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I'm sorry to the countless people whose lives I've cut short. The characters who've become unwilling sacrifices to my art: The buxom babysitters. The doubting cops. The overbearing parents and well-intentioned boyfriends. Teens with their whole lives ahead of them. Decent, hardworking adults. All sent to an early grave in the name of box-office gold.—An apology from Wes Craven
You know the handy rules that Scream provided us on surviving a horror movie? Well, somebody's expanded them into a whole book.
How to Survive a Horror Movie: All the Skills to Dodge the Kills is a book by horror lover Seth Grahame-Smith (of later Pride and Prejudice And Zombies fame) that details what you should do in the event that you find yourself stuck in a horror movie. In it, you will learn how to perform an exorcism, what to do if you did something last summer, how to persuade the skeptical local sheriff, how to kill a murderous doll, how to survive an Alien Invasion, what to do if you've been dead since the beginning of the movie, how to defeat Satan himself, and many other useful skills. It's divided into six chapters, each devoted to a particular subgenre: an introduction (how to tell that you're in a horror movie, and rules that apply across the genre), slashers, evil inanimate objects, the undead (namely ghosts, vampires and zombies), aliens and beasts, and finally, demonic and religious evil.
- Affectionate Parody: Of horror movies in general.
- Black Dude Dies First: Two of the stock characters named in the first chapter are "The Black Guy Who Buys It 20 Minutes In" and "The Black Guy's Girlfriend Who Buys It 24 Minutes In".
- The Cameo: Wes Craven writes the foreword for the book, in which he apologizes to all of the disposable victims who have been killed off in his movies. A sample forms the page quote.
- Chainsaw Good: Highly recommended for fighting monsters.
- Curiosity Killed the Cast: Investigating strange sounds is never a good idea.
- Dead All Along: The book has a very obvious way of testing whether or not this is you. Just ask very specific questions, not vague ones. To several people, not just one.
- Death by Sex: Subverted, believe it or not; it's only having sex in a car that will kill you.
- Don't Go in The Woods
- Everything Trying to Kill You
- Final Girl: Lampshaded, like so many other horror tropes.
- Genre Savvy: What this book is supposed to make you be. It points out dozens of horror movie clichés, tells you how to defy and Subverted Trope them, what to do if you do make that clichéd choice...
- Genre Shift: One of the "ejection seats" (quick escapes from the Terrorverse of horror movies) provided is to start acting as though you were in another movie, such as a wacky teen comedy, an artsy foreign film, a Merchant-Ivory work, or a Kung-fu movie.
- The Lost Woods
- Rage Against the Author: The books are basically a guide for how to escape from malicious horror writers who are trying to get you brutally murdered.
- Inverted in the preface, in which Wes Craven apologizes profusely to all the fictional characters he's killed off or terrorized in his films over the years.
- Recycled in Space: A horror movie set IN SPACE! is a sign of one of two things. On one hand, you could be in a crappy sequel to a slasher franchise that's Jumped the Shark, in which case you'll probably survive, since the writers are getting really lazy by this point. On the other hand, you could be in a big-budget alien monster movie, and with those high production values (usually) comes a better script than the average horror movie -- and trickier, more inventive writers trying to kill you.
- Running Gag: About just how dangerous log cabins are.
- Satan: Defeated by way of Male Frontal Nudity, which doesn't exist in the Terrorverse. Therefore, showing your junk will instantly pull you out of a horror movie.
- If only that worked in I Spit on Your Grave...
- Self-Deprecation: The general low quality, low budgets and clichéd writing that show up in many horror movies (especially slashers) is a frequent target of parody. One of the "ejection seats" is great, well-written dialogue, and another is fleeing to a location that's far too expensive for the cash-strapped producers of a horror movie to shoot in.
- Shout-Out: By the boatload, to just about every classic horror movie and to some not-so-classic ones. Some of the scenarios are Whole Plot References to Snakes on a Plane, Children of the Corn and The Exorcist.
- Sorting Algorithm of Mortality
- Summer Campy: The most dangerous place to be in the Terrorverse is at a summer camp.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore
- Wrong Genre Savvy: If you find yourself in a big-budget production (really?), then odds are good you're in a Psychological Thriller, not a horror movie. In which case, the only advice the book can offer is that your missing child probably never existed, and that your husband is the bad guy.
- Zombie Apocalypse