I think we have seen enough of the major horror franchises, from the (generally) classic originals to the mostly abhorrent sequels, to understand the mythologies of each one. What constitutes the majors? For me it’s Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, Evil Dead, Romero’s “Dead” flicks ( Night, Dawn, Day, Land), Child’s Play and Hellraiser. I’m a child of the 80’s so naturally those are going to be my majors, no offense to the Saw or Scream franchises and their fans. If you watch them closely enough you’ll notice that each franchise has several kills, some more numerous and inventive than others, but the goal of each killer is very specific. So it can be deduced that, should you ever find yourself trapped inside one of these horror series, there is a simple way to survive.
How to Survive: Don’t be related to Michael Myers or hang out in his house
The Deal: Michael Myers hunts down his living relatives, and when he’s done with that he goes home to relax. Being his sister, his niece (or being friends with either), or having a Halloween party in the Myers’ house is the easiest way to get offed in this most original of slasher series.
2. A Nightmare on Elm Street
How To Survive: Don’t live on Elm Street. Or be the offspring of vigilante parents.
The Deal: The sequels get (very) loose with the mythology but originally you would only be dream-stalked if you were the child of a parent who helped murder everyone’s favorite blacksmith, Freddy Krueger. Where did most of them live? Elm Street. If you ever get stuck in NOES just ask your folks “Hey, have you guys ever burned a man alive?” If yes, I’d suggest you invest in Starbucks.
3. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
How to Survive: Stay away from the Hewitt house
The Deal: Family dinners at the Hewitt house make the Griswold’s look like a poster child for the highly functional. Even the physically handicapped don’t fare well in this series. The best part is this group generally stays to themselves, mostly because they’re not the most sociable bunch. So as long as you stay away from the house that smells like dead flesh and power tools and you should make it out alive. But, it is in Texas, so there might be more than one. Be on your toes.
4. Friday the 13th
How to Survive: Don’t go to Camp Blood…..ahem, Crystal Lake.
The Deal: Jason doesn’t like to travel away from home, so if you ever find yourself in a VW Micro Bus with a group of horny teenagers going to a camp with the nickname “Camp Blood”, BAIL! I know camp sounds like fun, but ditch the s’mores and head back to the city (except Manhattan). It probably wouldn’t hurt to abstain from sex and drugs, too. I know, I’m a real wet blanket.
5. Evil Dead
How to Survive: Don’t play the tape recorder in an abandoned cabin that’s only accessible by an obviously under-maintained forest dirt road
The Deal: Paved roads are usually a good sign of civility. Not too many city-dwelling ancient demons in the world these days. If you’re an outdoorsy person and want to do the cabin thing, make sure it isn’t a dilapidated hut that contains a book bound in human flesh filled with ancient scribblings and demonic images. That’s all I ask.
6. George Romero’s Dead Flicks
How to Survive: Get airborne
The Deal: Barricading you and some people you just met in a questionably secure location won’t work. Building an underground bunker and experimenting on zombies? Nope. Build a militia secured high-rise and stay on the top floor? Nah. These are zombies and lots of them, they’re going to find a way in. Know what they haven’t come up with yet? A flying zombie. Get your ass in the air and do what you can to stay there.
7. Child’s Play
How to Survive: Stop playing with dolls
The Deal: Seriously, if you have even the tiniest iota of a thought that the doll in your room just moved, talked, blinked or tried to kill you, get rid of the damn thing! Better yet, you’re an adult. No dolls. Period.
How to Survive: Stick to a Rubix Cube
The Deal: Maybe you’re into some freaky shit, but if chains and leather are your thing I’m sure you can find a seedy website these days to get your fix. Paying top dollar for an ancient box with the intent of importing pain demons from another dimension seems unnecessarily risque. Stay away from ancient puzzle boxes, they’re nothing but trouble.