I have often discussed this topic with friends and have recently used it in my English lessons, either to help with instructional or creative writing. It’s an interesting topic to me because I feel that some of the general ideas within this are quite common sense, yet I’m not sure how many people would follow them in reality. Obviously, nobody in horror films have common sense. If they did, there would be no need for a full-length film. If the characters had common sense, any evil could be stopped within seconds, or, at best, minutes and that would stop any need for a film to be made around the issue.
For example, a serial killer with a knife comes at you. What do you do?
A – Run away very slowly, tripping over anything in your way, making sure to rip open your shirt and flash some skin.
B – Leg it. Drive like a maniac. Don’t stop until you’re miles away and with people who can genuinely kill the bastard themselves. Alternatively if you’re able to kill it yourself, use any means necessary. Get it killed a lot. If you kill it once, it’s probably not dead, so keep killing it until you literally have no flesh left to break apart.
C – Hide for a bit. Pop out later. Hope he’s gone. Probably just wait to die.
If you said anything other than B, a hard B nonetheless, then you deserve to die. Common sense.
I found the following ideas on a website (http://www.powwownow.co.uk/blog/opinions/horror-movie-survival-tips). It’s not the one I usually use in school, but it’s a little more detailed. (Other ideas can be found here: http://nac.tamu.edu/x075bb/survival.html) Have a look, and see if you can understand why it’s necessary to point these things out for certain movie idiots.
Never move in a house that was built on top of a cemetery/Indian burial ground. The same applies if the said house was once used for black masses, had previous inhabitants who turned out to be psycho killers or died in some gruesome way. If you like the house despite its past, bring a priest, exorcist, shaman and make sure to stock on holy water, bibles and a decent weapon (not forgetting some ammo – a gun without bullets is hardly efficient when facing Mr Psycho or hungry zombies).
When in a house or multi-storey building and trying to escape, make your way down. If you decide to ignore this advice, pack a parachute and carry it with you at all time, as once you’ve reached the top, your only escape will be to jump!
If you think something dangerous is lurking in the dark, please switch the light on!!! Especially if on your way to check the basement – or at least bring a torch light, not a candle!!!. However, the safest advice is “ignorance is bliss”: if you hear footsteps upstairs while on your own or if the phone rings but the lines are dead when you try to call back, leave without asking any questions (especially if you are a babysitter). And of course, if the door is locked, aim for a window instead of wasting your time trying to unlock it!
If your house starts to bleed or if knives start flying of their own accord, move out.
Avoid cemeteries, crypts and any other house of the dead, especially at night. Even more if it is full moon or if there is no moon. Even more if alone or with some guy you’ve only known for a few hours. Even more if said stranger has a chainsaw…
If a town looks deserted, there is probably a good reason why and an even more valid one for staying away.
Always check the back seat of your car or the back of your van. Be especially cautious if doors are left wide open or unlocked.
If you run out of petrol, do not go to the nearest empty looking house, even if it has a light burning at the window (unless you are hoping to meet a sweet Transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania, of course!).
Even if your car’s been checked recently and has an up-to-date MOT, expect it not to start instantly when chased. You’ll usually have to try a couple of times before it ignites.
If possible, get on the bus as there will most likely be somebody on your car’s back seat, you will trip over if trying to run, taxi drivers are usually possessed or on some blood thirst driven quest, as for the tube… well, what sane person would like to be stuck underground in a dark tunnel when monsters and killers are on the rampage?
Beware of people who seem overly friendly or helpful. They’ll only be trying to lure you to their shack to skin you alive or offer you in sacrifice.
Beware of stranger carrying any type of odd weapons (including, but not restricted to: chainsaws, staple guns, hedge trimmers, electric carving knives, lawnmowers, butane torches, soldering irons, band saws).
Beware of people you think would be fit to star in a horror movie in general (Goths don’t apply; they usually know how to kick some butt!)
Children who speak Latin, even more if in a guttural voice, and/or who have the number of the beast carved in their scalp are usually a bad omen.
If somebody you know gets bitten by a zombie, give up any hope and administer mercy killing instantly.
When dealing with zombies, aim for the head. The brain is the centre of the nervous system. Don’t bother wasting your strength or ammo on other body parts.
When the baddie or monster looks dead, never go back to check it really is. Similarly, if you kill the psycho, never leave the room as his body will be gone when you return.
If a shotgun has no effect on the monster, don’t waste your time with the small handgun or the kitchen knife…
Nothing is ever over until day break so keep running/hiding until morning.
Never say “Who’s there?”. You don’t want to know. Just run!
If you’ve been warned that saying something three times in front of a mirror will bear terrible consequences, please refrain from doing it! Do not just do it in order to demonstrate how silly people can be! On the same basis, never make a joke of reading out loud incantations that will summon a demon.
If your dad gives you a cute fuzzy little animal for Christmas and it has certain rules to follow with regards to its diet, follow the rules!