“Do you like scary movies?”
A question so infamously asked by the creepy masked killer in the Scream movies. I remember when the first of the hit horror flick series came out. I was about ten years old and a bunch of my friends decided it would be fun to get together on Halloween, post trick-or-treating of course, to watch it….aka burry our faces under the blankets for the majority of the film while screaming like lunatics. Now whenever I watch it, I can’t help but laugh at the silliness of it all, but back then, I was seriously terrified out of my bean.
I have never been a big fan of scary movies; films such as Cujo, It, The Shining, The Ring, Halloween, The Exorcist and Nightmare on Elm Street (among a host of others) still to this day give me a serious case of the heeby-jeebies. The blood and the gore I can do without for sure, although there is something about being taken on psychological thrill ride that is exciting and gets the heart pumping. Take for instance films like Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds or Psycho. These movies didn’t have monsters or zombies, ghosts or goblins, they had real characters with potentially real problems which made it all the more scary. The plot and story lines of each of these films got into your mind and made you think, made you wonder if something like this could actually happen. Hitchcock was a pure genius, one of the first of his kind at mastering the suspense thriller and if you haven’t seen any of his films and are looking for a good Halloween activity this coming weekend, I suggest you check out some his greatest work (although keep a blanket handy for any face-hiding instances that are sure to pop up). Some of my other fav’s include Jaws (I was afraid to even swim in a pool after that one), Seven, The Sixth Sense, The Others and Shutter Island.
Suspense thrillers are my go-to when it comes to scary movies, but the classic blood/gory/monster/thrasher movie still has a high ranking in people’s lists of favorite things to partake in, especially on or near Halloween. There is just something about being scared that almost feels good, an adrenaline rush of sorts. Even though we know that the vampires and werewolves are fake, that the monsters and demons will all go away after an hour and a half when the credits start rolling, it still makes us jittery and sends our hands up over our eyes. Of course with these kinds of movies, there is always a common thread that seems to permeate through all of them; if you’ve seen one, then you can basically say you’ve seen them all. For one, there is always a monster/killer/ghost of some sort looking to reek havoc on an unsuspecting town or group of people. Secondly, this said group of people are almost always young, hot, and not the brightest bulbs in the package. Thirdly, there will probably be a good deal of running away from the monster/killer/ghost, trying to kill the monster/killer/ghost, getting killed by the monster/killer/ghost or actually killing the monster/killer/ghost only to discover he/she/it is not actually dead (Did you ever wonder why there were 11 Halloween movies? Seriously. Will Michael Myers ever die?). If you know and understand this formula, then you have a higher probability of surviving a horror movie.
So…if you ever find yourself eating Jiffy Pop and talking to strange masked men on the phone, or are in a massive hotel that is plagued with demons and ghosts, here are some tips to help you get out J-E-L-L-O alive.
1. First, never say that you will be right back because there is a good chance you won’t be, especially if you say you will. Similarily, never say, “Who’s there?” or publicly announce your plans for the future if you make it out alive. It almost always guarantees that you will have no future.
2. Always make sure that your car has a fresh battery in it, a tank full of gas, and locks that work in crucial times when you might need a quick get-away.
3. When you’re searching a house because you think there might be something creepy or dangerous in it, for goodness sakes turn the lights on!
4. If you’re running from a monster, expect to trip or fall down at least twice, more if you are wearing high heels and a short skirt (sorry girls). Also note that despite the fact that you are running at your high school track and field speed and the monster is merely bumbling along, the magic of movies says that it will catch up to you.
5. For the most part, the hotter you are, the more likely you are to bite the dust. I would recommend mom jeans, turtleneck sweaters and mullets.
6. Don’t fool around with recumbent DNA technology unless you know what you are doing.
7. If you find a deserted town, it is probably like that for a reason. Stay away.
8. Never read or even take a gander at a book of demon summoning. You are just asking for trouble.
9. If you find that your house is built upon or near a cemetery, that it was once a church that was used for black masses, had previous inhabitants who went mad or committed suicide or died in some horrible fashion, or had inhabitants who performed necrophilia or satanic practices, call your realtor immediately!
10. Always check the back seat of your car.
11. If on a stormy night, you find a window open which you thought was previously closed, do not close it. It may be your only way out when whatever has come in through it is chasing you.
12. Go ahead and slap the screaming hysterical girl, she will be the one to distract everyone when there really is danger.
13.Nothing is ever over if it is still night-time.
14.When it appears that you have killed the monster, never check to see if it’s really dead (see above). It almost always isn’t.
15. It’s a good idea never stand in, on, above, below, beside or anywhere near a grave, tomb, crypt, mausoleum or any other house of the dead.
16. Stay away from certain geographical locations. Such as: Amityville, Elm Street, Transylvania, Nilbog, the Bermuda Triangle or any small town in Maine (thank you, Stephen King).
17. Beware of strangers bearing tools such as chainsaws, staple guns, hedge trimmers, electric carving knives, lawnmowers, butane torches, smoldering irons, band saws or any (possibly deathly) device. Chances are, they are not just your friendly handy-man looking to help out.
18. Never watch a horror movie while you’re in a horror movie.
19. Listen closely to the soundtrack and pay attention to the audience. They are usually far more intelligent than you could ever hope to be.
And most importantly…
20. If you find Brad Pitt dressed as a vampire, don’t forget to forward him my email address! firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you found these tips useful if and when you ever happen to find yourself in a flesh-eating zombie or psycho killer situation. You never know, a trip to the grocery store could turn into a fright-fest (don’t get me started on the lady who was giving me death-eyes for taking the last jar of tomato sauce…eek!).
Happy Halloweeny hump day guys!