by D.W. Lundberg

Saturday, October 9, 2010


I should have gotten on top of this last week, but since it's October, how about an entire month of blog entries devoted to Halloween and scary movies? It'll help us get into the spirit of things, so that those of us with kids can get excited for the end of the month, when our little tykes go trick or treating on the 31st and we end up eating half of the candy they collect and get fat. (Or, if you do your own trick-or-treating, eat all of your own candy and get fat.)

I figure, since we've just started a couple of new series, we might as well have a little fun with that. Looking ahead, it'll also push me to finish the latest entry in my "Best Of The Decade" – which coincidentally covers my favorite horror movies of 2000-2009 – by Halloween night. (You might think I planned it to work out that way, but truth be told it's just my knack for procrastinating that got the better of me. Hooray for happenstance!) I'm not promising anything, but we'll see how that turns out.

So anyway, I thought I'd start off this great, grand idea of mine with a quiz, since 1) I haven't done one of those in a while, and 2) the last quiz I put out there (so says the general consensus) was a bit of a snore. Next week, we'll jump back in with a new, scare-themed "MacGuffin" or "Franchise Face-Off" series entry (I haven't decided which), but as a jumping-off point, yeah, a spooky quiz will do nicely.

Linus and Lucy spot the Great Pumpkin: Not a
movie, exactly, but I couldn't resist.

There's a reason these quizzes are sort of simple, and that's because I want as many of you to play along as possible. When I used to send these things out at a previous job – for morale, I swear – I found that most people didn't respond because they either didn't know the answers to any of the questions, or didn't want to look foolish for even trying, which was actually kind of dispiriting for me.  On the other hand, if I made the questions too easy, then I'd get complaints about that. A Catch-22, I'm afraid.

I was thinking, then, about something that might fall in the middle. Simple, but with a certain degree of difficulty. So here goes: If I mentioned the word "taglines," would you have any idea what I was talking about? In that slim chance that you don't, a tagline is, in the words of Wikipedia, "a variant of a branding slogan typically used in marketing materials and advertising." It's a phrase, usually included on movie posters, that clues you in what the movie's actually about.  Something memorable, charming, or just mysterious enough to spark your interest without giving everything away.

Taglines are especially effective for horror movies. A phrase as simple as "They're Here" or "Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back In The Water" is tantalizing, like a dare: Come on inside. Sit back, relax. We're about to scare the pants off of you.

Let's test your knowledge of some of these terror-ific taglines then, shall we? I'll give you a specific phrase used to market a specific movie, and a list of titles to match them to. Hopefully, some of these are just obscure enough to get you scratching your head in muddled thought – but not so obscure that you simply refuse to play. As usual, you can post your answers in the comments below. Come on. Don't be afraid.



1) "To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie... It's only a movie...'"

2) "Who will survive and what will be left of them?"

3) "Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water."

4) "Be afraid. Be very afraid."

5) "In space, no one can hear you scream."

6) "Someone has taken their love of scary movies one step too far."

7) "If Nancy doesn't wake up screaming, she won't wake up at all..."

8) "Warning! The Monster demands a Mate!"

9) "When there's no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the earth."

10) "The night HE came home."

11) "The lucky ones died first."

12) "A new - and altogether different - screen excitement!!!"

13) "They're here."

The many faces of Horror:
click for larger view.


A. Alien (1979)
B. Bride Of Frankenstein (1935)
C. Dawn Of The Dead (1978)
D. The Fly (1986)
E. Halloween (1978)
F. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
G. Jaws 2 (1978)
H. The Last House on the Left (1972)
I. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
J. Poltergeist (1982)
K. Psycho (1960)
L. Scream (1996)
M. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)


  1. This quiz was a bit harder than the previous one. I actually had to guess on a few of 'em. Here are my answers:


    Am I right?

  2. Oh dear. I only know the Poltergeist one for sure, and Jaws? Well, anyone should be able to guess that. And to be perfectly honest, I haven't even seen any of these movies... except for Poltergeist. =\ hahaha Don't hate me, Darin. =)