Turn off the lights. Queue the creepy music. Grab the popcorn. But if you hear a squeaky floorboard, whatever you do, DO NOT ask, “Who’s there?”
I am an unabashed horror fan. Old movies, B movies, ridiculous sequels, parodies – bring ’em on. I love a good scare. And so, to celebrate the horrors of October, I thought we could do a little something fun. And that’s to look at fatal horror movie errors that almost guarantee a character death. Oh, and how they could have been avoided, of course. Safety first!
Don’t: Run From Danger
Sprinting from danger can seem like a very good idea – fight or flight, right? and who wants to fight a serial killer? – but as seen in modern classics like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (and many, many others of its ilk), it’s not that great of an idea. In fact, it’s a pretty good way to not be around much longer. That’s because when we’re panicked, running flat-out and not watching the terrain, falling is a given. Falling flat on our faces is likely.
They might have lived if… They had practiced their fire/emergency escape plan (chainsaw-wielding serial killers totally qualify as an emergency). Practice, practice, practice, and they’d have been able to evacuate with their eyes closed, no falling prey to crazed killers.
Do: Get a Good Night’s Sleep
There are few villains more nightmarish than Freddy Krueger, amiright? For more than 30 years, his disfigured face and sharp talons have haunted horror-lovers everywhere. In addition to unsettling dreams, do you know what he’s given us? The knowledge that being too tired is downright detrimental to our health.
They might have lived if… They’d gotten a solid night’s sleep. Everyone’s needs and rhythms are different, but experts agree that most of us need a solid 7-9 hours. Getting enough sleep not only fuels your day, but can help you stave off illness, be more productive, and enjoy better moods. Plus, if anyone ever comes to haunt your nightmares you’ll be able to stay awake… at least for a little while.
Don’t: Assume the Villain is Dead
This one’s so cliché, you can see it in your head: The last remaining characters, standing over the villain’s “corpse,” weeping in relief. Then, BAM! The killer pops up and slays a few more, bringing the survivor count down significantly. Moral of the story: Don’t let your guard down and don’t assume “the killer’s dead”.
The might have lived if… They’d called the police. Look, horror movies notwithstanding, it’s not a good idea to play the superhero. If you fear a break-in or other risk to your safety, call the police. Then, wait for their arrival. Do not face a burglar on your own.
Do: Perform Regular Car Maintenance
Never does a dead battery or flat tire result in so dire a situation than in a horror movie, where a bum car can get you killed. (Tune in to Night of the Living Dead, and you’ll know what I mean. See you in 96 minutes!)
They might have lived if… They’d taken their car to a mechanic. We all go in from time to time (or do it ourselves), whether it’s for an oil change, to rotate our tires, or for those pesky annual inspections. Ask your mechanic to do a full once-over, and you’ll have a better chance of avoiding the horrors of a car break-down.