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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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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

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

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

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

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

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

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.