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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 10/27/2006

Friday List: How to Survive a Horror Flick

By Liz Kelly

Sadly,"The Blair Witch Project's" Heather Donahue didn't have our rules. (AP)

Okay, you're being chased by a club-footed vampire zombie with a chainsaw. Your options are to run into the woods, hide in a dark mineshaft or turn and face him with only a fork as a weapon. What do you do, hotshot? What - do - you - do?

Since we all cringe every time a "victim" seals his or her fate, surely we're the go-to experts on how to outwit those zombies, maniacal killers, possessed personages and P.O.'d dead janitors, right? Okay then, smartie, share your rules for how to survive a horror film -- as few or as many as you like. I'll start:

1. Don't babysit at homes more than half-an-acre away from another house or busy road.

2. Do not ever, under any circumstance, have sex or engage in any other kind of love-making.

3. Do not hide in the basement or attic as these are dead ends. And I mean "dead."

A little inspiration: We've already compiled a pretty complete list of scary movies. And what we didn't cover is probably included in this handy guide to DVD horror and this transcript of Wednesday's discussion with horror film expert Aviva Briefel.

P.S. For more "research," make sure to record Rob Zombie's TCM Underground or head to the multiplex for "Saw III" or the re-release of the original "Halloween."

By Liz Kelly  | October 27, 2006; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Friday Lists, Pop Culture  
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Comments

4. If you hear a noise, DO NOT go and investigate further.

Posted by: otg74 | October 27, 2006 10:01 AM | Report abuse

5. Do NOT answer the phone!

Posted by: wats | October 27, 2006 10:04 AM | Report abuse

6. NEVER be the prettiest person in the room.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 27, 2006 10:14 AM | Report abuse

6. Always carry a flamethrower with you.

Posted by: BF | October 27, 2006 10:15 AM | Report abuse

7. Ladies, don't wear high heels. It impedes running for your lives.

Posted by: LL | October 27, 2006 10:16 AM | Report abuse

8. ALWAYS aim for the head!

9. Never turn your back on a corpse.

Posted by: jw | October 27, 2006 10:21 AM | Report abuse

10. If you're blonde, dye your hair. blondes seem to rarely survive these things (or disaster flicks, I've noticed).

11. Carry a cell phone with an extra battery, and stay within your service area, so if the phone goes dead you have a back-up.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 10:23 AM | Report abuse

12. Cricket bats make excellent weapons.

Posted by: jw | October 27, 2006 10:29 AM | Report abuse

12. Have a gun, preferably large caliber. And lots of ammunition.

13. Do not attempt to use: axes, bats, golf clubs or knives.

Posted by: Stick | October 27, 2006 10:30 AM | Report abuse

12. Always carry a cute pet with you and don't let them run away as they are immune to most violent acts.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 10:30 AM | Report abuse

[stick, you are so wrong!]

14. If you break into a hardware store and make an improvised weapon using duct tape, 2x4's, and a pneumatic nail gun, you're guaranteed to survive until the end.

15. If you are a fully armed a trained soldier, you're zombie meat.

Posted by: jw | October 27, 2006 10:32 AM | Report abuse

12. If the zombie/monster/critter/etc. is in fact your significant other/parent/child/sibling/etc., shoot them anyway.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 10:33 AM | Report abuse

14. If the lights suddengly go out DON'T search for the fuse box.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 10:34 AM | Report abuse

xx. Consider investing in a car with push button ignition, and keep it tuned.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Always check the back of your push button ignition car BEFORE getting in.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 10:40 AM | Report abuse

21. Also consider investing in a car with a very long battery life.

22. Always plan a trip knowing exactly where every gas station is along the way, so you don't run out.

23. Have your car tuned up before going on a long trip, so it can't stall.

24. Never stop at abandoned, creepy-looking anythings, especially gas stations.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 10:41 AM | Report abuse

21. Also consider investing in a car with a very long battery life.

22. Always plan a trip knowing exactly where every gas station is along the way, so you don't run out.

23. Have your car tuned up before going on a long trip, so it can't stall.

24. Never stop at abandoned, creepy-looking anythings, especially gas stations.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 10:42 AM | Report abuse

21. Also consider investing in a car with a very long battery life.

22. Always plan a trip knowing exactly where every gas station is along the way, so you don't run out.

23. Have your car tuned up before going on a long trip, so it can't stall.

24. Never stop at abandoned, creepy-looking anythings, especially gas stations.

25. Stick to major highways at all costs. Shortcuts never really are.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 10:43 AM | Report abuse

16. When driving on a dark, deserted road, do not pull over under any circumstances.
17. If you find yourself on a dark, deserted road lacking functional transportation, find someplace to hide until morning.
18. Creepy motels and run down farm houses do not make good hiding places.
19. The old adage "curiosity killed the cat" does not apply only to cats.

Posted by: Twiggy | October 27, 2006 10:45 AM | Report abuse

26. when traveling in spooky environs, never, EVER make jokes about bogeymen, Cujo, Jason or Michael Myers....

Posted by: b | October 27, 2006 10:46 AM | Report abuse

27. and DO NOT open that door.

Posted by: b | October 27, 2006 10:46 AM | Report abuse

28. When it appears that you have killed the monster, NEVER check to see if it's really dead.

29. If appliances start operating by themselves, do not check for short circuits; just get out.

30. If your friends or your children speak to you in Latin or any other language which they should not know, kill them immediately.

Posted by: Simone | October 27, 2006 10:48 AM | Report abuse

31. Do not fire one shot and presume whatever it is is dead. Empty the cartridge.

32. Corollary to 31: Carry lots and lots of extra ammo.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 10:57 AM | Report abuse

dont look under the bed

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 10:57 AM | Report abuse

-Make sure that you pack a clean pair of underwear. ALWAYS.
-Think "WWMD?" which is short for "What would MacGuyver do?"

Posted by: Zamora | October 27, 2006 10:58 AM | Report abuse

33. Do not attempt to be the hero. Run like hell, shooting as you run.

34. Learn how to fire a gun and reload it with an extreme accuracy that rivals a good sniper.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 10:59 AM | Report abuse

35. shotguns eliminate the need for accuracy.

Posted by: b | October 27, 2006 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Okay, these are great. I am falling out of my chair laughing.

Posted by: Liz | October 27, 2006 11:06 AM | Report abuse

35. Avoid dirt roads!

36. Don't allow your car to be towed hours away from where it stalled into a creepy garage!

37. Don't go off on your own, EVER! Stay with the group!!

Posted by: amolsen | October 27, 2006 11:07 AM | Report abuse

36. If you find a town which looks deserted, there's probably a good reason for it. Don't stop and look around.

37. Stay away from certain locations, including: Amityville, Elm Street, Transylvania, anywhere in Texas where chainsaws are sold, the Bermuda Triangle, or any small town in Maine.

38. As a general rule, don't solve puzzles that open portals to Hell.

Posted by: Simone | October 27, 2006 11:08 AM | Report abuse

39. Make sure there is always at least one person who is slower than you are.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 11:11 AM | Report abuse

38. The old,abandoned mental hospital/jail/creepy library are not good hangouts, if your idiot friends want to go try to talk them out of it, and if that fails then let them go by themselves.

39. Do not, under any circumstances, declare that you do not believe in monsters/vampires/werewolves/boogie men/fluffy bunnies/ghosts/demons/etc. Keep this skepticism to yourself, for this will surely be the thing that will ironically take you out before the ending credits roll.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Addendum to 39. Make sure you're not too attached to the slower person.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 11:12 AM | Report abuse

If you have to investigate any noise, never wear your most revealing underwear. Cover up with something.

Posted by: Laura | October 27, 2006 11:14 AM | Report abuse

40. When entering a dark room, turn on the lights.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 11:14 AM | Report abuse

If you are excessively gluttinous, greedy, lustful, proud, lazy, wrathful, or envious, beware of the corresponding ways of death and take preventative measures against it, particularly if it is discovered that others have died in a similar manner (i.e., according to their perceived sins).

Therapy may help in this endeavor, and it will likely make you a better person to boot.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 11:20 AM | Report abuse

40. Just don't go to Maine, it doesn't have that much to offer.
41. If you live in Maine, consider moving to somewhere less spooky and weird.
42. No matter where you live, if one or two weird things happen, LEAVE. You don't want to fix it or hope it will go away. (this includes leaving or killing family members).

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 11:22 AM | Report abuse

In the event that you do not have an artillery, empty half of the bullets into the head of the killer and hall a@#.

In the event that they get up, which they will you'll need the rest of the bullets to get even further away.

Posted by: petal | October 27, 2006 11:22 AM | Report abuse

for the love of all that is right DO NOT make fun of lonely cross country truck drivers.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse


Do not open up any dusty books of spells from witches or warlocks.

Posted by: AB | October 27, 2006 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Or at least if you absolutely *must* open those books, do not under any circumstances read anything aloud.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Don't ever read anything written in Latin ever. And for godsakes, don't do it while standing on a floor that has a hidden pentagram on it. And if you can't keep yourself from doing that, don't accidentally give yourself a paper cut and drip blood onto the pentagram-styled flooring!!!

Posted by: jw | October 27, 2006 11:43 AM | Report abuse

If you find yourself driving on a desserted road (regardless of good weather or bad) and you come across a young woman standing in the middle to the road, STEER AROUND HER and continue on your merry way.

Posted by: petal | October 27, 2006 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Scratch that last one. If you find yourself in such a situation, turn around and find an alternate route home.

Posted by: petal | October 27, 2006 11:47 AM | Report abuse

-Even if they are not stylish, always wear running shoes.

Posted by: Zamora | October 27, 2006 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Never pick on the freaky kid. Ever. You never know who may have telekinetic powers.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 11:48 AM | Report abuse

If you are fighting vampires, consult the neccessary resources to find out if they are Dracula-type, Blade-type, Underworld-type, Buffy-type, Lost Boys-type, or Fright Night-type--and adjust tactics accordingly. Nothing is more ebarrassing than showing up with holy water and realizing what you really need is a shotgun that shoots silver slugs.

Posted by: jw | October 27, 2006 11:49 AM | Report abuse

stay out of the corn fields

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Do your research: never move near a toxic waste site, even if housing costs elsewhere are murder.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 11:49 AM | Report abuse

If you are a cute, blond, cheerleader, and a virgin....don't plan on losing your virginity to the high school football star in an abandoned summer camp cabin!

Posted by: Oh my oh my | October 27, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

-Also, never wear pleated pants. Not only is that a fashion faux pas, but it also infuriates the supernatural like you wouldn't believe.

Posted by: Zamora | October 27, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

If you think it's strange that you ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere because you thought you had most of a tank, just kill yourself. You are going to die anyway, and most likely be eaten.

Posted by: C. | October 27, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Guns may or may not always be effective. Carry some sort of back-up method of hurting/killing your persuer in order to escape.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

-If a relative leaves you a creepy looking something-or-other (House, Book, Key) in their will, just bulldoze it or sell it.

Posted by: Zamora | October 27, 2006 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Always remember: very few things, whether alive or undead, can stand up to a rocket launcher.

Posted by: Twiggy | October 27, 2006 12:05 PM | Report abuse

never investigate noises/cries/rattles/creaking/gunshots/screams

Posted by: b | October 27, 2006 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Watch your escape route carefully, being aware of things that will trip you. No matter how much of a lead you have on the monster, it's tripping on something stupid that gets you caught and dismembered.

Posted by: IndyAnna | October 27, 2006 12:07 PM | Report abuse

If given a choice of weaponry that includes a simple flashlight for finding out what the spooky noise was outside/upstairs/etc., do not just pick up the flashlight and say, "You stay here -- I'll be right back."

You won't.

Posted by: CentrevilleMom | October 27, 2006 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Remember, it's not just a dream, so get the heck out.

If you want to survive, consider choosing ice cream delivery as a job (Source: the Phantasm series)

And never pick up a hitchhiker and never hitchhike yourself. Either way, the other person is Satan, a minion of Satan or the person Satan is after and you definitely don't want to be involved.

Posted by: tallbear | October 27, 2006 12:09 PM | Report abuse

If you find yourself lost in the woods, and come across an abandoned looking shack, it is probably a good idea not to ask any potential residents how to find the nearest road.

Posted by: DIO | October 27, 2006 12:17 PM | Report abuse

As a general rule, if you have reason to believe that a horror movie is taking place in your life, avoid having a large drunken party of high school/college students at your house. That attracts demons and serial killers of all sorts, and your only hope is to use it as a lure while you escape.

Make sure to screen all friends and potential lovers for Anti-Social Personality Disorder, Sociopathy, Psychopathy, etc. (Yes, they're different.)

If your parents buy a beautiful old Victorian manor/farmhouse which comes with either a) it's own creepy as Hell servants b) a disgruntled ex-owner, or c) neighbors who constantly talk of the "strange goings on in that house", you should probably talk them into moving somewhere less likely to be the major plot device in their immenent and very painful death. If they won't listen, then convince them that boarding school is really right for you.

Posted by: Mason Patriot | October 27, 2006 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Also, if a cute blonde teen with a history of violence moves into the neighborhood, wears crosses constantly and likes to take long walks at night and always is at the scene of the crime, do a little investigative work and see if she's a Slayer. If so, befriend immediately. Just by being her friend your survival chances jump about 65%.

Posted by: Mason Patriot | October 27, 2006 12:22 PM | Report abuse

If you're running away, don't look back while running. You will trip and then you'll die.

While you're running away, do look where you're going. This will prevent tripping and looking back.

Posted by: Stick | October 27, 2006 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"If you house tells you to "GET OUT!" run ASAP. Don't investigate, don't pack your belongs and don't call police, real estate agents or psychics.

Take the financial lost and Go!

Posted by: Lisa | October 27, 2006 12:34 PM | Report abuse

On Halloween night, do not partyin with drunken high students(nerds or popular crowd), college students( private or public colleges), horny frat boys(killers magnets), jocks(also killer magnets), cheerleaders and dumb blonds( double killers magnets).

Posted by: Lisa | October 27, 2006 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Remember ladies, a man who loves you will never ask you to have sex in a car.

Posted by: Alicia | October 27, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Listen for the music! When the music gets creepy, you know it's time to scrounge up a battery-powered flood light and a shotgun, and stop opening closet doors. You're ok til the music starts.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 12:54 PM | Report abuse

One more thing:

Leave the dead alone!

Dead people and pets are in happy in their afterlife; they don't want you bothering them.

If you don't want zombies eating your face off; leave the dead alone.

Posted by: Alicia | October 27, 2006 1:04 PM | Report abuse

If you're in a group of people, stay as a group. Never, ever split up, wander off, become separated, etc. This is especially true in situations involving unfamiliar surroundings, multiple floors, dark halls with lots of closed doors, and/or a large area that's begging to be explored. Do not under any circumstances allow the group to be split up, however should this happen anyway, remember to stay with the larger group.

Posted by: zengy | October 27, 2006 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Don't fool with recombinant DNA technology unless you're sure you know what you're doing.

Posted by: Stoney | October 27, 2006 1:30 PM | Report abuse

If you're hot and of the female variety, if you suspect a horror movie is taking place do not bathe or take a shower. To be even safer, don't even take your clothes off.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Blood flooding from the elevator might just be a bad omen. Get out as fast as you possibly can.

If a little kid says, "I see dead people," believe him and leave.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 1:49 PM | Report abuse

If you think the threat is gone, do not throw a big party to celebrate. the threat will undoubtedly plan its big comeback for that party.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Stay with Scooby and Shaggy. They are never captured and always find something good to eat.

Posted by: RTR | October 27, 2006 2:02 PM | Report abuse

If strange things have been happening, do not stick your hand in the garbage disposal to try to fix it. (Which is actually good advice as a general rule.)

Posted by: me | October 27, 2006 2:10 PM | Report abuse

If there is a rogue disembodied hand floating around, destroy all sharp objects.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 2:14 PM | Report abuse

If you're visiting a home with St. Bernards as pets, make sure your car is tuned up and full of gas.

Posted by: kim | October 27, 2006 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Zamora said:
"-Also, never wear pleated pants. Not only is that a fashion faux pas, but it also infuriates the supernatural like you wouldn't believe."

HA! Bluto is doomed!


Posted by: ladybugolo | October 27, 2006 2:28 PM | Report abuse

If you see a "shimmering light" as you're driving "down a dark desert highway [with] cool wind in [your] hair," don't stop for the night.

If there are voices saying "Welcome to the Hotel California," get some No-Doz and keep on going.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 2:46 PM | Report abuse

As an alternate option, Go ahead and be the first to investigate the weird noise in your underwear on the deserted highway, that way you get killed first and do not have to put up with the rest of the horrors to come. When the zombies rule the earth surviving might be under rated.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 2:56 PM | Report abuse

If you ever study military skills, the first thing you will learn about an ambush is to form up andcounter attack where he first fire comes from. They rely on psychology and expect you to go the opposite direction and put their main force at that direction. If you attack into the ambush you have your best chance to get out. Of course when you do get caught in an ambush, chances are never that good.

So take that fork and attack. You could get lucky. Or have the script written in your favor.

Posted by: Gary Masters | October 27, 2006 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Things such as:quivering lips and crying take up way too much time.

If you're in a group don't stop to formulate a plan of attack because the plan is going to be crap.If you're lucky only one of you will survive and it won't be the one you want.

If you've got a video camera, don't take time to turn it on yourself and cry. This is yet more escape time being wasted.

This may sound cruel but if you have a companion you can trip, go for it. If one is iffy, in the event of a sequel, you're screwed as the companion will no doubt return for revenge.


Posted by: petal | October 27, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse

If you MUST face off against the undead or a seemingly omnipresent serial killer, dismember him and keep the parts separate.

Posted by: mizbinkley | October 27, 2006 4:02 PM | Report abuse

If you find a blood-stained bundle, DON'T OPEN IT!! Throw it in the trash.
Better not to know what friend/relative's body part is in there. Especially if the bundle is tied with their pajamas.

Posted by: Barb | October 27, 2006 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Also don't forget the toilet vomiting up blood/slime/ooze. The plumber WILL NOT fix it. You'd better just move out.

Posted by: Barb | October 27, 2006 4:28 PM | Report abuse

If a mundane cat/dog/squirrel/prankster friend wearing a hockey mask jumps out at you and gives you a temporary fright, don't relax. The next thing that jumps out at you will more than likely eat your liver.

Posted by: MrHelpful | October 27, 2006 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Have a healthy un-belief in the supernatural.

Posted by: Phil | October 27, 2006 6:24 PM | Report abuse

If you enter a room and you KNOW you've heard a noise... don't just look around. Look UP!!

If you're trying to outrun a rogue car/truck/large vehicle on a deserted highway/through a cornfield, TURN! Run left or right as fast as you can! Keep turning! If you continue in a straight line, you're certain to become roadkill. At least if you turn corners, you might end up somewhere ahead of the car/truck/lv and be able to hide for a while to formulate a new plan.

Posted by: Ween | October 29, 2006 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I think I peed my pants... LMAO

Posted by: bored at DOT | October 30, 2006 8:37 AM | Report abuse

When the Post said "We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features", I'm not entirely sure this is what they had in mind.

Posted by: Bog | October 30, 2006 10:13 AM | Report abuse

If you hear the footsteps of the genetically altered vampire serial killer grow distant then STAY in the closet until at least the sun comes up (better yet wait for the marines to arrive). Do not leave the closet.....

Posted by: Anonymous | October 30, 2006 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Do not go into any abandoned houses, amusement parks, camps, etc where people in great numbers have died - they are abandoned for a reason. Your friends want to go...well, that is what overpopulation is about, meeting smarter people and making new friends.

You have a weapon and have used it successfully, do not drop it! If you can walk and chew gum, you can hold on to an axe and cry.

Posted by: LAC | October 30, 2006 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Your brother sees someone dumping something that looks like a body down a drainpipe and wants to go back and look, ask him sweetly to stop the car, knock him out and drive away. Mr. Conscience can join the Peace Corps if he is sooooo concerned about people!

Posted by: LAC | October 30, 2006 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Don't be mean to nerds, awkward, and just overall wierd people. Karma sucks!

Posted by: RGT | October 31, 2006 12:09 PM | Report abuse

If someone tells you that everyone who watched a particular videotape has died, don't watch it. There are definitely more dangerous tapes out there than a Richard Simmons exercise video.

Posted by: Damien | October 31, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

If you have to check, its not dead.

Posted by: PK | October 31, 2006 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Go ahead, be a pessmist. Optimists die.

Never, ever, EVER split up.

If the stairs lead to the basement, don't use them. There's no where to escape.

If the stairs lead to the roof, dont' use them. Your only escape is to jump.

Avoid bedrooms at all cost.

If your only chance of survival is to get to a certain area where the killer/monster can absolutly not get you, either A) it will be a very difficult trip and 70% of your group will be killed before reaching the area, B) you will get their easily, but the monster/killer is either already there or is part of your group, or C) both.

Posted by: Me | November 8, 2006 10:24 AM | Report abuse

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