Like many horror fans, I often find myself scratching my head over a character’s idiotic decision to go down to a dark basement. But since becoming a private investigator, I’ve found myself screaming at the TV even more than usual – because I can see so many situations that are totally preventable. So in the spirit of Halloween, here are some very practical ways that a detective could give classic horror movies much happier endings.
Now that I’m gearing up for Halloween, I have horror movies on almost every night. Last night was ‘The Stepfather’, the 1987 classic starring Terry O’ Quinn as the ‘too good to be true’ man with old-fashioned values who marries lonely divorcees in search of the ‘perfect family’, then inevitably kills them when things go wrong. The scariest part? There are several true-to-life scenes in every one of these movies that I see constantly as a private investigator.
Watching a re-run of Stepfather II (I’m a sucker for late-night horror fests!), I can’t help but use my new detective school skills to analyze the female characters. Would I have seen the signs BEFORE agreeing to marry a serial killer? I think so, because the red flags were pretty obvious.
1) They get engaged within weeks of meeting, and within days of her ex-husband mysteriously disappearing (and her new man was the last one to see him alive!)
2) He has no friends or family…and she never asks him about it. Of course her one smart and well-meaning girlfriend, who points this out, asking questions like “How well do you really know Gene?” and “None of his friends or family are coming to the wedding?” is dismissed as jealous.