Sunday, January 30, 2011

Black Swan, etc, etc...

Yes, yes: as promised, and as should be expected from every movie blogger, a little chat about Black Swan.

The really interesting phenomenon that this film is at the center of is this seemingly new theme where the movies that are the most popular are also the movies that "high brow" film audiences like the best. The Golden Globe nominees weren't the subtle, almost indie or entirely indie films that you didn't even notice were in theaters, but  the movies that people were talking about--Black Swan, The Social Network, The King's Speech, etc.

With that in mind, I went into the first showing of Black Swan that I saw with a question: Why is this film so popular but also so praised by critics and "high brow" film audiences?

The answer became very clear very quickly, and it is my only criticism (and, apparently the only criticism, considering the incredible reviews it got.) The film lacks a lot of subtlety in plot and symbolism. The conflict, though very deep and thought-provoking, is also straightforward--it is an inner conflict, but it is still white vs. black, good vs. evil. This was reinforced, of course, by the gorgeous but obvious visuals in the film--Nina wears light, soft colors, Lily, Beth, and the mother wear all black. Everything the director, Thomas, owns, is black and white. Reflections are used almost obsessively, (but well,) to, again, reinforce the conflict--mirrors and reflections have been used in film for many, many decades to represent the two sides of a character, and this movie isn't always so adept with it--for instance, when Thomas is explaining the role of the swan queen, the camera cuts decidedly from a medium shot of him in the studio to a shot of his reflection in the dance mirrors.

There are other moments and things that could have been more subtle. Nina has a weird rash on her shoulder blade--and by some coincidence, it is exactly where a wing would grow were that to happen. A shot of the ballerina in her music box, with head and leg broken off, is shown after her legs break and she hits her head. She puts on a black shirt when she goes out with Lily. The list goes on.
Woah guys it's a mirror!!

However, this is why, in my opinion, it was so accessible to a mainstream audience and critics (as well as the fact that it's all daring and stuff with the various sex scenes which aren't often shown on screen--more on that later.) The symbolism was there, the mise-en-scene and cinematography reflected the intent of the story perfectly, but in a way that you didn't really have to think about--this way, the mainstream audience (who, presumably, don't pick apart visual symbolism while watching movies,) and the critics, (who potentially do? I will when I'm a film critic?) could both enjoy it and understand it's full value.
Oh my gosh. Another mirror. 

When I saw this movie with my film appreciating friends, they saw that problem with it, too, (as well as the problem with the lack of gay male dancers...) but my dancer friend, who spends less time than we do analyzing movies, thought the symbolism was very clever (although she also saw the problem with the lack of gay dancers...) So, case in point.

I loved a lot about this movie though, including the visuals. Last year, my school put on the musical Curtains in the winter, and one of my favorite things that the director and costumer did was to make all the backstage scenes, with the dancers in their dance clothes, in grays, whites, and blacks, with red accents. I adored those costumes, and knitting some legwarmers to go with them, just like I adored the costumes and colors in this movie. The soft grays, pinks, creams, and blacks were so gorgeous together and invoked very well the idea that Nina was still locked in a childhood dream to be a ballerina, and that she still saw it as beautiful, gentle, and feminine, while the other dancers (who all wore black,) saw it as competitive and vicious.

Also, all of Nina's costumes looked sooo cozy. I wish I were a dancer, because I want to wear various knitted tubes on my legs and arms all the time. Some of the knitted things were so unnecessary seeming but soo beautiful--for instance, the lacy gray top that was knit probably with lace weight yarn and size twenty needles that she wore in her last practice scene, where the piano player leaves her in the dark and she really begins hallucinating. Why was she wearing that? I don't care, it was awesome. She always has one leg warmer or one arm warmer--why? I don't care, they look so comfortable. Amazing knitwear in this movie. Amy Wescott, the costume designer (famous for such films such as The Twelve Dogs of Christmas and Porn n' Chicken....hopefully this is her big break, she deserves it,) is a lady after my own heart and must have had a great time knitting up all sorts of amazing things.

The knitwear, though, along with the soft colors and the gray brick walls that were the backdrop for most of the scenes, perfectly captured the atmosphere of New York in the winter, (have I ever been to New York in the winter? Nope.) and made the whole movie feel very cold and raw, which made the scenes in her bedroom appear that much more warm. Very skillful.

The second thing I loved about this movie is also what I think makes it so scary--it is entirely first person. In most movies, we get at least two points of view--usually one a third person or third person omniscient--but in this movie, we know only what Nina knows and see only what she sees. This, of course, leads to some serious confusion when she starts hallucinating, and at only one point--the long shot of her on stage as a human instead of a swan after her solo as the black swan--do we see what we can know is really happening. This point of view makes every surprise, from the shocking notice of her mother while she is masturbating, to the simple event of her walking into a nurse at the hospital, just as surprising for the audience as they are for her.

I also loved how the various aspects of the black swan--the things she needed to be "perfect," were displayed in the other female characters, particularly Beth. I think Beth is the most undervalued character in the movie, because though she's on screen less than ten times, she's as important as Lily in representing the black swan. Nina's transformation to the black swan is also her transformation into Beth, as embodied by her jealousy of Thomas being with other girls, her paranoia that Lily is trying to steal her part, her destructiveness, and her...taking over Beth's dressing room and stealing all her stuff. More subtlety.
This is actually awesome--the framing makes it look like a mirror. 

Thomas says that Beth's "dark impulse" was what made her so "thrilling to watch...perfect at times, but also so god damned destructive." At that point, Nina begins letting her own destructive tendencies and ticks--her habit of scratching and biting her cuticles, and her bulimia, overcome her much more, presumably trying to be more like Beth. The first move she makes as the black swan, asking Thomas for the role and then biting him when he kisses her, is done wearing Beth's blood red lipstick. The major shifts in the movie--her getting the role, her becoming entirely consumed by hallucination, her "claiming her position," as it were, as the lead girl in the company and taking over the dressing room, all happen after an encounter with Beth.

I was also super impressed by how they used the Swan Lake music. Tchaikovsky has been my favorite since I was a tiny tiny child, and they used it very very effectively in the movie.

And the last bit that I'm going to rant about is the presence of sex scenes. Not the scenes themselves, but the fact that they made it onto the big screen. This shows a major change of standards in the rating system, one that I consider to be for the better.

A while ago, I watched a documentary released in 2006 called This Film is not yet Rated. It detailed (with a lot of bias,) the process of rating films, and how and why some films get an NC-17 rating and can't be released in theaters. The director of one of my favorite movies, But I'm a Cheerleader, was interviewed, and talked about how her movie couldn't be released by a major company because of its rating--a rating that came from a lesbian sex scene with no nudity shown, an girl masturbating over her clothes, and a maybe three second long shot, in the dark, of two men laying on top of each other, also fully clothed. Obviously we've crossed some major bridges in how okay we are with seeing homosexual sex on screen, and I think that's fantastic. How much of the film's audience saw the movie only for the sex scene? What was the intention of the director? I'm not sure, but I think it's a big statement for the progression of film that it's in there.

The entire movie, really, is a pretty positive statement for the state of film right now--even thought the symbolism was forced, it was there. The plot was accessible and somewhat easy to follow, but still scary and complex. And, of course, just the fact that such a terrifying movie made it into the Golden Globes, the Oscars, and the hearts of film audiences makes me very, very happy.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

When did this become a blog entirely about babies?: A Lifetime Movie Review and Analysis

I'm sorry guys. This is getting ridiculous.

Apparently I'm horrified of babies, because I keep watching movies about them.

With that being said, I have a confession to make: I am currently watching a Lifetime movie called The Pregnancy Pact.

And with that being said, I'm actually really impressed.

During the summer, I regularly watch The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and it is ridiculous. I won't get into it right now, except to say that it's incredibly unrealistic, god-pushing, and badly done, right from the 2 million some-odd dollar houses in Southern California that middle class families live in, to the church that saves the day when the girl can't pay to take care of her kid, to the fact that somebody gets pregnant every season, to the bad product placement. Going into this movie, I was expecting sort of the same thing.
Use this product. Then do something with you're life, stupid lazy slut!

I am being pleasantly surprised. Mostly because the movie is 50% about teenage pregnancy and peer pressure, and 50% about how we can be affected by media, particularly how small towns can be affected by media, which is one of my pet...issues.

Considering it's Lifetime, a network I have very little respect for, they made some good artistic and plot choices. The emphasis in this movie is definitely is on the girls' delusion that it's a good thing to be pregnant, and that pregnancy as a teenager is, by default, a bad thing.

They made the choice to have the main character look like she's about ten years old, which is very, very significant. It makes it much more sad that she is going to have a baby, and it makes her naivety much more believable. Unfortunately, she acts about as well as I do, (she smiles constantly,) and her total lack of skill is pretty distracting.

Otherwise, though, they made mostly good decisions. The real main character is this crazy, wonderful journalist girl, who comes back from New York City to Gloucester (like down the road from me, and apparently just like my hometown but an island and more Catholic...) to find out whats going on with the bunches and bunches of teenaged girls who are getting pregnant. She is pro-choice, pro-contraceptives, and pro-truth, which is so refreshing in a program like this, especially since it's pretty clear that she is the good guy.

Which opinion is correct, though, is a little ambiguous--or, at the very least, there's wiggle room. Main pregnant girls' mom is head of the abstinence committee (three double letters in that word! woah!) in the town, and she is strongly opposed to the school nurse's idea to hand out contraceptives in school because of that whole, inviting-kids-to-have-sex or whatever argument, and she very much believes in abstinence before marriage. The nurse argues that the kids are having sex regardless, and nearly dozens of girls are getting pregnant. The (principal? vice principal? I forget,) argues that the girls want to get pregnant so contraceptives don't help.

And thats where the media, and the plot, comes in. The journalist is in town to find out what is going on, and it turns out (spoiler alert!) that the girls decided to make a pact to get pregnant on purpose after one of their friends did by accident. The motivation is the usual: "babies are cute! our babies can play together! babies are beautiful and certainly don't poop and throw up on everything! Gloucester (that's pronounced glow-ster for all the Russian and Canadian readers out there,) is utopia and we can just stay here and be moms and be happy forever!"

There are a few results of this--one, the media freaks out. In small towns, the media is a horrifying, horrifying thing. Because I live in one, one where a few newsworthy things have happened in the past few years, I have seen this firsthand--things get blown out of proportion. People are hurt because everybody knows everybody else, and even though that kid did something wrong, he's your librarian's son and the strangers on the news just can't talk about that. Rumors get spread. People get run out of town because of small crimes that didn't necessarily happen. It's rough stuff.

In this movie, once Time gets a hold of the story that there is a pact, every media team in Massachusetts goes to Gloucester to figure out what is going on and generally just be gossip-column story hungry. The battle between the townsfolk and the media gets more and more heated, to the point where the main pregnant girls father and boyfriend actually get into a physical fight with a news anchor and his crew. The entire town ends up in conflict over these girls, with the mayor blaming the principal, the abstinence committee turning against their president, the families of the fathers turning against the families of the mothers. The media becomes a grotesque monster (which they could have showed more artistically, but I get what they're going for,) with a voice from one mob attacking the pregnant girls yelling "can I at least get footage of her stomach?" and the girl in question following it by saying, "Now I know what it feels like to be Jamie Lynn Spears!"

Wooaahh. It's at that point, I think, that it really hits home that the movie is not only about how the media can feed off other people's misery, but how we feed off it in turn. Really, the whole reason that the girls are so eager to be pregnant is, besides peer pressure, the depiction of motherhood and babies in the media and in our cultural ideal. The conflict between the main girl and her boyfriend centers around the fact that he wants to marry her, but in California, after they go to college, and all she wants is to stay in Glowster and marry him now and have kids, and be a stay at home mom forever and be happy, which is a slightly hyperbolic but also true reflection of the sort of expectation that there is of what it means to be happy--not career, not adventure, but motherhood and love.

Not to mention the way teen pregnancy is normally depicted in the media--I'm looking at you 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom, Secret Life of the American Teenager, and even Juno. And Twlight. Getting married at eighteen doesn't make getting pregnant at eighteen not subject to the normal issues of teen pregnancy. And Bristol Palin and Jamie Lynn Spears. A big issue presented in the film is that the girls don't know what is going to, realistically, happen to the once they have the babies--they don't know how much going through labor sucks, and are very surprised when the first girl to give birth does so to a premature baby the size of a newborn Panda and gets violently injured in the process, and then has implied post partum depression. The main girls' boyfriend leaves her because she's crazy and intentionally got pregnant and ruined his life. All the babies, in the off-screen future, probably have fetal alcohol syndrome because all the girls went to a crazy party and got extremely drunk. (So much more realistic than Secret Life! Yay Lifetime!)
 There is no "oo dressing up in matching outfits!"

They didn't do a terribly fantastic job wrapping up the movie, just like I'm not doing a terribly fantastic job wrapping up this nonsense blog post. The moral ends up being that teen pregnancy is complicated and personal and there's no one right way to deal with it, and all options are viable. (There are no abortions, but it's implied that they're acceptable early on.) Unfortunately, cool journalist from the city basically says, "I have learned that teen pregnancy is complicated and there's no one right way to deal with it," so even though I think the moral is a good one, they're still pushing it on us pretty hard and not veiling it in any way.

Even though I liked this movie, I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to anyone, unless you're particularly interested in studying how the media deals with small-town scandals and teen pregnancy. Or you're really into Lifetime movies, in which case you've probably all ready seen this. It's a watchable film, and there's a lot more going on than I expected--a lot of latent content. But that doesn't mean you should run to onDemand right now and watch it.

Oh, and apparently today is the ...38th (?) anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. Yay babies!

I promise soon I'll write a real review of a real movie. American Psycho or Black Swan. It'll be fun stuff. I promise.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Moar babies, chick flicks, and cannibalism

I am a bad, bad child. The very last thing in the world I should be doing right now is blogging. I have a paper to write for Friday, scales to practice for tomorrow, laundry to do, and on top of everything my wrists have been bothering me so much that I haven't been able to type for two days.

But there is much to discuss. We make sacrifices.

I just finished watching Grace, a movie that came out a little while ago (2009,) when I frequented, and there was quite a bit of hype in the horror community about it, if I remember correctly. It's been in my instant queue for a long time, but I just got up the courage to watch it today.

I highly, highly recommend this movie. Unless you are a male. Or know any males. Or have a baby. Or know anyone that has a baby or lost a baby or you were a baby yourself once.

Of course, that sounds like I don't watch anyone to watch this movie, I suppose, but that isn't what I mean. It really is a brilliant film, but it is a chick flick. An extreme chick flick. If you're driving on the road of chick flicks, drive past The Notebook and When Harry Met Sally, take a left at The Devil Wears Prada and then drive for a long time, past Ms. 45 and I Spit on your Grave, then maybe you would get to this movie.

I say "chick flick," meaning that this movie literally is almost entirely made up of females, and there is a lot of imagery in it that men, I'm sorry, are just not strong enough to handle. A lot of women probably aren't, either. There's a lot of menstrual symbolism, and a lot of very very nonsexy images of breasts, and a looot of babies.

The feminist message is very strong in this film, with a mother going to every extent to save her child. Even though the baby supposedly dies in utero at eight months, Madison, the heroine protagonist main character insists on carrying it full term and delivering it naturally. Luckily, the baby comes back to life when it is born (but it's dead for a long time, which is horrific and sad,) but isn't a normal baby--it has a thirst for human blood.
This baby wants some meat

Best. Baby. Ever.

The main themes in this movie are pretty intense, and pretty obvious. Madison, like I said, goes to extreme extents to keep her child well. Equally strong is the theme of white science vs. black magic, with white science being the masculine and black magic the feminine.

Carol Clover, one of my very favorite film theorists/professors of comparative Scandanavian literature (?) who wrote one of my favorite books ever, talks about this a lot. It's a very common or even unavoidable theme in possession films, and this movie borrows a lot from possession films. The influence of Rosemary's Baby is particularly evident, (as it should be in any movie with a demon infant,) particularly in the scenes where Madison decides its time to go buy some raw meat, and in the opening scene, where her husband makes passionate love to her while she just kinda lays there and stares at the ceiling.

Black magic, in possesion films, represents the "spiritual," earthy-crunchy superstitious voodoo priest, native American shaman, or, in this case, midwife that is the essence of all things feminine and natural, and is often on the side of the wife. Take, for instance, Poltergiest II, which I haven't seen but Carol Clover told me about. Or, if I'm remembering correctly, The Exorcist, where there is conflict between doctor and priest. Another one: The Serpent and the Rainbow. The closest example to my mind right now is actually from way way back, in Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors--when the main character's wife thinks he is crazy, she and her sister bring in Dr. Pinch, a crazy exorcist, to rid him of the spirits. The black magic team is often represented by a team of people against one man, the man of white science.

This movie, like Rosemary's baby, is a little different, and I really like that. We don't know in the end if we should be spiritual yoga vegans or high-class doctors.

Madison's veganism is heavily criticized, both by her husband, her mother in law, and the family doctor--the characters that represent white science. Spoiler alert--all of these characters die. We do get the feeling that Black Magic wins out here, because it is the midwife, Patricia, who ends up saving the day for the most part. However, even at the end of the movie it is implied that the reason the baby needs blood is that Madison's breastmilk is not sufficient due to the lack of meat.

"Black Magic" is also sort of played down here, or at least to be a good thing, besides the ambiguity of Madison's veganism. Patricia the midwife is made out to be very, very smart and down-to-earth, and suggests many times that Madison go to the hospital. Upsetting images of animal slaughter are played on the TV in the background of the kitchen (a little forced...) and much of the background music can only be described as if Enya worked with Bernard Herman or Wes Craven. Also, the fact that every representative and 2/3 of the males in the movie (there are three males in the movie,) die is a pretty strong indicator that women win. There's quite a bit of implied lesbianism too, but we shan't get into that this evening.

Here's the catch though, you guys--prepare to have your mind blown. I just found out that this movie was written and directed by a dude. A MAN. Whaat? I am so impressed with this guy. His name is Paul Solet, and his IMDB biography says that he majored in film and psychology at Emerson (<3!) and then got his masters in screenwriting. Then! Worked on some movies with his menor Eli Roth!! (<3<3swoon!!). This guy is either gay or has a seriously seriously strong stomach. Some of the images in this film are really really brutal, with a lot of bleeding from the breasts, and I honestly didn't think a guy would be able to handle it let alone direct it.

I'm scanning his bio more, and my point is proven. Look at this: "Since its (Grace's)premiere at Sundance 2009, where two men in the audience passed out from the intensity of the film..." 

Obviously this guys amazing, then, if he, as a man, could create feminine images so horrifying as to bring men to faint. It sort of goes back to Steven King and Carrie, (the book,) which really makes you wonder how a guy can put out a piece of literature that is so incredibly...well, girly. And girly in the sense that it's so girly girls probably can't stand to read or watch it. I was also thinking about this whole situation in light of American Psycho, (which I watched at 12:00 Monday morning--easily one of my top ten favorites.) With that movie, it's reversed--though a man wrote the book it was based off, two women directed it, which sort of nullifies all of those cries that it's one of the most misogynist movies of the last decade, in it's parody of men. However, Grace and Carrie (all right boys, good job on the stories but get some more creative titles pleaase,) were created by men but were not at all parodying women, but celebrating them, perhaps a bit in fear and respect of their awesome power to have babies and bleed all over stuff. 
Most slasher movies, though considered masculine and misogynist, are very feminist indeed, probably due to the rise of feminism that went along with the rise of film and later, horror. I'm going to start rambling very soon, so I'm cutting myself off on this topic for now. Go read Men, Women, and Chainsaws.

In closing, I'd like to share with you this article that I found the other day (on somebody else's blog--. It's very disturbing, but brings up some interesting questions. I think about cannibalism a lot, and obviously this movie deals with some sort of innate cannibalism that this baby girl has. So, with that--Is cannibalism innate?

I found that on a blog called "And Now The Screaming Starts."  No promises on the up there.

Real conclusion to a movie review.

I loved this movie. The cinematography is artistic and amazing, (which I didn't get into,) the imagery is disturbing and powerful, the plot is fast-moving and suspenseful, the themes presented are thought provoking, I'm going to marry Paul Solet if he isn't gay.

Good movie. Netflix it up if you aren't too scared of bleeding girl parts and zombie babies.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

From the past

I have just reached a goal I have been (occasionally) striving for since I started this blog!
Finally, I have managed to hack into my old myspace page and find the very first pieces of writing I did on horror movies. My birthday is coming up, so it seems a good time for reflecting--shall we take a look?

February 27, 2007--while watching house of wax

scarry mooviee!!

Current mood:scared
  (look at  how hilarious these smiley faces are!!)
scary movies. quite an interesting topic, no? some people must enjoy being scared out of their minds, and believe me, i like to be a little bit frihgtened (woo spelling!) as much as the next guy or girl, but eriously (spelling is fun!). come on. i like scary movies that are only scary while your watching it. like House of Wax. I've watched that at least three times and am no more afraid of things than i ever was before, except of course huge mansions made completely of wax and wax faced people with really sharp swords and creepy mechanics. the only way anything like that could happen to me is if i went to a small mechanical town on a camping trip and was stupid enough to take advice from a creepy mechanic.(it took me a minute to figure out what mechanical town meant. Everyone in the town in that movie is a robot.) plus, the town was burnt down at the end of the movie, so i pretty much need not worry about that ever happening to me. but some movies, like when a stranger calls and others liek (hooray spelling!) that, leave the ending wide open. it is perfectly possible that a creepy stalker could come and terrorize me and kill all my friends when i was babysitting at a large mansion.or this one im watching right now, The Hills have Eyes. now im going to be petrified of drivnig through the desert and accidnetly trapping myself in an atomic testing zone. i mean. i could just put on my tinkerbad (tinkerbad was a character i made for myself to channel all my socially inappropriate urges, like watching slasher movies and being devious and...talking to boys, perhaps?) face and sit numbly through the whole thing (ok, so tinkerbad isnt completely numb, but you get it,)(what. what. what.) but afterwards i would still be scared of atomic testing zones...not like i wasnt in the first place. but moreso.
"didnt she die?"
"oh yeah! she got the pole stuck through her head.!"
"but what about the other guy, is he dead?"
"sort of..."
(that's a conversation that my brother and I had while watching House of Wax, the first horror movie I really saw.) 

I sort of agree with myself in the past, I suppose, about a lot of this. The movies that are really situational--House of Wax--are much less scary in the long term than those that can happen to anyone--that is, of course, the brilliance of teen slasher films. Nightmare on Elm Street, for instance, could easily happen to me--I've got a boyfriend, i have friends, my parents leave town sometimes, our elementary school janitor was a child molester (?). But Burnt Offerings, which I'm about to watch, is about fear in a very specific situation. I constantly fear (in a non-serious, analytical way,) that when I'm with my friends we'll end up in a slasher movie, but I don't really think about the spirit of a vacation house that I stay in with my family driving me crazy. 

So those were my first ever thoughts on scary movies that I felt were worth sharing. I wish my spelling was better--what was that? I totally one the in-class spelling bee in eighth grade too, what is up with that nonsense? 

Here's the second one, an hour and a half later that day--much less articulate, much less true


HA! This is fun! pshycology of scary movies.
(yes! go little me! even though you can't spell psychology this is true! if only you knew then that this realization would be such a defining moment in your life, maybe you would have spelled it correctly.)
gotta say, I am proud of myself for intuiting the formulaic nature of slasher movies after of them...)
1, at the beginnign (spelins are phun) of the movie, dont be cool. be lame. be super jerky and you'll probably survive. (Obviously this isn't true. I was basing it off of Chad Micheal Murray's character in House of Wax, who was kind of a loser and survived, and this character in The Hills Have Eyes who wasn't really a jerk, but smoked cigarretes, and also survived because of his action movie hero attributes, if I remember correctly. At the time I was very misguided and though that Jarad Padalecki was cuter and a nicer guy than Chad Micheal Murray. Cool guys do usually get killed though. )
2. little cute kids usualy live. if your a cute little kid, your in luck. the scary movie industry has a soft spot for you. (false. This is true in Hills, but not really in any other movies I can think of off the top of my head. The way movies tend to deal with children is to make them as creepy as possible. I haven't seen a lot of family horror though, so I could be wrong. Poltergeist is in my instant queue. Also, this is hilarious, because I was a cute little kid when i wrote this. 
On second though, maybe that's really disturbing.)
3. keep your shirt on. it sounds weird, but its true. if ever a mutated villain is going to come and chase you to who knows where, it will be when your wearing the least amout of clothes possible with still being in your rating zone. the best way to avoid this is to wear clothes at all times, especially if you happen to be tall and blonde, or Perez Hilton. (go eighth grade me!! so right!)
4.dotn fall in love. if you fall in love, the person you fall for or yourself is sure to get massacred. (I was a very cynical fourteen year old. But true. Based on both Hills and House of Wax, but it applies pretty well to some classics. Could we get into a debate here about whether or not the type of people in slasher movies have the capacity to be in love? Let's not.
5.if you have blood on you, dont panic. it may just mean that the people around you are bleeding, so dont worry that you will bleed to death. if your going to die, it will be very violent. (This is a big one. I applied this two years later in Getting in Trouble. It's very true.)
6.understand the misunderstood. there is usually an underhanded evil villain, but they're usually just using a misunderstood mutant to kill people for them. if you try to convince the mutant that they dont need to kill you, you might get lucky. maybe. (ok, so maybe there was only a really underanded villian in charge in House of Wax, but it is kind of a common theme. The argument could be easily made that Jason is the mutant under control of his manipulative mother--same with Norman Bates, even. So close, but not quite.) is very risky to be a damsel in distress. sometimes damsels in distress will live, sometimes not. especialy, obviously pretty onew who tend to flaunt their helplessness and need for the opposite gender will almost always die, while damsels who are just understatedly pretty who are sweet but not helpless or needing of a boyfriend in any way usually survive. (the first time i noticed survivor girls! and the first time i judged promiscuous girls!) 
8. always keep a full service cell phone handy. dont drop it, dont have a phone that has any less than 100% full service all over the universe. thats your best bet. (true stuff. only an issue in post-'95 horror, which is what I started watching. It's a mystery that I enjoyed horror after only watching post '95 stuff.) your back, and your fingers. in a scary movie, theres almost always somebody who gets a pole stuck through their skull, and theres almsot always somebody who gets at least one finger sliced off. (correction, in House of Wax, 50% of the horror movies I've seen at this point, somebody gets a pole stuck through their skull an somebody else who gets one finger cut off, which were both really strong moments in an otherwise horrible film with few redeeming qualities. However, still a good rule. You need your skull to get through the rest of the movie, and if the killers got a pole, he's gonna use it.) 

Oh, little Krista from four years ago. What a crazy character. Whatever weird identity crisis I had freshman year interrupted my new fangirling for slashers, but by April I watched Going to Pieces and I was hooked forever. 
And now we are here. 

Also, here's a picture I found on my myspace. One year, we did this photo contest around Halloween with our severed limbs (....) where everyone got a turn with the camera and the limbs and put them in various places around my house. This was one of mine...

The caption under this on my myspace page was my abbreviation for "Don't question the madness!!!"
Remember, it was the adults' idea. It is their fault I am this way. 
I should probably thank them.