DON’T WATCH ALONE: THE ‘DON’TS’ RATHER THAN THE ‘DO’S’ OF MOVIE POSTERS

Dangerous Minds

‘Don’t Look in the Basement’ (1973)

These movies have a clue in their title. You could say the whole fricken plot’s in the title. Don’t Go in the AtticDon’t Look in the BasementDon’t Answer the Phone, you know the kinda thing. Don’t do any of these things OR ELSE! You know it’s gonna end up bad. And that’s part of the attraction.

Most movies with a big ol’ Don’t in their title promise a gory flick featuring some dumb numb nuts sophomore who ignores the advice on the poster ends up kebabbed by nightfall. The idea is simple—stick to the rules or end up dead. It’s a well-worn trope: the myth of Eve and the apple, or Bluebeard’s latest squeeze snooping in the closets, or the enquiring Pandora opening that goddam box of hers. Hindsight’s great but not when you’re dead—for Pete’s sake just don’t do it.

And that’s all part of the thrill—waiting to see what happens when someone answers the call from Mr. Slice ‘n’ Dice or goes out into the woods one moonlit night in their scanties (as you do…) never to return. These are tales to make us aware of possible dangers no matter how bizarre. To make us feel protective, and vow never to be oh, so dumb. Yet, somehow they can seem like fears from an age when things were, shall we say, more straightforward and death wasn’t just one disgruntled shooter or suicide vest away. Horror movies can’t compete with real life horror—but that kinda takes all the fun away. Here, with the emphasis on fun and cheap thrills, is a selection of all the things you really don’t want to do…or maybe, just maybe, you do…?

‘Don’t Go In the House’ (1979)

‘Don’t Go in the Attic’ (2010)

‘Don’t Open the Window’ (1974)

‘Don’t Go Near the Park’ (1981)

‘Don’t Go in the Woods’ (1981)

‘Don’t Fuck in the Woods’ (2016)

Don’t Let Him In’ (2011)

‘Don’t Let Them In’ (2015)

‘Don’t Answer the Phone’ (1980)

‘Don’t Hang Up’ (2016)

‘Don’t Knock Twice’ (2016)

‘Don’t Look Up’ (2009)

‘Don’t Blink’ (2014)

‘Don’t Speak’ (2015)

‘Don’t Click’ (2012)

‘Please Don’t Eat My Mother’ (1973)

‘Don’t Let the Riverbeast Get You’ (2012)

 

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