Horror Movie Survival Tips



After you've acquainted yourself with THE BASICS, review the finer points, grouped by category below...


HOME, SWEAT HOME (No, it's not a typo)









































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     ...The door was unlocked.

     The door was even a quarter of an inch ajar.

     I hated this stuff in the movies: teenagers, abandoned house, stalked by a crazed killer.  Not that I objected to Freddy or Jason or Michael killing the couples who slipped off to have illicit sex--that sent a high moral message to all the hormone-crazed kids in the audience.   Nope, it was the stupidity factor that made me crazy.

    You know how it goes: trail of blood leads down into the cellar and someone with a death wish always seems to volunteer to go down alone to see what caused it:  this is how Mother Nature purges excess stupidity from the gene pool.  Another body turns up and everybody decides to split up and go out alone into the dark to see if they can find clues.  Uh-huh.  At this point I toss my popcorn and start rooting for the homicidal maniac.

--from One Foot In The Grave by Wm. Mark Simmons--


Don't be a "Brad" or "Janet"; study and memorize the following....



Over the years a number of lists of horror movie survival tips have been created, collated, codified, and copied in willy-nilly fashion.  Rather than post any or all, here, I have attempted to organize, clarify, and--well "refine" might be putting too fine a point on it--but I have added a few of my own and welcome your suggestions, as well.  If some of these suggestions seem contradictory, chalk it up to the contrariness of the genre, itself...


1)  DO NOT go into the <insert obvious destination here>!  The "obvious destination" most frequently being the "Dark Room".  Also, never, EVER go IN/OUT there--"there" also being the attic, closet, barn, basement, dark alley, dark anywhere else, the all-concealing shadows, the woods or the lake.  (See HOME, SWEAT HOME & BUILDINGS / REAL ESTATE)


2)  Even though you're really sure that the monster is dead, DO NOT bend over it or kneel beside it "to make sure."  Keep hacking at it until it is in pieces--said pieces being small enough to cease being a threat to you.  If you've shot it, shoot it again--in the head (if it has one), and remember to shoot until it stops moving.  Then keep shooting until you run out of ammo.  Then reload and shoot it some more.  Then set it on fire and burn it to ashes.  Clean all surrounding areas with acid baths and rinse with lye.  (See WEAPONS & STRATEGY)


3)  If, at any point during #2, you discover that you are dealing with a demon or spirit--none of the above will have much effect.  The next best stategy:  get the hell out of there!   (See DEMONS AND DEVILS AND HELL, OH MY!)


4)  When you have the benefit of numbers, NEVER pair off or "go it alone."   (See PEOPLE & WEAPONS & STRATEGY)


5)  Take your cues by listening carefully to the soundtrack and, when all else fails, pay attention to the audience:  they are far more intelligent that any of you sad sacks that are currently slated as monster fodder.


6)  Never stay in any room or area in which the music is primarily composed of shrieking, staccato violins:  leave the area immediately.  (See #5)


7)  Never, Never, NEVER try to communicate with something icky because "there's so much we could learn from them."  Consider shooting anyone else expressing these sentiments.


8)  Don't make fun of or play with dead things.


9)  Make sure that your weapon(s) are loaded at all times and check the safety before you try to use anything.


10)  If you wake up from a particularly horrific dream and find yourself still alive and safe, you probably aren't awake, yet.


11)  If you wake up again (from a dream within a dream) there's only a 50/50 chance that you made it out this time!


 12) If someone who seems important, has more experience, has lived "around here forever" tells you to do or NOT do something (like DON'T fall asleep, DON'T leave me, DON'T go into the woods, DON'T go down into the cellar, DON'T go into the water, DON'T look for the homicidal-chainsaw-wielding-psychopath by yourself), by all means, listen to them!  Unless doing so would break any other (and more logical) guideline.


13)  Don't open "the closed door," especially if you hear scratching, heavy breathing, or any other strange noises from the other side.  (See HOME, SWEAT HOME)


14)  Never stand or sit near a window.


15)  Don't work the night shift.


16)  If it's your first movie, you're probably dead.


17)  All myths and legends have a basis in fact...


18)  The boogie-man is NEVER really dead.


19)  Stay indoors on the night of a full moon.


20)  Choose your friends and relatives wisely. 

    Good choices:   chaste teenage girls, any preteen girls (excluding those who stand in circles and act like adults or speak in someone else's voice, as cited elsewhere), good dogs, younger assistants to world-famous scientists.

    Bad choices:   security guards, law-enforcement and other municipal officials, teachers/professors, executives of companies with questionable environmental/scientific practices, psychiatrists specializing in criminal pathology, obnoxious ex-boyfriends of chaste teenage girls, and of course promiscuous teenage girls. (See PEOPLE)


21)  Fog is not romantic.


22)  Nothing good has ever come after the following phrases have been said:  "Let's play." / "Now just calm down." / "Did you hear (or feel or smell) that?" / "What could go wrong?" / "I'll just be a minute." / "What's this?" / "I've got a bad feeling about this." / "Why are you wearing that silly mask?" / "I don't see anything--" (Usually cut off by a blood curdling scream, or just cut off usually when the person's head separates from his body) / "Give me a break!" / "What are you doing with that _______?" (insert any sharp or dangerous item in blank) / "You're kidding, right?" / "This can't be happening!" / "Ready or not, here I come!"  (If this phrase is said during a game of hide and seek...forget it. It is not part of the game you were originally playing)


23)  Hiding in your tent or sleeping bag won't make the monster go away...


24)  When your flashlight batteries die--and they will--so will you.


25)  Pigs blood is not now, nor has it ever been, funny.


26)  Stay away from the following: Anything that has an overabundance of "y"s and "th"s in it's name ('Nyarlathotep, Yog-Sothoth, etc.) / Anybody who's first and last name begins with the same letter. / 'Exciting' people.  (The more boring you are, the less involved in the movie you are, and the greater your chance of survival) / Certain directors such as John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, and any Italian horror director. (They always stick those damn trick endings in) / New England / Any profession that requires special tools, such as dentists, cartographers, 'do-it-yourselfers', doctors, etc. / Anyone who's unfaithful to their Significant Other / Anything that begins with 'Great Old' or 'Elder'--Religion in any form / Outboard motors / Writing utensils / Books of ANY sort! This cannot be stressed enough! Even a harmless-looking children's book will turn out to be Evil ('See Dick. See Cthulhu. See Dick see Cthulhu. See Dick go insane.') / 'Experimental' procedures. They're more trouble than they're worth, ESPECIALLY if they work / Meat / Vegetables / Electrical outlets / Sources of radiation...


27) Remember, you DON'T find your friends quicker if you split up.


28) If you're in a movie that makes an active effort to overturn the clichés of the genre, then you're on your own!


For the finer points, grouped by category, see the column to the left...


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