The landscape of horror has changed a lot in just the past few years. Snapchatting serial killers is apparently a thing now, and being nice doesn’t always help keep you alive until the credits. Sometimes its better to face your demons than simply run away screaming from them or at least know where you keep your favorite weapon. The upcoming slate of scary movies and television shows will surely tweak the formula even further, so we’ve assembled six new strategies that should equal “not dead” for the lucky few.
The following article contains spoilers for some of the biggest horror movies, TV shows, and games out right now. If you’re looking to figure out how the hero makes it through alive in any of these cases, you best turn back now while you still have the chance. You’ve been warned.
Just Stop Running Away From Ghosts, Already.
How many countless brain dead ghost flicks feature all-too-sensitive victims who get terrified at the very sight of the supernatural? This was a tired trope that needed to stop, and did in Insidious Chapter III. Sure, the movie was mostly forgettable (and mostly terrible), but it had the guts to have a main character stand up to those irritating specters. Rushing head first at the ghost with only her wits to protect her, legendary median Elise (Lyn Shaye) finally stopped being scared of those silly creeps. And she ended up scaring them. About damn time.
Remember Where You Hid the Weapon.
Until Dawn lets players place a bat in an easily accessible place in the basement early on. So when Sam (Hayden Panettiere) ends up back in the basement – wearing only a towel – she can swing away at the clown-masked psycho chasing her. The lesson: be prepared. When you have the option of grabbing either a weapon or your smartphone, always take the weapon because the phone will be useless whether it’s the batteries, weak signal, or something else.
Still, there are at least two examples where having the phone or laptop is a good thing.
Stay in Contact with the Killer as Much as Possible.
In MTV’s Scream, Emma (Willa Fitzgerald) receives more calls from Ghostface than from her non-psychopath friends. At one point, she even gets to decide who lives and who dies. Okay, that’s not really a good thing when the choice is between two BFFs, but the point is for Emma to save herself, right?
In Unfriended, Blaire (Shelley Hennig) does get to keep everyone alive just a little longer by staying connected to the cybernatural presence on Skype, Facebook, and iMessage. Surviving for as long as you can might very well depend on your social media skills.
Be Mean, Be Smart.
Teen Wolf’s Lydia got bitten by a werewolf, but didn’t suffer the fate of others. (She may or may not have been somehow immune.) Either way, Lydia (Holland Roden) is a rich, mean girl who keeps surviving episode-to-episode by her brains. In season two, she was the one who translated ancient Latin for the team because “regular” Latin bored her. This was vital and helped keep the shapeshifters at bay. We’ve come a long way from the Cordelia Chases that plagued such shows with Valley girl cluelessness.
Learn to Live with the Monster.
The terrifying psychological tale, The Babadook, focused on a struggling working class mother, her weird son, and the stuff of children’s nightmares, Mister Babadook. Yet by the end, the characters needed to come to terms with this simple truth: sometimes horrible things never really leave. You have to live with them. Even sometimes feed and care for them. Only then will those nightmares go away.
Are there other new rules to surviving horror that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments!
Image Credits: Shout Factory/The Babadook