Why You Should NEVER Open Up a Book In a Horror Movie

October 31, 2016
Isa Caban
Riveted Editorial Board

If you love watching horror movies (like I do), then you are well aware of this known fact. For those of you out there who are unfamiliar with “the rules,” here’s a quick rundown of just a few important ones to keep in mind:

  • Don’t have sex
  • Don’t do drugs or partake in any underage drinking
  • Don’t say “I’ll be right back” (because you won’t be)
  • Don’t ask “Who’s there?” (Do you REALLY think a killer is going to take a moment to announce his or her presence to you?!)
  • Don’t go upstairs when you hear a weird noise (This is not the time to channel your inner Nancy Drew!)
  • Don’t walk around half-naked
  • Don’t go off into the woods by yourself
  • Don’t move into a house out in the middle of Nowhere, USA
  • Don’t sign yourself up for babysitting duty on Halloween
  • Don’t try to look behind you as you’re running away from the killer (Newsflash—you WILL trip and fall. FACT.)

Now, there is another good rule to follow if you find yourself in your own real-life horror movie. Listen to me closely: if you stumble upon an unusual-looking book, DON’T OPEN IT!

Book Nerd Nation, I am aware that this may be a difficult concept to grasp at first. As book nerds, we associate a feeling of joy and wonder with the prospect of opening up a book for the first time. But BEWARE: sometimes opening up a book can result in you summoning up a terrible EVIL nobody in their right mind would want to mess with.

Here are 5 horror movies where reading a book
was a BAD choice:

Cellar DwellerCellar Dweller (1988)—In this campy 80s classic, a comic book artist named Whitney finds an old book in the dusty basement previously occupied by her idol, Colin Childress, a comic book artist who allegedly killed himself in a fire 30 years prior. Fascinated by the artifact she discovers, Whitney begins reading the book and finds herself enthralled by the description of a horrific monster within its pages. Feeling inspired, Whitney attempts to draw the grotesque creature she envisions. BIG MISTAKE! What Whitney doesn’t know is that illustrating the creature, brings it to life—resulting in a epic gore-fest.





Evil-Dead-PosterThe Evil Dead (1981)—A group of college students head to a secluded cabin for some fun and relaxation during Spring Break. Over the course of their stay, strange things start to happen. It isn’t long before the friends venture into the cellar of the cabin where they stumble upon THE BOOK OF THE DEAD, along with a recording (when upon being played) conjures up the Evil Dead to rise again. As a book nerd, here’s the lesson I took away from watching director Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead: Listening to the audiobook version of an evil book is just as bad as reading the physical version of one!





Ninth GateThe Ninth Gate (1999)—A wealthy book collector hires a talented book dealer to acquire the authentic, ancient copy of a book that allegedly was written by the Devil and holds the power to summon him. Safe to say, all hell breaks loose!







the-cabin-in-the-woods.31227The Cabin in the Woods (2012)—This satirical horror flick brings together a group of college friends who (you guessed it!) decide to spend the weekend in an isolated cabin in the middle of the woods. Similar to films like Cellar Dweller and The Evil Dead, the friends discover an old book in the cellar of the cabin. The diary belongs to one of the cabin’s previous residents, Patience Buckner. One of the friends begins reciting incantations from the pages of Patience’s diary. Cue the awakening of Zombie Patience and the rest of her zombie family. The weekend getaway pretty much goes downhill from there.




BabadookThe Babadook (2014)—Reading a storybook has never been so terrifying in this psychological horror film. A single mother named Amelia struggles to adjust to life with her troubled son after the passing of her husband. One night, before bed, her son asks her to read him a pop-up book mysteriously found in the house. Upon reading the book to her child, Amelia is frightened by the disturbing images of the titular monster within the pop-up book, Mister Babadook, and the manner in which he torments his victims. Even after disposing of this terrible book, Amelia finds that it reappears. As Mister Babadook grows stronger into existence, it becomes more and more difficult for Amelia and her son to escape the creature.



Please don’t commit the same mistakes made in these horror films IRL. When it comes to selecting your spooky read this Halloween, remember to choose wisely.

Happy Halloween

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