Published on April 29th, 2016 | by gareth0
“I’ll Be Right Back”: 4 Life Lessons Learned from Horror Movies
According to horror genre extraordinaire Stephen King, “We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.” The King of Scream is dead on in more ways than one. Though horror books and films are works of fiction, we can still learn some valuable life lessons from the wise choices and ill-fated mistakes that the fabricated characters of horror movies make for our entertainment.
1. Everything in moderation
It is no secret that in the statutory laws that govern the fantasy world of horror, the drunk and debauched are the first to go. The intoxicated couple that stumbles off to find a secluded place for premarital sex is almost always met by the unfriendly end of Jason Voorhees’ machete. However, the hero or heroine is often seen enjoying a single adult beverage, or taking a rain check on that beer, and is therefore still capable of defending him or herself later on in the plot.
It is much the same in real life. Overindulgence in any pleasure only results in trouble. Though it may not be necessary for you to fight for your life against a supernatural adversary, or to take on the tricky task of closing a Hellmouth, chances are you do have responsibilities that require a sharp mind and able body.
2. Use the buddy system
Even those who are not horror buffs have seen enough scary movies to know better than to wander off on their own when there is an escaped, bloodthirsty mental patient, or fabled murderer returned from the dead reportedly on the loose. If the 1996 horror classic “Scream” has taught us anything, it is to never leave your group and utter the words, “I’ll be right back.” You won’t. The masked murderer is waiting for you in the garage or in the shadows of the backyard. Take a friend, for Pete’s sake!
Also applicable in reality, when in an unfamiliar place, on a long road trip, or even when just going to the restroom, there is always safety in numbers.
3. Curiosity killed the cat
Unless you are an armed marine, when you hear gunfire, the smart thing to do is to run in the opposite direction. The same goes for spooky noises heard late at night in your own home.
If you are home alone and hear the creaking of the upstairs bedroom door or footsteps on the stairway, do not indulge your curiosity. Sure, in real life, it is probably the neighbor’s cat scurrying around upstairs, not Pinhead and his Cenobites come to collect your soul and carve up your flesh, but it’s still not a good idea to startle an angry cat. Do not investigate — get out of the house!
At the very least, phone a friend for backup (see Lesson 2), and he or she can help you lure the neighbor’s cat out of your house … again.
4. The best defense is a good offense
One of the most common mistakes of the soon-to-be-victims of horror films is that they are excruciatingly unprepared. If you live in a town where people die every Halloween, wouldn’t it make sense to take a Halloween vacation? Own a guard dog? Or install an alarm system?
Yes, even though the chances of Michael Myers storming your home are highly unlikely (it’s not even October, for crying out loud) a very real threat to your home and family comes in the form of burglars and common criminals. Do not let your guard down and risk the possibility of a home invasion. Invest in a few security cameras to safeguard you, your loved ones and your property.
As Stephen King suggests, our fascination with being scared helps us make sense of the very real horrors that can occur in life. It can also help us avoid making the awful mistakes that our fantasy counterparts often do, because it pays to be prepared and truly, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.