I’ve always had a special place in my heart for horror movie characters. You have to feel sorry for the poor bastards. Of all the film genres they might have found themselves in—romantic comedies, costume dramas, inspiring biopics—these unlucky chumps were spawned in that darkest and most desolate tract of cinematic real estate: the opening moments of a horror movie.
Whether it’s the perky camp counselor, the overconfident scientist, or the security guard who leaves his post to check on “that weird noise,” the odds of survival are not good for these pitiful wretches. Like the thousands of baby sea turtles who hatch from their leathery eggs and crawl toward the sea only to be snatched up by waiting predators before they even had a chance to live, precious few horror movie characters survive to see the end credits.
Before I was lucky enough to make horror movies of my own, I spent my formative years sitting in carpeted basements, lights off, watching these films on VHS. My friends and I screamed ourselves hoarse—not just because we were scared, but at the sheer stupidity on display. The poor choices being made. The obvious death traps being walked into. The sex being sexed.
Yet, as stupid and helpless as the victims in these stories were, I felt for them. Yes, I loved watching them get hacked to pieces. Yes, I laughed at their gruesome demises. Yes, I laughed harder when they died naked. But a little part of me—the part deep, deep down that still had the capacity to care for others—wanted to help them.
And so I wrote this book as a tribute to these most pathetic of creatures, in hopes that I might succeed in two noble pursuits: 1) helping even one person meet the horror movie odds, and 2) avoid being evicted from my apartment for back rent.
Of course, that was back in 2007. I was young and naïve. Though much of the advice I offered then remains valid, the Terrorverse has invented new ways to inflict bloody death on its citizens . . . and on you
, should you ever find yourself trapped in a horror movie. (Perhaps you’re in one already; chapter one will help you figure that out.) This updated edition draws from plenty of new and noteworthy horror movies to keep your survival skills up to date. It features new tactics, new artwork, and an updated appendix of must-see horror flicks. I’ve learned a few things in the ensuing years. A few more skills to dodge the kills.
Now come with me if you want to live . . .
Copyright © 2019 by Seth Grahame-Smith. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.