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Scared Stupid

10 Dumb Things People in Horror Movies Do

Scream along with IFC's April Fool's Day Massacre all day today.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Thanks to movies like Scream and Cabin in the Woods, the tropes of horror movie morons have been well documented, but with IFC’s April Fool’s Day horror movie marathon upon us, we thought it was our responsibility to remind you of a few key things these idiots do over and over again. That way, you’ll know why you hate them, and feel a lot more comfortable rooting for them to die. Here are just a handful of the dumb things people in horror movies do that always get them killed. Feel free to try them out the next time you’re running away from a crazed killer in a Shatner mask.

10. Investigate weird sounds.

Renaissance Pictures
Renaissance Pictures

Hey, maybe take the Gates of Hell being ripped open as an excuse not to go check out that strange sound outside the creepy cabin you’re staying in. If Cheryl, from The Evil Dead, had followed that bit of advice, she might have avoided the worst first date with a tree since Saruman took one for the team in The Lord of the Rings. Time and again, these fools take any excuse to leave the safety of their homes, and go investigate the inky blackness on the other side of their locked door. I don’t know about you, but I could hear a marching band coming down the street at three in the morning, and I’m just locking my door and grabbing my gun. Then again, I hate marching bands.


9. Decide to give that freaky haunted house one more shot.

Poltergeist/MGM
MGM

Sure, it’s built on an Indian burial ground, and demons have kidnapped one of your children and taken her to The Nethersphere, but have you seen the finished basement in this house? You don’t just walk away from something like that. Haunted house movies would be awfully short if folks did what any sane person would do, and hightailed it out of there the first time the wallpaper started bleeding. Instead, these white-bread suburbanites seem to always find some excuse to put off the big move until something really awful happens. I mean, maybe just let the poltergeist keep the kid, right? They could turn her room into a home gym!


8. Fail to check the backseat.

Falcon International Productions
Falcon International Productions

How hard is it to take a peek in the backseat before you start up the car on a spooky night? Just a quick glance to confirm there aren’t any killers or old Starbucks cups taking up too much room back there. If there was a serial killer loose in my neighborhood, I’d be checking my backpack for him before putting it on. Instead, in everything from Urban Legend to Let Me In, pretty young people find themselves on the business end of something pointy because they didn’t just check to see if a maniac in a mask was crouched down in the back seat, uncomfortably waiting for his chance to strike.


7. Split up.

The Thing/Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

If there’s a monster hunting you and picking off your crew one by one, maybe stick together. You’ve got a better chance of fighting it off, or at least shoving the guy you like the least into its mouth and making a run for it. And yet, time after time, the best plan anyone in horror movies can come up with is to split up, snoop around in the dark by themselves, and report back after they die. It’s insanity, especially in The Thing, which has a monster that can transform to look like anyone. Hmmm, maybe if you stuck together you wouldn’t need to spend the rest of your time alive guessing who’s your annoying coworker and who’s an alien with a taste for bearded men.


6. Take off way too much clothing after getting hurt.

Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

Okay ladies, just because you got a scratch doesn’t mean you need to strip down to your undergarments. I know, you don’t want to bleed all over your good pair of jeans, but maybe consider the fact that you’re going to be running away from this killer or alien or desert slug for a good bit still, and you don’t want to have to do that in the near buff. Especially when your male friends are all suspiciously fully clothed.


5. Go into dark, scary basements.

Artisan Entertainment
Artisan Entertainment

Look, unless your basement has a foosball table and some sort of neon signage, I’m not going down there. Dark, dank basements are for storing Christmas decorations and getting murdered. And yet, time and again, from The Evil Dead to The Blair Witch Project, people decide that heading down the stairs instead of out the door is their best bet. Worst case, there’s a demon down there. Best case, you get thrown in a pit and asked to put some “lotion in a basket.” Probably better to just stay on the first floor, where no one ever dies.


4. Have sex in weird places.

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

We all like to mix things up. Skip the bed, and head all the way to the living room couch to get our freak on. But when you’re friends are being picked off one by one by a resurrected reject in a hockey mask, maybe it isn’t time to do the nasty in the abandoned mental hospital on the edge of town. Of course, when you get this many nubile young airheads together, they’re going to get a little frisky, but can’t they do it in a well-lit room with locks on the door? Safe sex doesn’t just apply to condoms, people.


3. Hide in the most obvious spots.

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

We get it. You’re scared. There’s a creep with a knife hot on your tail. You just want to curl up in a ball and die. Well, not die, but hide. Then you see a closet, or a bed, and figure, he’ll never look in there. He’ll just march through the room, back out again, and be on his merry way. But that never happens. Michael Meyers always checks closets. Kidnappers always “taken” you if you hide under the bed. These are obvious places for anyone who isn’t a moron. And your whimpering and choked back tears aren’t exactly helping matters. Get out of there, for the love of God. Instead, you’re basically hiding behind a potted plant.


2. Trip over everything imaginable while running away.

Vertigo Entertainment
Vertigo Entertainment

Why is it that the end of every horror movie has more pratfalls than a Three Stooges short? For some reason, a damsel in distress can’t run three feet without tripping over ever twig and crack she comes across. It doesn’t matter how much you yell “GET UP!” at the screen, they always end up on their knees. Look, just because you’re scared doesn’t mean you have to lose all equilibrium. Have some self respect. Stay on two feet. Most of these killers and monsters can’t lurch more than two miles an hour. A healthy jog is going to get the job done. Just keep it together, and remind me not to run a 5K behind you.


1. Say “I’ll be right back” like Scream never happened.

Dimension Films

Scream/Dimension Films

Scream blew this one out of the water, but not without cause. There are countless examples in the Friday the 13th and Halloween movies where someone says, “I’ll be right back,” only to never be seen again. And yet, somehow, movies like Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones still have folks using the phrase unironically. You know what, if those characters haven’t seen Scream, they deserve to die.

Check out some rules for horror movie “fools.”

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Grow TFU

Adulting Like You Mean It

Commuters makes its debut on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Jared Warner, Nick Ciavarella, and Tim Dean were once a part of Murderfist, a group of comedy writers, actors, producers, parents, and reluctant adults. Together with InstaMiniSeries’s Nikki Borges, they’re making their IFC Comedy Crib debut with the refreshingly-honest and joyfully-hilarious Commuters. The webseries follows thirtysomethings Harris and Olivia as they brave the waters of true adulthood, and it’s right on point.

Jared, Nick, Nikki and Tim were kind enough to answer a few questions about Commuters for us. Here’s a snippet of that conversation…

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IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Nick: Two 30-somethings leave the Brooklyn life behind, and move to the New Jersey suburbs in a forced attempt to “grow up.” But they soon find out they’ve got a long way to go to get to where they want to be.

IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jared: It’s a show about how f*cking stupid people who think they are smart can be.

IFC: What’s your origin story? When did you all meet and how long have you been working together?

Jared: Nick, Tim, and I were all in the sketch group Murderfist since, what, like 2004? God. Anyway, Tim and Nick left the group to pursue other frivolous things, like children and careers, but we all enjoyed writing together and kept at it. We were always more interested in storytelling than sketch comedy lends itself to, which led to our webseries Jared Posts A Personal. That was a show about being in your 20s and embracing the chaos of being young in the city. Commuters is the counterpoint, i guess. Our director Adam worked at Borders (~THE PAST!!~) with Tim, came out to a Murderfist show once, and we’ve kept him imprisoned ever since.

IFC: What was the genesis of Commuters?

Tim: Jared had an idea for a series about the more realistic, less romantic aspects of being in a serious relationship.  I moved out of the city to the suburbs and Nick got engaged out in LA.   We sort of combined all of those facets and Commuters was the end result.

IFC: How would Harris describe Olivia?

Jared: Olivia is the smartest, coolest, hottest person in the world, and Harris can’t believe he gets to be with her, even though she does overreact to everything and has no chill. Like seriously, ease up. It doesn’t always have to be ‘a thing.’

IFC: How would Olivia describe Harris?

Nikki:  Harris is smart, confident with a dry sense of humor but he’s also kind of a major chicken shit…. Kind of like if Han Solo and Barney Rubble had a baby.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Nikki:  I think this is the most accurate portrayal of what a modern relationship looks like. Expectations for what your life is ‘supposed to look like’ are confusing and often a let down but when you’re married to your best friend, it’s going to be ok because you will always find a way to make each other laugh.

IFC: Is the exciting life of NYC twentysomethings a sweet dream from which we all must awake, or is it a nightmare that we don’t realize is happening until it’s over?

Tim: Now that i’ve spent time living in the suburbs, helping to raise a two year old, y’all city folk have no fucking clue how great you’ve got it.

Nikki: I think of it similar to how I think about college. There’s a time and age for it to be glorious but no one wants to hang out with that 7th year senior. Luckily, NYC is so multifaceted that you can still have an exciting life here but it doesn’t have to be just what the twentysomethings are doing (thank god).

Jared: New York City is a garbage fire.

See the whole season of Commuters right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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C'mon Fellas

A Man Mansplains To Men

Why Baroness von Sketch Show is a must-see.

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Mansplaining is when a man takes it upon himself to explain something to a woman that she already knows. It happens a lot, but it’s not going to happen here. Ladies, go ahead and skip to the end of this post to watch a free episode of IFC’s latest addition, Baroness von Sketch Show.

However, if you’re a man, you might actually benefit from a good mansplanation. So take a knee, lean in, and absorb the following wisdom.

No Dicks

Baroness von Sketch Show is made entirely by women, therefore this show isn’t focused on men. Can you believe it? I know what you’re thinking: how will we know when to laugh if the jokes aren’t viewed through the dusty lens of the patriarchy? Where are the thinly veiled penis jokes? Am I a bad person? In order: you will, nowhere, and yes.

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Huge Balls

Did you know that there’s more to life than poop jokes, sex jokes, body part jokes? I mean, those things are all really good things, natch, and totally edgy. But Baroness von Sketch Show does something even edgier. It holds up a brutal funhouse mirror to our everyday life. This is a bulls**t world we made, fellas.

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Oh Canada

After you watch the Canadian powerhouses of Baroness von Sketch Show and think to yourself “Dear god, this is so real” and “I’ve gotta talk about this,” do yourself a favor and think a-boot your options: Refrain from sharing your sage wisdom with any woman anywhere (believe us, she gets it). Instead, tell a fellow bro and get the mansplaining out of your system while also spreading the word about a great show.

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Dudes, that’s the deal.
Women, start reading again here:


Check out the preview episode of Baroness von Sketch Show and watch the series premiere August 2 on IFC.

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Happy Tears

Binge Don’t Cringe

Catch up on episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia.

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Photo Credit: GIFs via GIPHY

A brain can only take so much.

Every five minutes, all day, every day, ludicrously stressful headlines push our mental limits as we struggle to adapt to a reality that seems increasingly less real. What’s a mind to do when simple denial just isn’t good enough anymore?

Radical suggestion: repeal and replace. And by that we mean take all the bad news that keeps you up at night, press pause, and substitute it with some genuine (not nervous, for a change) laughter. Here are some of the issues on our mind.

Gender Inequality

Feminist bookstore owners by day, still feminist bookstore owners by night, Toni and Candace show the male gaze who’s boss. Learn about their origin story (SPOILER: there’s an epic dance battle) and see what happens when their own brand of empowerment gets out of hand.

Healthcare

From Candace’s heart attack to the rise of the rawvolution, this Portlandia episode proves that healthcare is vital.

Peaceful Protests

Too many online petitions, too little time? Get WOKE with Fred and Carrie when they learn how to protest.

What Could Have Been

Can’t say the name “Clinton” without bursting into tears? Documentary Now!’s masterfully political “The Bunker” sheds a cozy new light on the house that Bill and Hill built. Just pretend you don’t know how the story really ends.

Fake News

A healthy way to break the high-drama news cycle is to switch over to “Dronez”, which has all the thrills of ubiquitous adventure journalism without any of the customary depression.

The more you watch, the better you feel. So get started on past episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia right now at IFC.com and the IFC app.

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