Horror Movies and Healthy Living
(October 29, 2019)
People can be unkind. They sneer at horror movies and those of us who adore them. Yet there is so much we can learn from them! Horror movies often contain not just moral lessons, but important information on making healthy lifestyle choices. In honor of the season, and in case this source of enlightenment might have eluded you in the past, I will provide a beginner’s guide to a few of them for your today.
1) Do not EVER have sex with anyone but your spouse, even if you are unmarried. There are no exceptions to this rule. Break it and you will become the immediate target of any crazed killer who happens to be in the neighborhood. It’s just not worth it. You could have your head ripped off. Or be set on fire. Or you and your partner could both be speared through WHILE YOU ARE ACTUALLY DOING IT. All of this carnage is simply a metaphor for the fact that in the non-horror-movie world, you can pick up no end of infections, inadvertently start an inconvenient baby, cause all kinds of unpleasant drama in your personal life, and increase your chances of heart attack by such behavior. Not to mention winding up on the wrong Instagram feed.
2) Do not do drugs or get drunk. If you think having sex with someone who isn’t your spouse will get you in trouble, just try getting drunk or stoned. Plus, with mind-altering substances you run the additional risk of attracting a malicious otherworldly spirit or awakening some type of sleeping ancient evil. These are clearly also metaphors, not just for the dangerous things you might do while you are several sheets to the wind, but for the physical toll a lot of this kind of thing takes on your physiology generally.
3) Unfortunate things we have done in the past can come back to haunt us. We cannot fully escape the consequences of our past activities, even if it seems for a while like we have. This includes not just running over random strangers with our car or not ‘fessing up to our involvement in the death of a playmate, but also smoking, excessive drinking, inadvisable drug use (which can have legal as well as health consequences), lingering injuries from risky activities, etc.
4) Do not eat, drink or allow yourself to be injected with anything that fluoresces. This one should be self-explanatory.
5) Don't go off by yourself. Crazed killers, ghosts and other supernatural entities, and space aliens all prefer to pick people off one by one and are somewhat intimidated by crowds. So being in a group is good for you. We know that even people who prefer their own company and find socializing to be exhausting and stressful will be psychologically far healthier if they spend some time with other people. Horror movies teach us that they will also be PHYSICALLY healthier if they do so. It’s perfectly all right to go to that graveyard, slaughterhouse or abandoned mental institution at midnight if you want; just make sure that you’re with other people when you do it. And do not go off on your own. Even to pee. THAT has a set of risks all its own.
6) If there is a weapon around, be expert in using it. Anyone who randomly grabs a gun, crucifix, letter opener (do people even have those anymore? they do in horror movies), wooden stake, or snowglobe for self-defense hasn’t got a prayer of using it correctly and ironically will probably actually be killed with it. If you are going to keep a gun or a snowglobe around the house, please make sure that it is properly secured and that you have taken shooting or snowglobe defense lessons.
7) If you get into it with someone and they fall over, they will hit their head on a coffee table or fireplace grate and die and you will be charged with murder. So save your hand-to-hand combat for the dojo and, in your interpersonal conflicts, use sarcasm instead.
8) If something seems weird, it probably is weird. Is that painting really a little bit different each time you look at it? Why are you being offered a job at three times the normal salary by a Count Somebody whose eyeteeth look a little bit too long? Can this really, really expensive supplement keep you from getting cancer? Especially if something sounds too good to be true, be suspicious.
9) It’s probably NOT just your imagination. I can’t count the number of times someone has come to me with a legitimate health problem that some idiot doctor had embarrassed them into thinking was in their head, saying to me, “I’m probably just imagining it”. Guess what? They weren’t. So if your new squeeze looks exactly like the family portrait of her mass-murdering great-grandmother, or if you have a weird pain that won't go away even though your doc told you that you're fine -- don't let it go too easily.
10) Don’t vacation, or live, in a rural area that is so far out it doesn’t have cell phone service. Vicious mutant animals, villages of weirdos that have been forgotten by time, and families of violent inbred hillbillies are known to frequent such places, and you’ll be lunch if they get you alone. (See 5) above.) Also if you break your leg or have a heart attack, you can’t phone for help. So if you MUST go on such an adventure, make sure that people know where you are and that you have some kind of emergency contact plan in place.
11) Don’t be a bully. Not only is it horrible psychologically for everyone involved, the person you bully might have telekinetic powers, and THEN you will really be in trouble. Or they might grow up to be a serial killer and take a terrible revenge on you and your innocent family. And it would be at least partly your fault, so everyone would be satisfied to see you die.
12) Don’t ever buy a house that seems like it’s really cheap for no good reason. Indian burial grounds, histories of mass murder with supernatural entities that are still present, and weird portals to other universes inhabited by nasty things abound in such locations. Also, it’s probably in a flood zone or has foundation or asbestos issues.
13) Babysitting is a really dangerous profession. So dangerous that I’m surprised any of us who were babysitters managed to live to adulthood. If your child insists on doing it, make sure that it knows that if anyone calls the house phone, it is a serial killer who has already murdered their clients and not to run upstairs or down into the basement, but to leave the house immediately. Also make sure that they are up to date on their snowglobe defense lessons.
As you can see, there are many rules to horror movies as well as to life. The first rule of BOTH is this one, which is worth remembering always so that it can guide us:
#1. Anyone can die at any time.
With all of that in mind, I am pleased to have been allowed to share with you some of my specialized knowledge. May it keep you amused as well as safe. Have a Happy Halloween!
--dr. diane holmes
Copyright © 2019