EW Presents: I Will Survive: 13 Lessons From Watching Scary Movies

  1. Before checking out ''Saw IV'' this weekend, check out our scary-movie survivor's guide
    By Marc Vera | Oct 24, 2007

    Just say no!
    Being a drug addict sucks — just ask Amanda (Shawnee Smith, pictured), from Saw. There's never enough money for that next high, and worse, you run the risk of being abducted by Jigsaw, who preys on the weak-willed and pathetic. But if you don't mind slicing into people to find the key that'll take that modified bear trap off your head, you'll be just fine.

    Don't trust the locals
    Embrace the local culture while vacationing in South America. Just be sure you know what you're drinking and who your friends are, or else you could end up like the poor saps in Turistas, robbed of their possessions and left struggling for their lives at a ''friend's'' house. Brazil isn't looking so grand anymore, is it?

    When exploring nature, come prepared
    Spelunking with your friends can be a great bonding experience — just be sure you carry plenty of light and a trusty map, unlike the ladies of The Descent. Because, you know, it would suck to have to claw your way out of a pitch-black underground hell with Bat Boy-looking predators on your tail.

    Don't piss off truck drivers
    If you want to play around on the CB while driving cross-country, like Fuller (Steve Zahn, pictured) and Lewis (Paul Walker) in 2001's Joy Ride, you better be prepared to deal with the psycho trucker that'll want to rip your jaw off for teasing him.

    Remember that old saying about curiosity...
    Getting run off a country road by a lunatic is scary; later gawking at said lunatic while he's dumping bodies down a chute is just plain stupid. But that's exactly what Darry (Justin Long) and Trish (Gina Philips) did in Jeepers Creepers (2001), to their eventual horror.
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  2. Never pick up a hitchhiker
    They look cute with their backpacks and scraggly hair, but traveling with one rarely has a happy ending. So next time you feel the urge to help out a stranded stranger, remember the kids from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), whose horrifying journey to Leatherface's lair began with them offering a ride to a violent, knife-wielding freak.

    Monitor what your kids watch on TV
    It starts innocently enough — a little Sesame Street here, some Wiggles there — but when your tyke starts talking to the ''TV People,'' as little Carol Anne did in Poltergeist, you should start worrying. (Other signs that things are not quite right in your home: There's a menacing tree monster, a creepy toy clown, a freaky four-foot-tall medium...)

    Beware of backroads
    The Appalachians in West Virginia are a gorgeous setting for a climb. But if you believe urban legend, you wouldn't want to venture down any side roads in the area, like the teens (including Eliza Dushku) in 2003's Wrong Turn. Why? Three words: inbred mountain people.

    Always follow your gut
    Look what happened to most of Alex's (Devon Sawa) classmates when they laughed off his vision (pictured) in 2000's Final Destination: That's right, they blew up with their plane. (Not that Alex and his closest friends, who got off the flight at the last minute, had it any better, since death always finds a way of catching up with them...)

    Don't hit and run
    If you plow into a pedestrian with your car, don't leave him for dead on the side of the road — he just might come back for blood. (That's right, I Know What You Did Last Summer star Sarah Michelle Gellar — I'm talking to you.)
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  3. Before sending the kids to a summer camp, read up on its history
    Camps these days have everything from Web programming and film production to swimming and hiking. Just make sure the camp doesn't have a record of hiring bad counselors, like the ones at Crystal Lake in 1980's Friday the 13th, who were too busy making out to save future serial killer Jason Voorhees from drowning.

    Stay off the Internet
    Hackers, beware! That unknown portal you just found may actually lead to hell, and no one wants that. Mattie (Kristen Bell) and Dexter (Ian Somerhalder) aim to patch it up in Pulse — because life's not worth living without the 'Net.

    Finally: If your ice cream moves... don't eat it!
    In 1985's The Stuff, a delicious new dessert springs forth in gobs from the earth. Wouldn't that be cool? One hitch, though: After you eat it, it eats you. Bummer.
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  4. I would like to add:

    • Don't buy the creepy looking doll (all the Chucky movies)
    • Don't lose your virginity or say "I'll be right back" (pretty much every 80s horror movie)
    • Bring your own bottled water / beer when you go camping (Cabin Fever)
  5. Don't ever think you can escape the past.
    Ignoring long-ago horrors won't make them disappear, as Prom Night's Donna (Brittany Snow) and her friends learn when a madman resurfaces to haunt them on their special night.
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