10 Common Things Ruined By Horror Movies


Credit: Getty Images

The downside of a great, effective horror film is that it irreparably changes something for you, probably forever. Before “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” most people viewed chainsaws as an effective tool to be used with caution. Now if you heard a chainsaw rev up in the middle of the night, you’d turn your bed into a waterbed of urine. Considering this concept, we brainstormed 10 things that have been ruined by effective (some great, some decent) horror films. If you haven’t seen one of these, check it out… at your peril.

1. Vaginas


Credit: Getty Images

I know, right off the bat, THE BEST THING? What? For guys who enjoy them (and ladies who do, too), the vagina has long been hands-off (no pun intended) in fiction. Enter the 2007 indie horror comedy “Teeth,”  wherein a young woman has a unique affliction known as vagina dentata and chomps off penises in the heat of the action. The film has strong (obviously) feminist undertones, as this handy unit is often used in self-defense. But even though vagina dentate is an old folk tale, you have to pause and wonder where it came from…

2. Ice Cream


Credit: Getty Images

Ice cream seems pretty benign and universally-loved. Also, it seems kind of hard to make a delicious frozen dessert scary, but not so for the creators of “The Stuff,” a 1985 whopper of a tale that has a sweet, zero-calorie substance seeping out of the ground and turning people into murderous zombies. It might sound silly, but if you pause and wonder just what is in your zero-calorie soda, it doesn’t seem so far-fetched.

3. Scream Masks


Credit: Getty Images

Scream masks are generally kind of creepy by themselves, but the 1996 horror classic “Scream” made them really effective. The mask is almost silly by itself, but come on, if you saw someone walking toward you in the night wearing one, you’d shellac your pants.

4. The Woods


Credit: Getty Images

Due to the summer camp terror of the “The Friday the 13th” series and being haunted by “The Blair Witch Project,” the woods are now inherently creepy. Perhaps it’s being removed from urban civilization, with no cell phone reception, that makes this such a tempting location for horror movie creators? Or perhaps they just want to keep ruining our vacations?

5. Caves


Credit: Getty Images

If you’re claustrophobic, you probably find caves pretty scary anyway, but writer/director Neil Marshall made sure everyone felt claustrophobic with his 2005 horror film “The Descent.” The movie has a group of women getting lost in a series of caves, resulting in grisly injuries. Oh, and then Marshall releases the monsters.

6. Birds


Credit: Getty Images

Some of you are too young to know this movie even exists, but the 1963 Hitchcock classic “The Birds” made small, ubiquitous birds f******g scary. The birds swarm people and peck them to death, which sounds kind of silly, but if you’ve ever tried to eat on a beach teeming with seagulls you know that’s not so amusing.

7. Dogs


Credit: Getty Images

While there are other horror movies about dogs, and other, gentler movies about dogs contracting rabies, no film does it better than 1983′s “Cujo.” Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, a big shaggy St. Bernard is not only missing his barrel of brandy, he’s bitten by a bat and given rabies. After he kills a few people and mauls a woman repeatedly, she’s able to kill him with more effort than it would take to bring down a Terminator.

8. Old People


Credit: Getty Images

Let’s be completely honest with one another right now: old people are kind of creepy anyway. Perhaps it’s because they force us to confront our own imminent mortality? Or maybe it’s just that they smell funny? But the old people in the little-seen “Exorcist III” are truly scary. Like, run around on the ceiling scary. Like, kill people in the middle of the night because they’re possessed by a serial killer scary. This entry in the “Exorcist” series is often overlooked, but for our money it’s the scariest.

9. TV Reception


Credit: Getty Images

Not getting TV reception is usually just an annoyance that means you didn’t pay your cable bill again. Not so after the 1982 horror classic “Poltergeist,” in which a young girl communicates with malevolent demons through a staticky television set, just shortly before they drag her to hell.

10. Clowns


Credit: Getty Images

Clowns are creepy. If you really like clowns, that’s a fetish. That’s how unsettling clowns are, and I’m sorry if you just paid your down payment to clown college. But if there’s a scene that elevates clowns from creep-tastic to bowels-voidingly scary, it’s in the 1990 miniseries film “It” based on Stephen King’s novel . This murderous clown not only looks creepy, he’s a shape-shifting spider beast who pulls kids down storm sewers. Not cool, clowns. Not cool at all.

+ Follow Guy Code on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr

Andrew Orvedahl (@TheOrvedahl) still watches horror movies with his hands around his eyes.