How to Survive a Horror Film

11 Aug 2017

With so many characters making wrong turns, here's what you can do to survive a horror film.

Part and parcel of going to see a horror film is to leave terrified. It’s a good job then that Annabelle: Creation, in cinemas now, promises viewers just that. As the tension mounts, the prequel to the hugely successful Annabelle places you anxiously on the edge of your seat as a nun and group of girls from an orphanage face the wrath of the doll maker’s creation.

Part of the fun of watching a scary movie is shouting at the TV what you would do. But is it really that simple? Everything is easier to judge when you’re sat at home on your sofa, so to help you remember some rules for survival, we’ve made a list of the warning signs, with tips pulled from some of the creepiest offerings from the Warner Bros. vault.

Annabelle creation

Never break away from the group

When faced with danger, there’s always that one character who splits up from the group. Stay together and play a numbers game instead of being picked off one by one, as shown in The Gallows when Reese runs off with the camera and Ryan finds himself alone.

The Gallows

Trust nothing… not even inanimate objects

You may think you know everything about an inanimate object, as Tim and Kaylie assume in Oculus regarding the cursed piece of glass which made their father murder their mother. Never trust a hexed item – it’s impossible to predict and you can be sure your fool-proof plan is flawed.

Oculus Karen Gillan

Don’t try to enter any rooms that are off limits

One of the most pivotal scenes in cult classic The Shining is that in which Danny enters room 237 and very quickly wishes he hadn’t. There’s usually a reason that a door is locked or the characters have been warned to stay away from a particular room, so it’s always best to avoid.

The Shining
Beware of strangers

In Friend Request, Laura innocently accepts a friend request on Facebook from a girl at college. Little does she know that the stranger would turn out to be the epitome of evil, killing off her friends one by one. You don’t need to be wary of everyone you meet, but remember to keep your wits about you.

Friend Request
Don’t dismiss the warnings

If someone tells you they’ve heard a creepy noise or seen a scary shadow lurking in the basement, it’s all too easy to dismiss as their overactive imagination – as was the case for Paul in Lights Out. Perhaps if he had taken his co-worker’s warnings of a dark figure appearing in the warehouse he would have subscribed to a better fate...

Lights Out Teresa Palmer
Listen to music as a warning sign

If the record player scene from Annabelle is anything to go by, step away from vinyl and invest in a CD player instead. As Mia sits in the dimly lit dining room, the eerie record player independently continues to stop and start playing music, luring her to its side where she comes face to face with Annabelle.

Annabelle Creation doll
Never return to the scene of the crime

If you managed to escape whatever-it-was the first time, celebrate your safety by not returning to the scene of the crime. Perfect proof of why this is a bad idea is The Conjuring 2, when Lorraine and Ed investigate whether the reports of a haunted house in Enfield are true and return to the building in question.

The Conjuring 2

Armed with this stealthy survival guide, see if you can brave Annabelle: Creation in cinemas now.

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