I cannot think of a slasher movie (except Wes Craven’s Scream) where having sex isn’t followed by death. I know there are 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 abstinence for the duration of the film.
White clothes show red so well.

     If you insist on going out to the party, do not wear white. Many horror films include people who wear 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 who likes to pull those pranks on your friends that you find comical, you’ll never survive a horror movie. Yes, you’re somewhat of a comic relief for audiences, but you gave us one too many jumps that were just fake scares. As sad as it sounds, you had to go, sorry not sorry. We as an audience couldn’t take you seriously anyway, and neither could the killer, which makes a ton of sense why you had to die. Maybe save your collection of jokes and scares for April Fool’s Day.


Don’t follow the creepy sound.

      I am not sure why characters insist on checking behind the door that just creaked, or that something that just dropped in the room next to them. If that happens, 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.  


Don’t trust horror movie cops.

      The movies always feed the protagonist 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. Prepare yourself and don’t let your guard down.  

Keep your phone charged.

      If you know that you’re 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 too many times that a phone line is cut, or a cell phone is dead. We have these technologies for an emergency, so use them as they were meant. 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 going 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 unless you do it right. Make sure to double-tap, whether that means shooting them a couple times or running that knife through them. Do the job right and don’t just leave because you think you got away. You may just end up in the sequel.