Reader Beware Month: How to Survive a Horror Movie

I hate to tell you this, but if you’re reading this blog, you might be in a horror movie.  Now now, calm down.  There is no reason to panic just yet.  Plenty of people have made it through horror movies and lived to tell the tale.  Some people even survive a whole series of films while only dealing with minor scratches and psychological trauma.  The good news is that you’re not in this alone.  There’s a guide book out there made specifically for a person in your situation. It is called How to Survive a Horror Movie by Seth Grahame-Smith.

I first heard about this book through this episode of High Fiction, a discontinued (but still great) review series.  As a fan of all things horror, all I really needed to know was the title before I decided to buy it.  How to Survive a Horror Movie sells itself as guide for anyone who’s found themselves lost and afraid in the horrible realm of the Terror-verse, where all horror movies take place.  It’s a universe where nights last for 21 hours a day, slashers lurk in every abandoned camp ground, and hordes of roaming zombies are the least of your troubles.  The book basically says that, if you follow it’s instructions to the letter, you’ll find yourself living happily on the other side of the end credits for the rest of your days.  Or at least until you’re thrown into a sequel.

This book is basically classified as one of those humorous how-to guides, not to be taken too seriously.  The book doesn’t even take itself seriously, cracking jokes and breaking the fourth wall often and with pleasure.  In fact, I’d say this is the funniest humorous how-to guide I’ve ever read (not that I’ve read very many).  The reason for this is, while it does crack many jokes at the expense of horror movies, it also exposes some of the ridiculous tropes in horror movies for what they are.  It acts as fabulous social commentary on what horror movies have become.  You might say that some movies have already tried being meta-humor horror movies.  To this, I say, how meta can you really get in a movie?  To truly show the stupidities of horror movie characters, I say it’s better to be an impartial third party.  A book, for example.

I have three sections of this book that I like to call my favorite:  The Seven Deadly Horror Movie Sins, How to Defeat a Killer Doll, and What to do If You Have Only Seven Days Left to Live.  In my opinion, these three sections are the funniest of the book.  The Seven Deadly Sins are definitely not the ones they taught you in Sunday School. Time travel might be your only choice if the reaper is on your tail.  And, according to this book, if you lost a fight to a doll, you’re probably not long for this world anyway.  These are just a few of the jokes you’ll find in these absolutely hilarious sections.

If you’re in the mood for some good old fashioned horror-related fun this Halloween, I definitely recommend giving this book a read.  It’ll fulfill your hunger for some funny commentary about your favorite slasher flicks and other horror stories.  As the tagline says, it’ll teach you all the skills to dodge the kills.  Just remember:  zombies aren’t as tough as you think, Friday the 13th is probably a bad day to visit that old abandoned house, and if you’re dog starts barking at nothing in the living room, set fire to your house and run screaming.


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