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It Really Is a Wonderful Life

How to Survive a Horror Movie: 2013 Edition

If you find yourself in a horror movie, there are a number of clues and tips that you can use to stay alive. Every Halloween, we here at CultureGeek Manor try to help you out, based on the Darwinian rules of horror movies as first explored in the scholarly work of The Film Professor. To wit: Those who survive get to procreate. And that's fun.

So without further ado: Here is this year's list of ways to survive a horror movie. Happy Halloween!

1. If the house you're living in tells you to "GO AWAY," do it.

2. If you're a virgin, stay that way.

3. If a killer with a knife is chasing you around the house, do not run upstairs. Go out the front door.

4. For the love of God, turn on the lights.

5. Never split up.

6. Never stoop over to see if the killer is dead. He's just waiting.

7. Don't get naked in front of an open window.

8. Avoid the following geographical locations, even on a bet: Amityville, Elm Street, Crystal Lake, Transylvania, remote islands, lover's lanes, secluded mountain resorts and all small towns in the state of Maine.

9. Never pick up hitchhikers.

10. If a small town off the highway seems deserted, it's probably for a very good reason.

11. If your speedometer starts running backward, trade the car.

12. Don't dig up strange-looking objects in the woods.

13. Never bury pets or loved ones in old Native American burial grounds. I mean, duh.

14. Don't try to solve puzzles that open doorways to Hell. Speaking of "duh."

15. Find out what your parents were up to when they were younger. You never know if they burned up a serial killer, had a mysterious "other child," are not your real parents, let a disabled child die while having naughty sex, or opened up a doorway to hell.

16. Ask yourself seriously: Do I really want to float?

17. If there is a knock at the door in the middle of the night but no one appears at the peephole, do not open the door and step outside to see who's there.

18. For that matter, don't say, "Who's there?"

19. Never turn your back to a door or press your ear against it to hear what's going on in there.

20. Don't assume it's your naked boyfriend/girlfriend under the sheet.

21. Never mess with DNA.

22. No sex in graveyards!

23. Keep the car filled with gas, tuned up, and for God's sake keep the keys with you.

24. On Halloween, there is no such thing as coincidence.

25. For that mater, there is no such thing as coincidence.

26. Never stay overnight in the old house at the edge of town that's supposed to be haunted. Let them think you're chicken. Even if the prize is one million dollars. It's not worth it.

27. Pig's blood does not make for a good practical joke.

28. The guy conducting the "insomnia study" in the spooky old mansion that no one will approach after dark is not telling you the truth.

29. Watch out for the guy with the accent purchasing the abandoned abbey next door. There's a reason he works the night shift.

30. If you're alone in the house and something calls out your name, leave through the nearest exit.

31. If there is no exit, make one.

32. When you've shot the monster six times to no effect, throwing the gun at it isn't likely to help.

33. Do not answer distress calls from deserted planets that never see daylight.

34. Don't touch the TV that calls out your name.

35. When the power goes out, do not go into the basement armed only with a candle to see if the fuse is out.

36. Reasons to consider moving out of that great house that was such a bargain: bleeding walls, disembodied voices, too many flies, a room in the basement painted red that wasn't on the blueprints, phone service that seems to come and go, windows that look like eyes, next-door neighbors chanting in the middle of the night, a history of horrible deaths, secret passages behind the bookcases, and all the women in town looooove to do housework.

37. In fact, when these things start happening, just set fire to the house. It always ends that way anyway and you'll save time.

38. There is no good reason why anyone's eyes should glow red.

39. The crank caller breathing heavily into the phone is already in your house.

40. Children speaking in deep, scary voices should be listened to. And possibly shot, depending on your movie's rating.

41. Oh yes, there IS a boogeyman.

42. If a kid says, "I see dead people," believe him.

43. If you ripped your phone out of the wall and it rings again anyway, don't answer it.

44. Clothing to avoid: high heels, dangling earrings, ancient amulets you don't understand, scarves of any kind. No capes!

45. Never break quarantine.

46. People wearing hockey masks, ski masks or any Halloween costume that covers the face should be avoided.

47. Don't back up. Look where you're going.

48. The crazy old guy everybody laughs at knows what he's talking about.

49. Leprechauns and genies really don't want to grant you three wishes.

50. The deal with the devil isn't worth it and the monkey's paw is not your friend.

51. Elevators going up and down by themselves have something wrong with them that a maintenance man can't fix.

52. Do not attempt to kill your spouse for her inheritance/life insurance/to marry your secretary. You will not get the results you seek.

53. The killer is one of your friends.

54. Reasons you are probably toast: you're a mayor, sheriff, high school principal or some other person of authority who doesn't believe in the monster; a lawyer, politician, CEO of a polluting corporation or similar sleazeball; a cop, doctor or similar adult trying to help the teenagers; you are obsessed sex and/or drugs; your breasts are bigger than your brain; you bullied the miserable geek or the ugly, unpopular girl; your name does not appear among the first three in the credits.

55. Never try to open the locked door.

56. Don't go in the water.

57. Pay attention to dogs, cats, horses and other creatures more intelligent than you. If they're nervous, scram. P.S. If the rats in the sewer are running, that's your cue to run faster.

58. Don't mess with the gypsies.

59. Never repeat any names while staring into the bathroom mirror.

60. When using a matter transporter, triple-check the pod for flies. Then check again.

61. If the price of that really neat knickknack includes "a favor," you don't want it.

62. Never take anything from a clown in a sewer. Duh.

63. If you're part of an elite military team on a secret mission, kill your teammates now. There's only going to be one left at the end, it might as well be you.

64. Screaming does nothing but annoy the dogs.

65. That quaint harvest ritual? If you aren't part of the coven, you don't want to be around for it.

66. There is a good reason why the town is not on the map.

67. Those kids aren't Amish.

68. Psychos do not explode when sunlight hits them, I don't care how crazy they are.

69. Never say the following sentences:

  • Trust me.
  • It could be worse.
  • I think we've lost them.
  • I know where we are.
  • I have a plan.
  • Hey, watch this!

70. Aim for the head.

71. You need a bigger boat.

72. Don't watch the videotape.

73. Skip the shortcut.

74. You won't be right back.

75. The aliens are not friendly.

And finally....

76. No, it's not your imagination.

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