Jun 21, 2013

13 SMART Choices Made In Horror Films

Article By: Chiller

If the government were paid a nickel every time someone did something dumb in a horror movie, we'd have no deficit and every child in America would have a Cartier lunch box. Alas, that's not the case. But, there ARE smart choices being made in horror on occasion. For your perusal, here are thirteen of them. 


1. Off With His Head (Halloween: H20)

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How many times has "chop off his head!" been the obvious, but never taken, solution to the problem of a psycho killer? Laurie Strode proved she's the ultimate of bad-asses by doing just that. Big props to screenwriter Kevin Williamson for taking every horror fan's unsolicited advice and making it a reality




2. Pre-Internet 911 (Scream)

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"What's the point? They're all the same. Some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl who can't act, always running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door." Scream protagonist Sydney's deft description of a horror movie trope could apply to her, given minutes after saying it SHE's the one running up the stairs while Ghostface chases her. But she makes the first of the series' smart choices by barricading herself in her room (using her closet door as a protective brace) and thinking quick by ditching her dead phone and using the then-brand new internet to dial 911 (yes, children, the internet was once rare and modern tech).



3. Call A Priest (The Exorcist)

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Seriously. After her daughter started smacking her around, turning her head at 180 degrees and speaking in a British accent, Chris knew she needed to get God on her side.



4. Wake Up! (A Nightmare on Elm Street)

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Teenage Nancy Thompson proved herself one smart cookie (while also potentially revolutionizing the dream catcher industry) when she figured out the key to killing Freddy Krueger. Freddy could kill her in her nightmares, so Nancy figured out that by grabbing hold of him when she woke up, she could bring him into the real world - and off him. It worked. Well, until the sequel.



5. Aural Skills (Suspiria)

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Poor dance student Suzy Bannon knew the creeptastic teachers at her dance academy were up to no good and probably killing students, but couldn't put the pieces together. By listening to their footsteps in the hall at night, she was able to pinpoint the secret location of their coven and eventually stop their homicidal spree. Aspiring murderous boarding school teachers take note - wear flats.



6. Capitalism Saves Lives (Dawn of the Dead)

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Seeking refuge at the mall is normally reserved for teenage girls or food court enthusiasts, but in 1978's Dawn of the Dead (and its 2004 remake), a savvy group of zombie apocalypse survivors realize the mall is salvation - it's protected and filled with survival essentials (Think about it. You could live off Auntie Anne's for a month if you needed to).



7. Expendable Limbs (The Walking Dead)

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When Hershel was bitten in the leg by a walker during an exploration of the prison, Rick and his ragtag group of survivors could have put him out of his misery. After all, they did it before (bye, Dale) and after (See ya, Andrea) when one of their own was bitten. But quick-thinking Rick instead decided to amputate Hershel's leg to stop the zombification from spreading. And it worked! 





8. The Power of the Dewey Decimal System (Carrie)

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Carrie doing research in her school's library about her telekinetic powers - what they were and what she could really do - may have seemed obvious, but this was a girl who was so naive she thought getting her period meant she was dying. So, really, when you think about it, using the card catalog displayed a great deal of agency. And also led the way for the most horrific (read: most awesome) prom in movie history. 


9. Dirty Sweaters Save Lives (Friday the 13th: Part 2)

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Back in part 2 of the franchise, Jason still wasn't wearing his hockey mask and Amy Steel was the tortured heroine with a child psychology degree (her character's name was Ginny, but Amy Steel is a better name). Cornered by Jason in his shack/house/shrine to his dead mother, Amy Steel PUTS ON Mrs. Voorhies nasty ass sweater and pretends that she's Jason's mom. See, kids, dirty clothing and Jungian training can stop serial killers in their path! Anyway, Jason wasn't fooled for long but the quick thinking provided enough of a distraction that she offed Jason (until Part III).



10. Use Machines (Aliens)

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Ellen Ripley never gives up. Trapped in a cargo bay with a REALLY pissed off alien queen, she could give up. Most would. But with little Newt to protect, Ripley took advantage of the only weapon around - a giant exo-skeleton used in hauling large cargo, and kicked the crap out of the Queen before blowing her out of an airlock (editor's note - we consider Aliens a sci-fi AND a horror flick because it is scary as hell).



11. Retrace Your Footsteps (The Shining)

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Thanks to @jana4givn for suggesting this one. While axe wielding dad Jack Nicholson is chasing him through a labyrinth in the snow, Danny makes the preternaturally smart decision to walk backwards in his own footsteps, hides in a nearby bush and then takes off in the other direction when his dad goes by. This basically proves we are NOT smarter than a fifth-grader (really, a first grader) because we'd never think of this and, therefore, would be dead. Because it's Friday, here's the entire sequence set to the music of Phish:



12. Pigs Are Helpful (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)

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After Erin (Jessica Biel) manages to escape the psychotic, redneck cannibals that killed her boyfriend and friends, she hides out in a slaughterhouse. Leatherface is in hot pursuit, so Erin puts a small pig in a locker while she hides nearby. Leatherface heads right for the noise the pig is making, giving Erin the chance to jump out and hack off his arm with a meat clever, making way for her escape.


13. Leave (Salem's Lot)

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Seriously, how many times have people stuck around a haunted town/house/campground with a murderous past, or whatever, when they could just leave? When vampires start killing people in the town of Salem Lot, the sheriff makes the most intelligent choice in the mini-series and just gets the hell out of town.

Honorable mentions must go to Marybeth in Hatchet II for managing to get the evil Reverend Zombie killed (thanks @wordpresshorror). So what do you think of this list? Speak out on our Facebook page or on Twitter with #Friday13 and let us know who we missed or any other thoughts!

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