This is Why Skeptics Shouldn’t Make Horror Movies

We wouldn’t follow any of the scary movie tropes:

(via Boing Boing)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • C.L. Honeycutt



    I went into a house very similar to that, right at dusk, less than twelve hours ago.

    And then discovered that the light from my cell phone screen, which can illuminate entire rooms clearly, was just sort of sucked up before it could reach the corners of any room in that place.

    • Jeff See

      So you’re saying you went into a dead and empty house, at dusk, and it was dark inside?

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        With all the doors and windows wide open and indirect light still coming in at first, I couldn’t get anything resembling a reasonable amount of illumination. My bedroom has shades for daytime sleepers, and in it, at night, I can read my bookshelf across the room by my cellphone. But that house just eats light like there was an actual director planning the shots. There could have been “Mama’s” feral children hiding in the corners and I wouldn’t have seen them.

        • Jeff See

          You probably shouldn’t watch scary movies ;) Were you in Blair, Md?

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Thomasville, North Carolina. We have a really big chair in the middle of town. It’s not scary, though. It’s funny because it’s bigger than a regular chair.

            These days I mostly watch horror movies in order to troll my sis’s kids. It’s a good life.

  • m6wg4bxw

    Horror movies wouldn’t be fun without stupid characters. That fake trailer may be refreshingly realistic, but it’s also boring as fuck.

    • Jeff See

      ,,aaaand that was the point.

  • Timmah

    I would still go with the hot cheerleader to the abandoned mental asylum. That is a risk I’m willing to take.

    • m6wg4bxw

      What risk is that? A citation for trespassing?

      • flyb

        An STI?

        • m6wg4bxw

          Possibly, but it isn’t related to an abandoned mental asylum.

        • Joseph George

          As old as the building must be, probally asbestos. Maybe lead paint as well.

          • duke_of_omnium

            I could make the trailer now. “In a world that needs insulation and soundproofing, only one mineral will do. Sylvester Stallone and Sandra Bullock in Asbestos 2: The Wrath of Silicosis. Rated R. Starts Wednesday in a theater near you.”

    • Trickster Goddess

      I’ve actually been in an abandoned insane asylum alone at 3:00 am. No Ouija board though, and unfortunately no cheerleader either.

  • Better Off Damned

    Yeah, um, this doesn’t really make a lot of sense. Us skeptics wouldn’t be the ones to avoid, say, entering a supposedly haunted cabin… because we wouldn’t just accept that it is. In fact, you’d have to be fairly non-skeptical to say “fuck this” and not investigate further. Lucky for us though, life doesn’t operate like horror movie cliches.

    • Thiriel

      Maybe not so much skeptics as people who have read

      • Better Off Damned

        Most of those “stupid” things actually aren’t all that unreasonable. For some reason audiences act like the characters should know they’re in a horror movie or something. Lol.

        • Thiriel

          yeah, some I understand, but others, such as splitting the group up after a member has gone missing or been discovered dead. Those I cringe at.

    • Pithecanthropus

      I know, I would have liked to see them cleaning the place up and just having a nice weekend.

      • JET

        Several years ago I got a great deal on a condo that had been on the market for quite a while because the previous owner and his girlfriend had died in a plane crash and it was required to be disclosed. It was one time I truly appreciated non-skeptics.

        • Drew M.

          My parents bought a house in the 80s that was home to a murder/suicide. IIRC, they paid in the $30k range when the rest of the houses in that subdivision were around $60k. I lived in that house for about 6 years.

          The ironic thing is that my parents are super-devout Catholics and that was why they were unconcerned with the deaths. A priest’s blessing was all it took to allay any fear of the supernatural.

  • Peter K

    Well, it made me laugh. But most of the characters don’t strike me as sceptics, but just smart cookies with some common sense (and perhaps a kind of meta-awareness that they’re in a horror movie!). In reality none of this shit would really happen… (ghosts, monsters, demons etc).

    • baal

      How can you discount puzzle cubes which open dimensional doors? Haven’t you see the weird turns they can make?

      • Peter K

        I assume that’s a Joke, but never sure on these pages…! Lol! Because I’ve never seen one? Except in the Hellraiser movies!

    • Drew M.

      Agreed. Of course, the trailer itself doesn’t advertise it as a “skeptic” thing, merely “sensible.”

      Edit: The chainsaw wielding maniac is totally plausible, though!

  • kingderella

    Yeah, I don’t really know how this relates. Particularly the scenes with the kid with that magical puzzle. A skeptic would probably call the police, who would probably seal off the area and then get some scientists to examine what’s going on there.

  • Thiriel

    Finally, a horror movie that I can watch without cringing at the stupidity of people!

  • Nemo

    Actually, wouldn’t a skeptic be MORE likely to follow some of the horror movie stupidity tropes? I mean, I’m a skeptic myself, and if I heard about a cursed video tape, I’d probably watch it just to try and debunk it. So, for that matter, would many theists. That or they would believe in the curse but watch the tape to prove that Jesus can beat up the demons. The problem with the “stupidity” in horror movies is that there are some really bad decisions made (the blond girl who runs up the stairs instead of out the door, the blond who trips a lot, not double tapping), but horror movie characters also get crap for decisions which people in the real world make all the time without getting sacrificed to Dozer. Movie characters don’t usually know they are movie characters.

    • WillBell

      Yeah, the clip seems to show genre savvy characters more than anything.

  • The Captain

    Related, but this is why when I watched Juno I realized I could never have written that movie. If I had the scene where she went to the abortion clinic wold have ended with her actually getting one, and the rest of the movie would have just been a short montage of her finishing school, going off to college, pursuing her dreams and having a nice life.

  • Pithecanthropus

    Don’t be afraid. Don’t be VERY afraid…

  • advancedatheist

    “Let’s go to Cabo and get wasted.” Uh, young lady, getting drunk in a place full of young men you don’t know doesn’t sound like a good idea, either.

    • islandbrewer

      Only because of people like yourself, AA.

  • Ferule Bezel

    Neal Stephenson touches on this in a talk he gave at Gresham college

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    I feel bad because I am the kind of person who would start the horror movie. If I came across a lone book hidden away in some secret room, attic, or long buried I would be the one to read it out loud to see what happens. Of course I would some how know exactly how to pronounce a language that I had never read before.

    • Itarion

      Fortunately, you’d also be intelligent enough to manage to get out of the sticky and probably dangerous, but ultimately funny, situations you get into? Rather than die horribly? Right?

      • Raising_Rlyeh

        Well, as soon as people start disappearing and weird shit starts happening I am out of there as quickly as I can.

  • Drew M.

    Okay, I freaking lost it with, “You there, you’re gonna need a bigger sign!”

  • wmdkitty

    Genre Savviness pays off, ne?