Seanan McGuire (seanan_mcguire) wrote,
Seanan McGuire
seanan_mcguire

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Ten things I have learned from horror movies.

I watch a great many horror and monster movies, and have since I was a very small child. This explains a lot. This has also taught me a great many things about what not to have characters do, 'cause it's dumb. I will share some of those things now.

***

10. Do not clone predatory dinosaurs and expect things to go well right out of the gate. Seriously, here. In the movie Raptor, they're trying to clone "dinosaurs with a brain*" to do heavy labor and generally become grunt workers for mankind. Okay, if you're a moron, I guess that's a plan. So they start with...velociraptors. And Tyrannosaurus Rex. Because, y'know, that ten-ton killing machine is totally going to use sentience to go "sure, tiny meat-snack man, I'll work my tail off for you!" If you're going to clone dinosaurs, start with a plant-eater.

(*Meaning "a human level of intelligence and reasoning." Because that's a good idea.)

9. While we're on the subject, do not make anything that already likes the taste of people super-intelligent. We still have issues with certain species of domestic animal flipping out and deciding to eat their owners when instinct kicks in. There is no possible way that Great White sharks aren't going to use their super-intelligence against us (as the scientists in Deep Blue Sea learned to their dismay). The phrase "just not worth it" comes to mind, as does "clearly, whatever you have just enhanced is the only sentient thing here."

8. I like snakes. I am, in fact, a snake fan. That being said, I have no illusions about the fact that every snake I've ever owned would have happily eaten me if the situation had presented itself. There's actually a species of anaconda that's managed to figure out, all on its own, that people are made of meat. Researchers were disappearing in South America at one point, because while the snake had made this impressive leap of logic, it hadn't told anybody that lived. In short: giant snakes are a bad, bad, bad idea. Do not do it.

7. I also like swamps. I am pro-squishy, marshy, horrible places where I can romp around in ankle-deep goo. I do not go into swamps while drunk. I do not go into swamps where people have recently disappeared. I do not go into swamps alone when there's any chance that the swamp harbors a secret clan of cannibals that has been eating swamp-goers for generations. You shouldn't do these things, either.

6. Do not poke the slime that fell from space. Let someone else do it, while you stand at a safe distance and get ready to run like hell. Actually, unexplained slime is pretty much never ever ever ever a good thing, as it means either "alien blob," "alien drool," "leaking nuclear power plant," "flesh-eating disease and there's a skeleton under there"...yeah, all of these things are just not good. Do not poke.

5. If you get your fortune told by a carnival fortune teller, and the carnival fortune teller starts shrieking at you to get out get out get out, and it's not my Aunt Royce, it is, perhaps, time to panic. Not time to go laugh about the crazy lady and walk straight into a wheat combine. Please do not elevate "dumb" to an art form.

4. Y'know, when I was a teenager, my boyfriends knew that if we went parking and I heard a strange noise and said "what was that noise?" and they did not respond with "let's go park someplace where there aren't freaky noises that make my horror movie-savvy girlfriend unhappy," they weren't getting any. They were, in fact, possibly getting dumped. Maybe all teenage girls should take this approach.

3. There is no goddamn reason to run in high heels across broken or uneven ground. Maybe if your choices are "high heels" or "barefoot in the junkyard," but that's just a maybe. If you step on a nail, that's gonna suck, but if you're scared enough, it's not gonna slow you down one bit. If you break a heel, on the other hand, you're gonna fall down and the man with the hook for the hand is going to catch your ass. High heels get you gutted. This has been a safety announcement.

2. Hearkening back to the first item on this list, there is actually no damn reason to clone anything from prehistoric times that you can't guarantee is a) not a carnivore, b) not poisonous, and c) not bigger than a house cat. Seriously, the world is really getting along just fine without the saber-toothed anything. I like all these animals. If they existed, I'd want to see them. But then they would eat us all, and I'm against that.

1. If something has been introduced into the ecosystem which causes one noticeable local creature to mutate to unusual size, it is time to leave. I'm quite serious here. Aruba is lovely this time of year. If you have giant dragonflies, well, that's very pretty and all, but you probably also have giant mosquitoes. Giant leeches. Giant snakes again, and that's still a bad idea. Don't mutate the local ecosystem, and if someone else does it for you, don't stick around to watch the fun.
Tags: geekiness, horror movies, so the marilyn, ten things
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