Oh, scary movies. Too often it seems like characters are determined to die. They split up. They have sex in the woods. They go investigate mysterious sounds. They ignore absolutely every warning sign and they tend to pay the ultimate price for it. What if they smartened up? What if they didn’t ignore the child’s creepy artwork or claims of having an imaginary friend who wants to kill the family? What if they didn’t investigate their attic at 3am and avoided moving into a creepy house where a family had been murdered in 1795? With just a tiny bit of logic, so many characters could’ve survived so many horror flicks, and sadly, half the battle is not putting yourself in an eerie, dangerous position. Here are simple ways to survive a selection of well-known horror movies, and in some cases, prevent the entire movie’s plot from taking place to begin with.


First and foremost, before you go into the woods to make documentaries about legendary witches, ask yourself–is this really necessary? That said, if you’re already in the woods and potentially being hunted by a witch, go ahead and exit the woods. If you believe you’re going in circles, don’t panic. Simply wait for the scene where you stumble upon discarded teeth, a tongue and bloody shirt, and head in the opposite direction of that.

If night falls and you hear distant screaming, don’t go towards it. If for some reason you go towards it and wind up in a basement where your friend is creepily standing in the corner, bounce. If somehow you wind up in the presence of a witch and she tells you to stand in the corner, be like, “Nah, I’m going to not do that actually” and run away. Running away until you’ve reached a non-witch-occupied forest is always the answer.

Don’t play with Ouija boards, dummies. If it’s too late and you’ve already played with a Ouija board, make a priest’s hotline bling and let ‘em know you need an exorcism performed on yourself ASAP. Even if you haven’t been making weird noises, cussing excessively, and walking upside down like a spider, go ahead and get that preventative exorcism. It’s like when you cough a couple times and feel a tingle in your throat, so you start guzzling the Nyquil to stave off potential sickness. Maybe go to church a couple Sunday mornings to make sure you’re in the clear, but as originally stated, mess with a Ouija boards and ya dun goofed, and brought these inconvenient maleficent problems on yourself.

Here’s a concept: Don’t move your family into a house that you know in advance was a crime scene. Ethan Hawke’s character is a complete ninny who decides to do this because he writes murder novels or whatever, and thinks that living in a place where people were slaughtered might inspire him. So, simply not moving into that house is one way to survive this film, but if it’s too late and you’ve already relocated, there’s still hope. When a professor tells you that the demon you keep seeing lounging around your home is named Bughuul and he lives in images, using them as a gateway to possess kids, go ahead and destroy every image of him, then move. After moving, make your kids stay in a hotel for a couple days to ensure that they’re not possessed. Even when they return home, be careful leaving uncovered drinks around them, because Bughuul Cosby will have them roofie you, tie you up and chop you to pieces with an ax.

Don’t move into a decrepit creepy farmhouse. If you do this, and on the first night your dog is murdered, all of the clocks stop at 3:07am, and your kid tells you there’s a demon proclaiming that it wants your family dead, go ahead and take those threats seriously. Pack your things and, you guessed it, move. Don’t contact paranormal investigators, don’t hire a priest to perform an exorcism on the home, don’t go in dark rooms, don’t scream “who’s there?!” when doors slam, don’t investigate creepy sounds. Call 1-800-GO-UHAUL, pack your things and move.

There are a few options here–let’s consider each of them:

1. When someone tells you there’s a cursed tape that kills the viewer a week after watching it, even if that sounds farfetched, maybe go ahead and just don’t watch.

2. It’s unintentionally discovered that by making a copy of the tape, and showing it to someone, your life can be spared. This is a great opportunity to get rid of an enemy. Just be like, “Hey, Chad, I know we hate each other but you’ve got to watch this!” Boom, a week later, you’re sippin’ Mai Tais and Chad’s at his funeral.

3. Get an LCD TV. No way is Samara squeezing out of a thin flat screen.

Basically play the floor is lava, except you’re staying as high as possible to avoid a massive worm-like creature that burrows underground and pops up to kill people. Grab some snacks and water, head for the roof or a second floor, and wait it out. This would be especially easy in modern time, when you could just watch some Netflix and live tweet what was happening to notify the public until the military arrived to wreck those snake-monster sons of bitches.

When paranormal things start happening, call 1-800-GO-UHAUL, pack your things and move.

When horrific things start happening, call 1-800-GO-UHAUL, pack your things and move.

Stay the hell out of the ocean. Look, Jaws doesn’t exist but sharks do, so I’m not sure why people swim in the ocean in real life, much less in this movie. Hit up your one friend who has a pool or take a bath if you want to be in water, but the ocean is like 95% unexplored, which is kind of a potential horror movie in our everyday reality.

This is an easy one because the incompetent characters in this movie do literally everything wrong. For starters, if you’re traveling to the middle of nowhere, make sure you’re good on gas. Also, don’t pickup hitchhikers. Also, don’t go into abandoned houses with unlocked doors. Also, if your friends went missing, don’t go looking for them as soon as it’s beginning to get dark out. Also, if you go looking for your missing friends as it’s getting dark out and you stumble upon their discarded blanket outside of a mysterious abandoned house with unlocked doors, don’t investigate it. Go far away, because even if they’re in danger, you can’t help them if you’re dead. To survive this movie, simply head towards civilization, then send people with guns who get paid to investigate abandoned houses with unlocked doors to investigate the abandoned house with unlocked doors.

This movie isn’t out yet but from the trailer it’s pretty obvious how to survive. Literally just leave a light on. That’s it. That’s all. The monster only pops up in the dark, so it doesn’t really require a brainstorm session to come to the conclusion that leaving a light on solved your problem. That’s it. That’s all. Sure, your electricity bill might suffer, but at least you won’t meet your demise, which sounds like a solid trade.

Don’t be a scumbag in real life and Jigsaw won’t come after you–he only likes killing people who are doing morally vile things, hence why he captures a cheater, and a photographer who spies on people. Just don’t be a garbage person and you’re golden, but in the event that you wake up chained up like the two dudes in this move did, you’ve got to come to grips with the fact that you ain’t leaving with all your limbs, and chop that foot off with the quickness. Hobble and escape, or keep your foot as you starve and rot in a filthy bathroom.

Don’t buy dolls. I mean, look, you can buy a Barbie or a Strawberry Shortcake from Target, Walmart, or whatever mainstream department store, but if you see some creepy, porcelain figurine at a sketchy garage sale or an antique store, go ahead and leave that shit on the shelf for your own safety. That being said, the protagonist in this movie didn’t buy the doll, it just popped up in her apartment after a satanic cult member’s blood got on it and like, lived in it spiritually, or something. Whatever happened, survival is simple: if a doll suddenly appears in your crib, assume that it wants your soul and take it as far away as possible, then burn it. Then consider calling 1-800-GO-UHAUL, packing your things and moving.