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Pet Sematary and 5 warnings in horror films that should have been heeded


Classic Stephen King chiller Pet Sematary has been resurrected for the big screen and you can see it in Cineworld now. This re-imagining of King's terrifying novel has already garnered critical praise for its nerve-shredding horror, pitch-perfect performances and faithfulness to the spirit of the source material. (Click here to discover the Unlimited screening reactions.)

When the Creed family move into their new country home, Louis (Jason Clarke) becomes grief-stricken after his daughter is killed in a horrific accident. He'd do anything to see her again, even if that involves burying her in a supernatural cemetery; and in typical horror tradition, this leads to terrifying consequences. But if Louis had only listened to the explicit warning from his new neighbour Jud (John Lithgow) not to put his child in the cursed graveyard, all the subsequent supernatural mayhem and terror could have been avoided…

Many problems in horror films could have been completely avoided had the characters simply listened to the advice. Here are five more horror warnings that should have been heeded.

1. Don't read aloud – Evil Dead (1981/2013)

They say that curiosity killed the cat, but in the case of Fede Alvarez's 2013 remake of Sam Raimi's 1981 cult classic Evil Dead, the consequences of one person's curiosity is far more gruesome.

When five friends travel to a cabin in the woods to help one of them through a drug addiction, one friend discovers a strange book in the basement bound in barbed wire. As if this wasn't an obvious hint not to open the book, the pages are covered in additional warnings to leave it alone and not to read the words aloud.

So what does this unsuspecting fool do? Proceeds to read the text aloud despite there being nobody else to hear it, consequently summoning sadistic demons who possess and mutilate the group. At least in the original the words were spoken through a tape recording, partially absolving the characters of responsibility.

2. Listen in class – Veronica (2017)

If horror films have taught us one thing, it's don't mess with Ouija boards because you just might get yourself in trouble with a spirit determined to make your life miserable. However, if you're determined to toy with the supernatural, it's absolutely vital that you don't do anything foolish otherwise you could meet the same fate as the titular character from Veronica.

Still in shock from the death of her father, Verónica (Sandra Escacena) decides to sneak off with some friends during school while everyone is observing an eclipse to conduct a séance to contact her dad. However, if she'd only listened a little more closely instead of passing notes to her friend, she'd know that eclipses are the worst possible time to dabble in the supernatural - like performing a DIY séance, for example.

Because of her ignorance, Verónica is forced to protect herself and her younger siblings from a demon who only gets stronger each day. It just goes to show how important it is to pay attention in school.

3. Don't ignore the crazy bloke – The Thing (1982)

One of the biggest recurring tropes in horror is characters ignoring blatant warnings from the 'crazy' person, dismissing their words as no more than insane ramblings. Whether it's the gas station attendant in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or the Harbinger in meta-horror The Cabin in the Woods, a lot of death could've been prevented had the protagonists taken their advice more seriously.

For this list, however, our pick goes to John Carpenter's body horror masterpiece The Thing in which a team of researchers are picked off one by one by a shapeshifting alien in the Antarctic. They were warned about this creature right at the start by a Norwegian researcher who chased a 'dog' to their base.

Had the heroes only taken a moment to translate what he was saying instead of shooting him in the head, then they'd know he was specifically warning them about the thing imitating a dog.

4. Don't go near the creepy house – The Woman in Black (2012)

We've seen enough horror films by now to know not to stay in creepy houses alone, but judging by the actions of Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) in Gothic horror adaptation The Woman in Black, he has some serious catching up to do.

Sent by his employers to examine the documents of a recently deceased widow in a spooky house, little does Kipps know that the widow now haunts the surrounding area as the eponymous spirit. If anyone catches a glimpse of her, it spells trouble for the unlucky voyeur and the surrounding village – Arthur would know this himself had he taken the suggestions from the locals not to go anywhere near that house.

This being the last chance to keep his job, Kipps doesn't have much choice but to carry on working. Even when things go bump in the night and he hears of the extent of the widow's tragic tale, he still insists on staying. He's only got himself to blame for what happens next.

5. Stay out of the woods – The Blair Witch Project (1999)

The film that popularised the found-footage genre, The Blair Witch Project follows three student filmmakers who travel to Burkittsville, Maryland. They document the legend of the titular Blair Witch who's said to dwell in the surrounding Black Hills forest.

First learning of the town's dark past when they interview some locals, the trio only later happen upon two fisherman who detail personal encounters with the witch. Dismissing their stories as superstition and lies, the group proceed to enter the woods where they (unsurprisingly) fall victim to the witch's sinister games.

There's a reason why an entire town stayed clear of those woods, and these three had to find out the hard way – all because they didn't listen.

Click here to book your tickets for Pet Sematary
, out now in Cineworld.

Andy Murray is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.