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Horror 1I’m a fan of horror movies: supernatural (ghosts and ghouls, witches and goblins), home invasion, mutant animals, alien monsters, vampires and werewolves, classic slasher, torture porn, serial killer loose in a sorority house, zombie (some, not all), and so on.  You name the sub-genre; I’ve watched many of them.  During the course of this intrepid sweat-inducing nail-biting buttock-clenching scrotum-tightening incursion into cinematic horror, I’ve picked up a few tips to pass on to aspiring horror film actors; a list of things you should never do if you want to take part in a horror movie and survive to the end.  Here they are:

  • Never enter a darkened room by slowly walking in backwards.  In fact, never walk backwards anywhere.
  • Never run through the woods at night wearing flimsy footwear (and usually flimsy everything else if female).
  • Never stand by a window in a house at night if the curtains are open, especially if it’s raining with frequent flashes of lightning accompanied by ear-splitting thunderclaps.
  • Never stand in front of a mirror—never.
  • Never engage in any form of sexual activity at night on an ancient Indian burial ground or in a cemetery or in woods reputed to be haunted or frequented by a serial killer.
  • Never place your hard-won anti-bad-guy weapon (gun/axe/baseball bat/golf club/hammer/kitchen knife/…) on a table out of reach while you attend to a wounded companion.
  • Never go to a midnight party in an old deserted mansion, an old campfire deep in the woods, or an abandoned mine shaft.
  • Never trust anyone carrying a chain saw, long-handled axe, a sword or dagger, harpoon gun, crossbow, nail gun, or a big piece of wood with a 6” nail poking through at one end.
  • Never open the front door if you’re alone in the house, or you’re babysitting (with cute kids upstairs asleep), and it’s dark outside.
  • Never look or reach under a bed or in a cupboard for anything. In fact, never put your hands anywhere you can’t see them.
  • Never stop and look back to see if the bad guy is still chasing you.
  • Never take a shower or bath if you’re all alone in the house, it’s night time, and there’s a major storm raging outside.
  • Never move to a house that has a history of suicides, unsolved disappearances or mass murders.
  • Never trust a household appliance that starts working all by itself.
  • Never use an Ouija board or ancient Book of Spells to summon the dead.
  • Never hide in a cupboard, under a bed, or similar, with a switched-on mobile telephone in your pocket.
  • Never enter an attic or a basement without first putting the key to the entrance door in your pocket and without carrying a large heavy torch, which can be used as a weapon, plus lots of spare batteries.
  • Never enter a darkened room at night if the light switch doesn’t turn on the lights, even after five rapidly-executed attempts.
  • Never try to escape by crawling through a tight crawl space such as a building services duct or a long pipe, especially if there are bends.
  • Never get close to malevolent-looking children who can swivel their heads and who speak in a strange language, especially if the language is Latin.
  • Never separate from your friends to search for the bad guy.
  • Never assume it was just the cat that made that loud unexpected noise.
  • If your car breaks down at night on a quiet side road in a forest during a thunderstorm, never leave the car to seek help at the deserted house/petrol station/roadside café you just passed.

If you follow these rules, your chances of survival will increase but there’s no guarantee you’ll make it to the end of the movie unless you are a skimpily dressed comely female.  And even then, never trust either the policeman who rescued you or the driver of the ambulance taking you to hospital.

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