How to Survive a Horror Movie

Given the sheer amount of humorous horrorrelated handbooks and survival guides, it’s all too easy to forget the idea that started it all: horror movie survival in general.

There must have been something in the air during the mid-to-late nineties. “How to survive a horror movie” emails were being forwarded left and right and 1996’s Scream poked fun at various horror tropes and clichés (perhaps this inspired the emails?). Not that it was the first to do so, mind you, as There’s Nothing Out There covered the same ground years earlier. In any case, it wasn’t long before such guides started appearing in print. Here are several examples, complete with previews:

The B-Movie Survival Guide by Gary Cook is a personal favorite of mine, as it also offers plenty of interviews and behind-the-scenes anecdotes from people involved in making b-movies.

The Horror Movie Survival Guide by Matteo Molinari and Jim Kamm differs from the others in providing advice on how to survive specific monsters and horror movies.

The preview for Survive the Movie Plot: Real Folks’ Survival Guide for Horror, Sci-Fi & Thrillers by K. E. Hawkins focuses solely on radioactive threats.

The Scream Queen’s Survival Guide by Meredith O’Hayre is, as the title implies, aimed solely at female protagonists.

How to Survive a Horror Movie: All the Skills to Dodge the Kills by Seth Grahame-Smith.

But let’s not forget the internet side of things. Although there’s bound to be some repeated material between the websites themselves and the books above, there’s enough original material between them to warrant their being listed here:


How To Survive A Horror Movie 101

Mira Grant: Horror Movie Survival FAQ

How To Survive A Horror Movie | Cracked.com

How To Survive A Horror Movie – TV Tropes.Org

Learn How to Survive a Horror Movie – TV Feature at IGN

Losthighway’s Twitter feed (Often has B-movie survival tips)

alt.cult’s Horror movie (and other cult films) survival thread (NSFW)

Time’s “Keep Your Pants On – Top 10 Ways To Survive A Horror Movie”

alt.movies.monster’s “How To Survive A Monster\Horror Movie” thread

Here’s some more advice from your friends at Gravedigger’s Local 16:

-Never go on a free trip you won in a contest you don’t remember entering.
-If a package isn’t addressed to you, don’t open it.
-I don’t care how good the scholarship package is, don’t go to Miskatonic University.
-Nothing good can ever come from grave robbing.
-Using a ouija board to talk to spirits is like a chatroom. Everyone lies about their name/age/gender and attempting a meetup will likely be unpleasant (to say the least).
-Always spell the name of a town with a weird name backwards before visiting.
-The more dolls a house has, the faster you need to get out of there.
-There’s a reason nobody goes to wax museums anymore. Don’t buck the trend…

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