How to Survive a Scary Movie. Literally.

October is here, meaning that it’s time to rewatch the old horror movies, and watch the new horror movies. I often find, that in addition to cringing from fear, I cringe at the incredible stupidity and reckless bravado of the characters. They make ridiculous choices that ends up killing them.

           So I’ve decided to help. If you’re stuck in a scary movie, let’s talk about how to survive. Literally. No. Figuratively. No. Literally. I have no idea, and that might be the scariest thing of all. Anyways, here are some tips, in case you find yourself in the path of an angry, malevolent spirit.



This is my biggest pet peeve, and a very common trope in horror movies. Don’t look in the mirror.  Just don’t do it. It’s not going to tell you that you’re the fairest in the land. And even if it would, don’t do it. I cannot tell you how many evil things have lurked in mirrors, and have ended up getting whomever was looking. Nothing good has ever come out of staring at a mirror, unless you need to kill Medusa and can’t look straight at her.


If you hear weird noises, don’t follow it. Especially not in the dark.

You hear growling, snarling, strange murmurs, or really, really suspicious creaking, don’t take a pair of scissors and think you’ll just overpower the intruder. Even if it’s just a human, maybe they have a gun. If it’s a poltergeist or an evil spirit, what good would a pair of scissors do? Give it a haircut? Not even. Stay away. Call the police if you need to.


Turn on the light. Or at least take two flashlights.

I’m never sure what compels the main characters to walk around in darkness. In certain circumstances, like when there’s a blackout, or when the demon or spirit has tampered with the power lines or light or something, I understand. Otherwise, just please turn on the lights. Our characters continue to appall me with their choice in lighting, or lack thereof: either they are really eco-friendly, dirt poor, or just plain stupid, because they always walk around in the darkness, where they can’t really see, and end up getting attacked, or getting a heart attack from the succeeding jump scare.


Stop being alone. Get other people.

If you cannot leave some space that’s haunted by some evil presence, at least find other people. Horror movies never feature only one character, so there are always friends around. There is strength in numbers, and the capability to see more angles. And let’s be honest. Even in groups you’re not safe. Why be alone? Why why why be alone? Why walk around a house being alone? Huh?


Don’t play with the OUJIA BOARD/Don’t accept the dare.

If you really want to nip the problem in the bud, don’t plant the seed. Don’t play with the Oujia Board. It’s the beginning of everything terrible. This is how evil spirits decide to haunt you. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been dared. Now, in real life, I am more or less understanding of why one would take the dare and execute it to completion, but in a horror movie, if you want to survive, don’t do it.


Don’t go up the stairs. Or down the stairs.

Attic? Basement? Keep away. What compels people to march right in there? And again, in the dark? Poorly lit attics and basements are death traps--do not enter. Stay in the well-lit and spacious areas, where you can at least see what’s going on and have a relatively easy exit.