A dark forest. A haunted castle. A nightmarish dreamworld. All of these places have been the settings for great Horror films. But what about your own home?
What if some of your favorite Horror villains paid you an unwanted visit one dark and stormy night? Would you succumb screaming like some bumbling summer camp counselor? Or would you summon up some courage and fight back, like little Kevin McCallister, waging your own Home Alone Horror?
Since this is Modern Horrors and you’re likely a staunch fan of all things macabre and maniacal, I bet the answer to that question is a resounding, Yes. With that in mind, I’ve prepared five fun life hacks to help you fend off your favorite fiends.
Are these ideas guaranteed to work? Who knows. But this is a Horror movie, so have fun with them. You may not end up a Final Girl, but you might just help save one. Gear up, soldier.
Before we begin, let me set the mood. For these scenarios, let’s assume it’s the third act, the climax. All of your friends and co-stars have been knocked off one by one and now a Horror icon has his, her or its eyes fixed on you, and you have only a few precious days to prepare. Now, as the sun begins to set, you steady yourself for battle. Your survival is questionable, but if you have a steely resolve and follow my suggestions, there’s a chance you’ll make it to the closing credits.
I suggest you start screaming now.
Jason Voorhees, from the FRIDAY THE 13TH series is essentially the Great White Shark of Horror characters. He’s a juggernaut of a monster, armed to the teeth and intent on finding you and tearing you to shreds. What’s the best way to defeat such a hulking beast of a man with the stride of Sasquatch? Use his size and tunnel-visioned determination against him. For this, we’ll return to a classic: The Punji Stake Pit.
Using a basic shovel, knife and some backyard debris for camouflage, you can recreate an ancient and deadly trap that dates back to the 19th Century. It is a simple, yet effective tool to cripple either an army of invading troops, or one gigantic Mama’s Boy.
Find a location with one entry-point and dig a pit, placing sharpened stakes on the bottom and sides of your new cozy crater. For added effect, dip the tips of the stakes in human feces. Vietnamese guerrilla fighters did that when they fended off invaders from the first Chinese invasion through to the Vietnam war. In your case, you can do it as payback for JASON X. With the young Voorhees successfully harpooned in your homemade hell, feel free to douse with gasoline and ignite. Once cool, fill your pit with concrete and announce your career in Archaeology because you, my friend, have just created your first fossil.
If there’s one thing you can say about Count Dracula it’s the guy has manners. Whether he’s tearing into your neck or your rib-cage, he’s kind enough to do both with flair and finesse, after all blood spatter is simply unfashionable. On the subject of etiquette, fans of Bram Stoker’s 1897 creation know that Dracula must ask for permission of the owner before entering a home. Charming as they are, it’s old-fashioned manners like these that will be his downfall.
For this hack to work, you’ll need six things: a computer, $501 dollars, two blank signs, one unsuspecting friend and a sunrise. Bear with me.
First, form a limited liability corporation (LLC) online for approximately $150. Since your LLC has only one owner, yourself, you can obtain a Federal Tax ID number and open an LLC Bank Account online with a minimum deposit of $350. Look up the deed to your home online or quickly visit your County Recorder’s office. With you as the Grantor and the LLC as the Grantee, separate the residence from the property and transfer the deed from yourself to your LLC, for a purchase price of one dollar, with your friend as a witness. Once complete, you can high-tail it over to that same County Registrar and record the deed. By this time, your unsuspecting friend is wondering what the hell is going on, while Dracula has likely stepped onto your doorstep and ominously asked if he may come in. Politely say yes, while introducing him to your soon to be ex-friend and his soon to be next meal. Then, quickly step outside and plant a FOR RENT sign in front of your ex-residence and a WELCOME HOME sign on your new permanent domicile, the very ground you’re standing on.
It’s complicated, but worth it. You will have defeated the Prince of Darkness, trapping him inside your rental property, unable to step outside into your new Home. While an unwary Dracula busies himself with his supper, simply light your rental on fire, set up a lawn chair and wait for sunrise. Once the embers have died down, begin construction on your very own Castle Dracula.
You’ve earned it.
After the complex legwork required to defeat Count Dracula, my scheme to defeat Michael Myers from John Carpenter’s 1978 classic HALLOWEEN may seem effortless, but trust me, you’re going to get dirty. This battle will require considerable timing and dedication. Should the sight of blood make you queasy, give up now.
If we search the HALLOWEEN franchise for any consistencies, it reveals that Michael is basically three things: evil, strong and easily disoriented. Whether it’s a sewing needle, a coat hanger or two bullets to the eyes, this guy is dependent on vision, making him the definition of a Pursuit Predator.
Pursuit predation is when predators give chase to fleeing prey, a tactic that relies on visual strength. Typically observed in carnivorous species, such as lions and wolves, pursuit predators sidestep the ambush and instead rely on detection and chase to capture their prey. In Michael’s case, your survival is in the eye of the beholder and those big bad eyes need blinding.
The Flour Can Bomb creates a blinding and explosive flash, bright enough and powerful enough to disorient anyone, even a demonic boy next door. Using simple household items, including coffee cans, rubber tubing and baking flour, you too can create a minefield of combustible distractions within your own home. Partnered with the high-pitched wail of your standard home alarm system, Michael will have gone from Haddonfield to mine-field, stumbling about like a drunk babysitter raiding a liquor cabinet.
Once Laurie’s younger brother is sufficiently shaky, simply grab a kitchen knife and sever his hamstrings, incapacitating Carpenter’s colossus for good. With your Bogeyman helpless and reduced to the trembling tween he once was, feel free to channel your inner Jamie Lee and cook up a happy Halloween.
The Horror villains we’ve faced off with so far have all been of the corporeal variety, bound to this Earth. But what about Freddy Krueger, the murderous psychopath with the power to vault into the dreamworld? Since his first appearance in Wes Craven’s 1984 classic, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, Freddy has been entering his victim’s dreams, and slashing his way to stardom. Able to enter the subconscious of his prey and cause real death in their conscious world, the “Springwood Slasher” would seem unstoppable for our experiment. But never fear, where there is a will there is a way. Be warned, this one requires extreme dedication and a steady hand.
In surgical terms, a prefrontal leukotomy, or lobotomy is a surgical procedure in which the nerve pathways in certain lobes of the brain are severed from those in other areas. Around since the 1930s, the lobotomy was a radical measure used on patients suffering from anything from severe mental illness and schizophrenia to simple anxiety and depression. In the 1950s, American Neurologist Walter Freeman devilishly promoted the surgery as a “miracle solution”. History is rife with heart-wrenching stories of lobotomies, but there’s also cases of patients going on to live productive lives. Marvel of medicine or perversion, one bizarre fact remains: lobotomy patients don’t seem to dream.
In a survey of 200 cases of prefrontal leucotomy, Neurologists observed that a common result of the technique was “a poverty or entire lack of dreams”. As wild as that sounds, this disturbing procedure may have its come-back where Krueger is concerned. After all, he can’t kill you if he can’t get to you. But before you start waving your foam-finger of victory, you best steel yourself for the nightmare of self-surgery.
I know what you’re thinking: Suddenly dreaming doesn’t seem so bad.
Dreams, nightmares or real life, I hope these tips get you thinking the next time you imagine what could be. As a Horror fan, I know I revel in the fear and delight of how the genre presents the mysterious, the shocking and the imagined. I felt it was only fair I present battle tactics that do the same. Whether you end up Victor or Victim, these iconic Horror icons would assuredly give you props for the effort.
Until next time, bloody your sword and be ready to give us your best Leonidas because This. Is. Horror.
Got an idea to defeat your favorite Monster? Leave your tactics in the comments.