How To Survive A Horror Movie

During this time of the year, lots of people will embark on the tradition of watching a horror film in order to celebrate Halloween. Others will be getting dressed up in their best and scariest costume to try and get whatever they can from their neighbourhood neighbours. And because it has been happening a fair bit up until recently, the clown craze will no doubt start up again. It’s an odd thing to randomly pop up and terrify people, being dressed up like a Ronald McDonald-esque character, it’s almost being like in a horror film. Being taken by surprise, unsure what’s going to happen, being spooked by mysterious creature and seemingly running for your life. But what do you do in that situation? How do you survive? What provisions should you keep on your person? Well horror fans (and non-fans) I’m here to guide you through this potentially horrific situation to make it…less painful. Shall we begin?

Supplies including food, water and first aid

A fairly basic guideline to adhere to but one that no one in horror films ever does. They run around, making themselves tired, hungry, thirsty and prone to injury, surely you can find things on the way? Perhaps Zombieland had it right, always keeping a massive vehicle on you for all sorts of paraphernalia. Although they just carried around guns, which to be fair, will come in handy during any sort of apocalypse. Which leads me neatly to my next tip for survival…

Ideal for those in 28 Days Later. Constantly running around, you’re going to want a lot of food and something to quench your thirst. 


A variety of weapons

Obviously! There’s always something that you can use, just be creative! I’m looking around my living room, there’s candle sticks, a wide range of bottles around of course, a lamp, a few sculptures, a vase and so on. Throw it, beat them with it, just use it before you lose it!

Ideal for those in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. A weapon against a chainsaw, you might just stand a chance.


A mirror to see behind you

There’s always that old trick of sneaking up behind people when they are alone with no chance of escape isn’t there? Perhaps a handy mirror would help them to survive just a little longer. Not one of those full length ones, a nice compact to carry around, just in case you fear that terror may strike! You never know!

Ideal for Marion Crane in Psycho. Maybe, just MAYBE, (if she used a mirror in the shower) she could have saved herself from Norman Bates.


Wind up torch

This is one of the best inventions ever! In the horror movie genre, there seems to be a distinct lack of long-life batteries. It’s a borderline epidemic. The only solution to this is a wind up torch, they are wonderful! Not only will you not require batteries, but  We have one of these at home and frankly whilst you’re waiting for your killer / attacker to arrive, you can have hours of fun winding it up, I love it! It’s a toy AND it’s practical.

Ideal for Annabel in Mama. She NEVER turns on a light! 


Another horror movie so you know what not to do

So many horror films you could refer to. So many times people run up the stairs and not out the front door. They leave the light off when there’s hundreds of them around you. Plenty of weapons to choose from and yet you run by them without thinking outside the box! A lot of horror films all seem to have space for stupidity, essentially what a lot of this genre is made up of. Just think if you had the knowledge of  another horror film, you wouldn’t go to that abandoned cabin, you would look behind you and you would run away as far as you can.

Ideal for Randy from Scream. He is the ultimate horror movie fan and even he cannot see the signs.


The script

For a lot of films within this genre, there’s a formula that they follow. A lot of them circling around the notion that there is someone out to get them, normally in a secluded cabin / house / mansion where people have been warned not to visit. And normally the person who is chasing them / killing them is someone they are somehow connected to. It’s a good formula with varied twists and turns in each film to make it fresh. However, the characters we’re watching don’t seem to know that, perhaps if they had seen a horror film before, they would be in  considerably less peril. So reading a script or seeing the one of the film you’re in would be the best item of them all when it comes to your survival.

Ideal for every horror film, ever.


And there you have it! I hope some of these tips come in handy so you can avoid the horrors of tonight. What else would you include? How will you survive?

Keep. It. Reel.

The best 5 scenes from Scream, by Wes Craven

This week we lost a true master of horror, Wes Craven. The man who has given us so many memorable movies, quotes, scenes and characters unfortunately passed away on Sunday. A true talent who understood what it was to scare people, he could get into the mindset of his characters as well as the audience to scare the shit out of them! The pure brilliance behind the likes of The Nightmare on Elm Street was proof that this man knew what he was doing with this genre. Later on he used this knowledge in Scream, the 1996 film that has since spawned three sequels and a TV show.

Whilst it may not be everyone’s favourite horror film, I love it! It’s a guessing game until the almost end, I think it’s obvious who the killers are. Craven plays on other films be essentially taking the piss out of them. Throwing in references to his own films, having a speech about the rules which will help you successfully survive a horror movie, stereotypical  events (the girl running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door) all of which made Scream a great movie to watch and parody that you could take seriously, with this film he turned the genre on its head and poked fun at it. Because of this it’s one of my all time favourite horror films and here are my top five scenes.

1. Opening sequence

It’s truly a brutal way to begin the film. We have one teenage girl, Casey, at home alone who receives a call, and whilst they are playful at first, things take a turn for the worst. Her boyfriend Steve has been kidnapped and is currently strapped to a chair in her back garden, whilst she her attempts to save his life go downhill. In the end, he’s left with his insides on the outside whilst the parents of the girl find her hanging from a tree. A really horrific way to begin a film and it perfectly sets up the rest. One thought I had about this scene recently is that the parents come home to find their house filled with smoke and teenage daughter dead. Traumatic to say the least, they have even found Steve’s body yet, poor bastards! Check out the first five minutes here, I couldn’t find a clip of the entire thing unfortunately.

2. Tatum’s death

A tough female supporting character is always handy as she’ll provide some sassy comments, not giving a fuck attitude and will be resilient to the killer’s attempts to make her the next victim. At least, for a short while anyway. Tatum bit the dust when she had no where left to run besides the cat flap in the electric garage door. At first, after being cut by Ghostface, she throws bottles in defence and even knocks him down. It’s at this fatal moment, when things take a turn for the stupid. Tatum jumps down into the tiny cat flap door, get’s stuck and the killer very simply activating the garage door, so she gets sliced right at the top. The reason I’ve added this one in is because of how she died, mostly through desperation and stupidity. She starts off so well by defending herself with what ever she finds, knocks him over then tries to escape in the most ludicrous way possible instead of calling out to your friends who are on the other side of the door! Dammit! Anyway, it’s also an original death and no one knows she’s dead, besides the killer of course, for quite sometime.

3. Rules about horror films

Randy is the film fan within a horror film. The man who will know everything you need to know about surviving a horror film. A nice nod to the audience whilst mocking all horror movies at the same time. It’s a dam good scene where the geek is the centre of attention whilst at a party, just before the final couple of scenes. As he lists the rules, you’ll notice that the movie goes out of its way to break every single one of them, yet another way Craven mocked the genre in the best way possible. Check out the scene below.

4. The reveal of the killers

*SPOILER ALERT* Billy Loomis and Stu Macher reveal themselves to be the killers and it’s no entirely surprising. Billy was accused of being the killer earlier in the film when he was found with a mobile phone and Stu is bat-shit fucking crazy! Funny but he did exhibit all of the stereotypical killer attributes including talking about how to gut someone, actively defending himself and just being a little off, enough to assume that something wasn’t quite right. Something was quite wrong in fact, what with him killing people and all! And why did Stu do this? Down the peer pressure, really?! Billy’s reasons were clear cut. He reveals that he’s the one who killed Sidney’s mother a year ago because of an affair she has with his father causing Billy’s mum to abandon him. It’s almost heart breaking but then you remember he’s gone around the town, killing innocent people! Not the best way to chalk up sympathy. In the end, it’s this reveal that’s the most shocking (well, my final best scene from Scream is also shocking, in its own way.) due to the history of what has happened. Very well done!

5. Stu’s death

He’s a character with several screws lose, doesn’t always say the right thing at the right time and constantly goes out of his way to make others laugh. He’s such a great character which is why it was actually a shame that he had to die. Of course he had to die, being one of the orchestrators of the events the occurred in Woodsboro. His death happens when Sidney knocks him on the floor, smashes a vase on the back of his head, he’s almost out cold when she pushes the TV on his head, electrocuting him to death. With smoke coming out of the back of the TV, Stu lies there, with his time in this franchise coming to a shocking end. Superb.

There are a couple of things I want to note about this film, namely the references to other movies and one particular (almost) mention of a famous TV character:

  • Fred the janitor is played by Wes Craven and is the spitting image of Freddy Krueger, minus the blades on his gloves.
  • Linda Blair, the girl from The Exorcist, plays an obnoxious bitch of a reporter, demanding to get a story out of Sidney.
  • Henry Winkler, who played the Principal of the school, is most famous for play Arthur “Fonze” Fonzarelli in Happy Days and his first name in Scream? Arthur. Nicely done Wes, very nicely done.

Thank you for the nightmares Wes Craven, you gave us so much to scream about.

Keep. It. Reel.