“There are certain RULES that one must abide by in order to successfully survive a horror movie.” The wise words of Randy Meeks remain true, both for horror cinema and in real life. You can never be too sure when a pesky serial killer is wreaking havoc around town, roaming up and down your street, or terrorizing your significant other out on the patio.

In honor of the upcoming film Ghost of New Orleans, a movie about a disgraced detective that encounters the ghost of a murdered woman who wants to help him identify her killer, we’re here to remind you how to avoid being murdered by a serial killer according to the movies!

serial killerFirst of all, to emphasize on the advice given by Meeks in 1996’s Scream, there are three glaring rules that can help you avoid being murdered by a serial killer:

1.) You can never have sex.

2.) You can never drink or do drugs

3.) Under any circumstances, you can never say, “I’ll be right back.”

Unfortunately, the rules of Scream essentially do away with any typical behavior committed by teens and young adults. It’s a common fact that serial killers sniff out virginity like it were a vanilla creme candle. If the scent is missing, chances are that your life will soon follow. Well, unless you’re a Sidney Prescott type. If you’re reading this survival tutorial, however, chances are that your serial killer preparation was severely lacking beforehand, which means that you’re not a Sidney Prescott type.

More difficult than abstaining from sex, avoiding the wrath of a serial killer also means that you cannot drink or partake in the drugs. More difficult, of course, because sex involves more than one person, consent, and mutual attraction, whereas drinking can damn well be done alone, no attraction necessary. While it may be tough for you hip whippersnappers to keep your filthy paws off the Michelob Ultra and funny cigarettes, it may just keep you from being gutted like a fish.

While going above and beyond to avoid these first rules is commendable (and mandatory), the third stated rule is perhaps the easiest to miss. Saying “I’ll be right back” isn’t a task you’d expect to be slaughtered for, but also a well known fact is that serial killers hate confidence – and nothing screams “confidence” quite like discussing your scheduled return. If you don’t wanna get a surprise knife in the neck, you’d better avoid those four words, regardless of circumstance.

The iconic Randy Meeks advice, however, doesn’t properly include all variables of this murderous equation. As frequently shown in horror films, serial killers aren’t necessarily of the human variety. In fact, more often than not, these killers appear to be supernatural in form. For instance, let’s look at Freddy Krueger. A burnt serial killer who uses a glove armed with razors to kill his victims in their dreams, this supernatural entity inspires a rule that’s imperative to follow in the case that you encounter a killer of this type.

4.) Don’t. Fall. Asleep.

serial killerIs nothing sacred in this world? Not only have serial killers taken away your right to fornicate and toke doobies with your friends, they’ve also tainted the one thing literally everyone loves… sleep. Oft have the words “sleep when you’re dead” been uttered, though dream-stalking serial killers present more of a “sleep AND you’re dead” approach. In the event that you come under the attack of a dreamworld foe, do everything in your power to drag the serial killer into the real world as you wake.

While there’s no chance of you winning the fight in your dreams, the sleep-enemy likely won’t fare as well in your bedroom. I can’t pretend that everyone reading this is a badass, however, so fighting the serial killer may very well lead to your demise. Your best bet is just to stay awake forever.

Dream stalkers aren’t the only type of supernatural serial killers, unfortunately. We’ve come to learn that these killers take on many forms, each one inspiring a new survival rule to take note of. In the case of Candyman, a film about a supernatural murderer with a hook for a hand, we’re taught a valuable lesson in how to avoid being murdered by a serial killer.

5.) Don’t say ANYTHING into a mirror five times.

serial killerI know you might think it’s a fun idea to test your luck and act like a faux hero in front of your friends, but this is a bad idea. It’s been scientifically proven that whatever word you speak into a mirror five times WILL appear in front of you, and it likely won’t bring the glory in which you’re hoping for.

In the case of Candyman, you’d likely be gutted by a trench coat-wearing hook man and finding yourself screaming “not the bees!” frantically like perennial saint, Nicolas Cage. I know right now that you’re thinking, “But what if I say something like “money” five times in the mirror? Can I used this system to my advantage?” Don’t. Try. It. The devil is a liar and he will send some beady eyed serial killer named “Money” through your bathroom mirror to cut your ass.

6.) Don’t trust your toys.

serial killer

Voodoo is a powerful thing. If you don’t believe me, ask Charles Lee Ray, the famous killer/voodoo master who placed his own soul inside of a Good Guy Doll while his body was bleeding out. You can never be too sure when a serial killer has followed this routine, so the only logical prep-step is to trust nothing, especially not your toys. I knew a kid once who owned hundreds of Hot Wheels toy cars. I went over to his house one afternoon and found him bound with ropes and duct tape, with his body placed in the center of Pentagram drawn from his own blood on the floor and surrounded by each of his Hot Wheels. I fled the scene in horror, but I can only assume his toys were possessed by an ancient serial killer and that my friend is no longer with us. If you’re reading this Kyle, I’m sorry.

7.) Don’t go camping.

serial killerIn addition to leaving the comfort of your own home, camping sucks because there’s a solid chance that you’ll be murdered. Now, you can avoid the first few rules on this list and better your chances of survival, but to eliminate the threat altogether, just keep your ass at home.

What good could possibly come from camping in the woods or even staying at a campsite? You’ll either find yourself terrorized by demons à la The Evil Dead, or you’ll be hacked to death by a Jason Voorhees type. How To Avoid Being Murdered By A Serial Killer According To The Movies 101 states that you should never go camping.

Supernatural serial killers can be handled with the aforementioned advice, but these next tips are more likely to come in handy in the event that you find yourself deadlocked in a battle with a human serial killer. For starters, and this one is obvious:

8.) Don’t trip.

serial killerListen, there’s really no conceivable outcome in which you won’t be chased by a serial killer if you’re to come in contact with one. If movies have taught us anything, it’s that you better not trip while doing so. If you’re fluent in sprinting, you may very well be able to outrun the killer.

However, the instant you trip, the killer will either catch you and drag you away to be tortured, catch you and kill you immediately, or rush to wherever you were running towards so that you run right into his/her arms and lose all hope before taking a machete to the face. You damn well better run, but don’t you dare trip.

9.) Check your backseat.

serial killerFilms like Urban Legend teach us the importance of checking the backseat before climbing into a car. You can never be too sure when there’s a serial killer dwelling between the vehicles of a Walmart parking lot, and you can never be too safe in assuring that they’re not catching a ride in your backseat.

The best case scenario of being in this (avoidable) situation is that you crash your vehicle and manage to harm the serial killer with minimal damage to yourself. The worst case scenario, however, well… you know by now.

And finally…

10.) Don’t shoot your friends in the face.

serial killerWhy on earth does this even need to be mentioned? Not shooting your friends in the face is a no-brainer, right? If you’ve seen The Strangers, you know that this kind of thing actually happens in horror films, and it should absolutely be avoided in real life. Let’s say that you’re safely backed into a corner with a shotgun. The only way that the serial killer(s) can get to you is through the doorway.

Don’t get scared and pull the trigger before determining if it’s the killer at the door or not. Chances are, the killer knows better than to enter and you’ve actually just blown your hero friend’s face off. Don’t do that.

Also, if you’re reading this and you view yourself as the hero friend of your group, how about a little warning? Do you WANT to be shot in the face?

There you have it, folks! 10 foolproof ways to avoid being murdered by a serial killer according to the movies. Let’s recap what we’ve learned today:

  1. Never have sex.
  2. Never drink or do drugs.
  3. Under any circumstances, you can never say, “I’ll be right back.”
  4. Don’t. Fall. Asleep.
  5. Don’t say ANYTHING into a mirror five times.
  6. Don’t trust your toys.
  7. Don’t go camping.
  8. Don’t trip.
  9. Check your backseat.
  10. Don’t shoot your friends in the face.

Simple enough, right? Stay safe out there, people!

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