From the little-known benefits of virginity to never saying "I'll be right back" when exiting a room, horror movies have taught us a lot about survival over the years. So when the day finally comes that we have kids and move into our first haunted house, we can only imagine how grateful we'll be to the horror movie parents that came before us.

Thanks to their unwillingness to believe in anything that isn't actively killing them, they not only put their family's lives in danger with each passing scare, but end up looking extra stupid when their kid says, "Told ya' so," as they die like idiots on the floor. Every once in a while you'll get an exception like the parents in 'Poltergeist,' but such is not the case with Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes in 'Don't Be Afraid of the Dark.'

From never listening to their kids to plainly denying the evidence staring right at them, it's astonishing how dumb some parents have been over the course of horror history. With that being said, click through to see our comprehensive list of cliched scenarios that horror movie parents keep screwing the hell up for reasons we still don't understand.

Scenario #1

Child's Concern:
"Help, mom and dad! I know it sounds crazy, but there's something here and it's trying to kill me!"

Parents' Response: "Oh, sweetie. It's just your imagination. Now go back to bed."

Child's Runs into Their Parents' Room Five Minutes Later: "Something just bit me! Look at the bite marks all over my arms! Please don't make me go back in there!"

Parents' Response: "That's it, missy! You are going back in your room and we are calling Dr. Psychiatrist in the morning!"


How the Parents Should Have Responded: Dad grabs his Louisville Slugger from under the bed, mom grabs the shotgun off the mantle. "Point the way, sweetie," says dad. Mom cocks the shotgun, "No one messes with our shnookums."

Scenario #2

Child's Concern: "I swear I didn't do it!"

Parents' Response: "Just tell us the truth, sweetie. Just tell us why you did it."

Child: "But it was the monsters!"

Parents: "You're telling us that monsters killed Fido and drew a pentagram in his blood on the kitchen floor? There's no one else in the house but us."

Child: "You have to believe me! I don't even know what a pentagram is!"

Parents: "That's it, missy! You are grounded and I'm calling Dr. Psychiatrist!"


How the Parents Should Have Responded: "Sweetie, we believe you, we just wanted to be sure. Now go get mommy and daddy the gas cans in the garage. We're gonna have ourselves a barbecue." The kid does a fist pump, the haunted house goes up in flames, they spend the night in a sweet hotel with a pool.

Scenario #3

Child's Concern: "The brother/sister you adopted is actually evil incarnate! You have to do something!"

Parents' Response: "Missy, you keep this up and we will move your room to basement!"

Child: "But that's where he/she keeps the bodies!"

Parents: "That's it! You're going to the basement! If you can't get along with your new brother/sister, then I'll just have to get Dr. Psychiatrist to make you!"


How the Parents Should Have Responded: "You know, now that you mention it, that kid is pretty nuts. Good call! Alright, you give him/her the chloroform, then I'll drive him/her back to the orphanage. Oh, and here's your very own gun in case they come back to kill you. Remember, aim for the head."

Scenario #4

Wife's Concern: "Honey, I just discovered some irrefutable physical evidence that our kid might be right. Maybe this place is haunted."

Husband's Response: "Now you? Oh, that's just rich."

Wife: "Look, I know it sounds crazy, but whatever you do, don't go near the cou ..."

Husband: "NO! I don't want to hear it! The both of ya's are just plain NUTS! This is my home and I will sleep on my couch if I want to. Sweet dreams, see you in the morning."

The Next Morning: Husband doesn't wake up because he's too dead to hear the alarm clock.


How the Husband Should Have Responded: "Holy crap! Why didn't you tell me sooner?! Get the kid, grab your purse, we're getting the hell out of here and driving straight for that sweet hotel with the pool."

Scenario #5

Child's Concern: "Look, I caught one of the little monsters in a mason jar. See?"

Parents' Response: "Sure you did, sweetie. Sure you did." Whispers to spouse, "Wait 'til Dr. Psychiatrist gets a load of this!"


How the Child Should Have Responded: Child opens up the mason jar and says, "Sic 'em, boy!" with the open end facing his/her parents.
Scenario #6

Child's Concern:
"Dad/mom is trying to kill me!"

Parent's Response: "Oh, that's nonsense. Your mommy/daddy loves you!"

Later That Night:

Scenario #7

Teenager's Concern: "Oh, Mrs. Voorhees! Thank God, you're here. Some guy just killed all my friends and ... hey, what's with the knife?"

Parent's Response: "Guess what? Remember that kid you let drown because you and your friends were too busy knocking boots? Well I'm his mom and I'm really pissed off about it, so now you're gonna die."

Teenager's Response: (Video is NSFW)

What do you hate about horror movie parents?

Photos courtesy of FilmDistrict.
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
Based on 35 critics

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