No one wants to be in a horror flick—but if you suddenly find yourself in one, the best way to survive is to learn from the mistakes of the many ill-fated heroes and heroines who came before. Here are the 10 most likely places you’ll get murdered in horror movies. When a killer comes knocking, avoid these spots at all costs.
The basement is practically a given, especially if you say “I’ll be right back!” before heading down to fix the circuit breaker when the power mysteriously goes out, or to investigate that weird noise everyone just heard.
Do yourself a favor: don’t be a hero. If it’s not a serial killer, it’s definitely an evil spirit.
Having sex during a horror movie is an absolute death wish. The killer is almost always behind you, waiting to strike when you’re most vulnerable (and very distracted).
And it’s not just during the deed where you need to stay vigilant—remember that sleep takes you, too. After all, dreamland is where Freddy Krueger hunts his victims.
Even if the killer isn’t a nightmarish monster, it’s hard to defend yourself when you’re catching some Zzz’s.
The woods are a terrible place to be in a horror movie. They’re poorly lit and filled with hidden dangers like animals, bear traps, exposed tree roots to trip over, and a hundred other hazards you definitely don’t need while being chased by some psycho wielding a chainsaw.
Besides that, it’s very easy to get lost. Everywhere you step makes noise, letting the killer know exactly where you’re hiding.
Unless you’re a pro at climbing trees—and it’s daytime—never run into the woods to escape the killer in the house.
Ah, babysitting. A harmless way for enterprising teenagers to make some extra money.
Unless, of course, you’re a babysitter in a horror movie.
Unfortunately, many babysitters make the mistake of inviting their boyfriends over after the kids have gone to bed. They usually make two grave mistakes—having sex (see: Bedroom), and leaving the doors and windows unlocked, practically inviting the killer inside.
Depending on the rating of your horror movie, you might be killed during sex or before your partner ever arrives. You hear footsteps? Never assume it’s time for something fun. Grab a weapon and be ready!
Lawnmowers are an unusual murder weapon, but they have been seen a few times. Sinister did it well. The Happening did it…not so well.
Regardless, death by lawnmower is gruesome and painful. Even if you don’t own a lawnmower, backyards aren’t typically well-lit, and monsters can hide anywhere. Like the woods, avoid your backyard as much as possible during your horror movie’s runtime.
Theoretically, getting into a running car with a full tank of gas is your best bet for getting away from whatever evil lurks around you. While it might seem like a tempting option, there are a few things to keep in mind.
The first is the high possibility of a backseat killer. You’ll hop into that conveniently-waiting car, only to get a close-up with a garotte or knife to the throat.
Alternatively, the killer might pop up in the rearview, scaring you half to death—then finishing the job with a nice fiery car crash.
Camp Crystal Lake is just one example of why placid lakes are to be absolutely avoided in a horror movie.
Think about it: you’re barefoot, in a swimsuit, distracted, and who knows what’s lurking in the depths of that unassuming lake?
And it might not be a serial killer at all, but an ancient dinosaur who drags you down to its watery lair.
The sanctity of the bathroom is just not respected in cinema. Even Jurassic Park shows Martin Ferrero unceremoniously eaten on the can.
Horror movies tend to prefer a sexy element, however, so you’re more likely to be killed in the shower à la Psycho. But any time you’re less than fully dressed, you’re at risk in this genre.
If you absolutely have to take a shower or go to the bathroom, remember to lock the door. Maybe put something in front of it too. Although, like Shelly Duval discovered in The Shining, any door can be broken down if the killer is determined enough.
Okay, this only happened in Final Destination, but it’s definitely overdue for comebacks across the horror movie genre.
Tanning beds meet plenty of criteria for “great spot to get murdered.” You’re almost totally naked, for one thing, just lying there with your eyes shut and music blasting, in what’s essentially a coffin. What killer can resist?
While most people aren’t actually murdered in the attic, it is a great place for plot reveals that turn you into the killer’s next target.
All of those people who supposedly went missing over the years?
Your friends who you thought just “went into town” to grab some extra supplies?
Yep. All of their bodies are probably stored up in the attic.
As soon as it dawns on you that these are your friends or real people, rather than weird puppets or mannequins, you’ll turn around and find the killer standing right behind you—ready to shut your mouth forever.
The setting may change, but most factors don’t: horror movie killers almost always strike when you’re alone, vulnerable—and stupidly hiding in some dead-end spot in the dark. Keep your wits about you, and you just might make it to the credits.