Horror films and slasher flicks are back in season with Halloween creeping upon us. There are plenty of new scary movies to watch out for such as Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho, the new Resident Evil reboot, and Halloween Kills, the latest installment of the Halloween film franchise. All these make us wonder if we could survive a horror movie.
Well, it’s like we’ve been living inside one horrific film for the past few years. While there are no flesh-eating zombies, blood-sucking vampires, or hatchet-wielding psychos, the coronavirus pandemic has made everyone jittery and weary of this silent killer. Still, it’d be more horrifying if we encountered the likes of Jason Voorhees, Ed Gein, Freddy Krueger, and other murderers that we’ve only seen in movies. In case you’re faced with such a situation, here are some tips that could help you survive a horror movie.
Whether it’s an axe murderer or a petty thief roaming around your vicinity, you need to develop your situational awareness. Keep your senses sharp so you can spot trouble coming your way. Practice using your senses regularly so it’ll become second nature for you.
For example, while walking down the street, keep your eyes open and focus on spotting potential dangers like open manholes, oncoming traffic, and suspicious people like a clown with a red balloon. When entering a building, look for the emergency exits and spot the obstacles that may get in your way. Always have an exit plan so you can quickly evacuate in case of fire, an active shooter situation, or before your workplace turns into something straight out of Mayhem or The Belko Experiment.
Listen to your surroundings. If you hear screeching tires, be ready to jump out of the way in case an out-of-control vehicle is heading towards you. If your car starts making strange noises, stop and see what’s wrong. You may need to have your car checked. If you hear a burst of maniacal laughter, go the other way. You don’t need to know if it’s Chucky or the Wicked Witch of the West behind that evil laugh.
Your sense of smell can also save your life. The moment you smell smoke, look around for something burning. Your home may be on fire. If you smell fumes, you may have left the car in the garage running.
You’ll need an enhanced sense of touch to survive a horror movie. Darkness is an important element in scary films just because lots of people are afraid of the dark. If the power goes out, you should be able to feel your way through the dark and navigate to safety. If you were kidnapped and forced inside a car’s trunk, you should be able to find items that you can use to escape just by feeling around. Another example is when you feel that a wall is getting hot. This may mean there’s fire on the other side.
Develop your sense of taste, as well. It may come in handy in certain situations. All your senses work together to help you survive a slasher film. In case you’re kidnapped and blindfolded, for example, you can use your ears and nose to figure where you are. The smell of the ocean and the sound of boats or seagulls, for example, mean you’re somewhere near a body of water.
Don’t be dumb
This may seem harsh but lots of characters in slasher and horror films die because of a lack of common sense. I mean if you’re running away from a serial killer, don’t stop and look back when you’re just a few steps away from safety. Just look at poor Helen from I Know What You Did Last Summer.
If a horde of zombies is wreaking havoc inside a mall, you probably shouldn’t stop checking your blood pressure or use pies as weapons. Don’t be like those dumb biker gang members in George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead.
Also, if you’re in an old creepy cabin and the basement door opened by itself like what happened in Cabin in the Woods, don’t go down to investigate. I mean, c’mon! Do you really think the wind blew it open?
Oh, and if you come across a book that says don’t read it or a videotape that’s supposedly cursed, don’t read or watch it. Comprende?
Avoid getting lost
No one likes getting lost? Well, except those who believe getting lost will help them find themselves. But enough of the drama and let’s focus on the dangers of losing your way.
A fun road trip turning into a nightmarish fight for life is a common slasher and horror flick theme. It can also be a real-life situation. One way to avoid being hunted down by cannibals or serial killers is to always make sure you know where you’re going.
Before getting in your car, study the roads and places you’ll be passing through to reach your destination. Know all possible routes in case you can’t take the main road but avoid those that don’t appear on the map. However, you should also avoid taking shortcuts instead of the usual and safer route just because “you’re bored” or you’ll end up like the family in Dead End.
Aside from using Google Maps and Waze, you should always have traditional or paper maps in your car. Of course, you should know how to read maps and use a compass properly so you’ll get as much information as you can.
Another thing, tell people where you’re going and when you’ll be back. In case you fail to show up, they can try to get hold of you and alert the authorities if you don’t respond.
Keep your car in tip-top shape
Aside from making a wrong turn, cars breaking down in the middle of nowhere is another popular horror movie theme. Either the victims hitch a ride with a stranger or they reach an eerie town hoping to find some help.
Avoid ending up as a wax figure by having your vehicle checked regularly, especially right before your road trip. Make sure you have a spare tire, spare parts, and the tools you need to do some repairs. If only the gang in House of Wax had a spare fan belt they wouldn’t have gone through all the trouble, right?
Have a car emergency kit on hand, too. It should contain basic necessities like food and water along with survival gear like a tent, sleeping bag, wool blanket, flashlight, portable lantern, fire starters, multi-tools, glass breakers, seatbelt cutters, and self-defense weapons among others.
Keep your cool, stay focused, and assess the situation
Yes, we know. It’s difficult to keep your cool when a masked dude with a huge knife is chasing you after killing all your friends. But you may have noticed that those who freak out at every dead body they see often end up included in the body count themselves.
Just like in any kind of emergency, you need to stay calm and assess the situation. A clear mind will increase your chances of surviving a horror flick.
In the movie Wrong Turn, the protagonists had a series of misfortunes leading to their horrific ordeal. First, the road they were taking was blocked because of an accident. Then they crashed onto a stranded car while taking an alternate route. This wouldn’t have happened if the driver kept his eyes on the road. If they didn’t hit the other car, they could’ve helped the other travelers and safely drove on. They also wouldn’t have met Three-Finger, Saw-Tooth, and One-Eye. This is an example of staying focused on the task at hand so you don’t get in an accident or emergency situation.
Don’t investigate strange noises at night
A strange noise wakes you up in the middle of the night. It’s probably just the cat, you think, but then you realize you hate cats. Whatcha gonna do?
You’ll likely want to go out and investigate to satisfy your curiosity. Or maybe you’re thinking you can catch the intruder red-handed. Let’s say you do find a stranger inside your home, what would be your next move? Do you have what it takes to fight the intruder?
The safest option is to lock and barricade your door then call the authorities. If there are other people in your home, aside from the possible intruders, make sure they’re safe first. If possible, quietly gather everyone in one room before locking yourself in.
Your panic room should have emergency supplies like food, water, a first aid kit, medicines, a fire extinguisher, a fire ladder (if you’re on the second floor), and weapons.
Stay away from the door or window. We’ve seen lots of dumb people get stabbed through the door or grabbed by zombies through the window. Sheesh!
Invest in a home security system. The alarm will warn you of a potential threat lurking around your property while the video cameras record what they see. It’s also a good idea to place bright lights in dark areas around your home. If you’re worried about the cost of electricity, you can use a solar lamp or one that lights up when motion is detected.
You should also keep the car keys by your bed. Turn the car alarm on to scare the intruder away. If you can’t see anything from where you are, you can also call the neighbors to check your home from the safety of their own home. Don’t make them come out just to check on you.
Always practice the buddy system
Don’t go home alone. Don’t go into the woods alone to pee. Don’t go to an unknown surfing paradise (with a hungry shark) alone. Just don’t go anywhere alone, especially if it’s night. Always have a buddy so you can watch each other’s backs. You can also shoot your buddy in the leg so he’ll become a zombie chow while you escape. Just kidding! Only a douchebag like the Season 2 version of Shane Walsh can do such a thing.
Run, hide, fight
When faced with a threat, your best move is to escape. There’s no need to prove you’re the better man compared to that guy with a mask and chainsaw. Just run the opposite way and live another day. Keep running until you’re safe.
The next best thing is to hide. We’re not talking about hiding under the bed or behind the curtain. Avoid the obvious places where the killer will look. At home or the workplace, it’s ideal to have a panic room where everyone can safely hide when there is a threat.
If you don’t have a panic room with a bulletproof door, hide in a room that can be locked and barricaded. Block the door with furniture and other heavy objects then steer clear of the door. Stay away from the bullet’s path or trajectory in case the killer has a gun.
Also, stay as quiet as possible. How good your hiding place is will not matter if the killer can hear your screams, cries, and heavy breaths. Put your phone on silent and send out a message detailing your situation to the authorities or someone you trust will take immediate action.
If running and hiding are no longer options, you have to stand your ground and fight with all your might. Your life literally depends on it.
Your chances of stopping the serial killer increase if you have a decent weapon like a firearm, knife, or blunt object. It’s not enough to just shoot, stab, or swing. You need to learn how to properly defend and attack using different kinds of weapons. Learn different kinds of martial arts and self-defense tactics.
Watching scary films is a good way to practice your survival smarts. You can get a ton of ideas on what to do and what not to do when you’re in danger. Horror films can also be fun. You get to criticize the plot, acting, and the fact that some characters are just too dumb. You may even like shouting at the screen and telling the victims to run or something.
Yep, it’s fun when you’re just watching. But what would you do if you were in a real-life slasher flick? Do you have what it takes to survive a horror movie? Or will you end up with the same fate as the characters you were laughing at?
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