The Ten Rules of Surviving A Sci-Fi Movie (Spoilers)

It's not easy living in the future (or in an alternate reality, as the case may be). Therefore I have comprised a guide for those brave souls out there who may find themselves a character in a sci-fi flick. Most likely, you have been or soon will be running from some slimy organism with sharp teeth. If you are a female, the costume designer has probably left you somewhat ill-prepared, either for combat or for the climate in which you find yourself (or both). And chances are that you are, in fact, in possession of a gun, but you almost certainly do not have enough ammo. Well, poor, pursued sci-fi character, here are some rules to live (or die) by:

Rule #1: Never, under any circumstances, should you answer a distress signal. I know, I know - the Company says they won't pay you if you receive a distress signal and don't answer it, but I ask you - would you rather forfeit this one paycheck or have an intimate encounter with a Facehugger? Still don't believe me? Check out "Sunshine."

Rule #2: Do NOT split up. You will not cover more ground - you will get eaten. When has splitting up ever resulted in less people dying, guys? Seriously.

Rule #3: Take pictures. Remember when Dr. Arroway spent 18 hours exploring the wonders of the universe and then had an actual conversation with the alien species that sent earth the instructions for their machine? Remember when Ripley had to answer for the destruction of the Nostromo and no one believed her about those nasty acid-blooded creatures? Take it from them - you're gonna want to have some proof. And you never know - Beth and Rob didn't happen to make it through the devastation that occured in "Cloverfield," but if it weren't for them, the United States Department of Defense wouldn't have the important case footage that gave the film its name.

Rule #4: Computers are not to be trusted. They think they know what's best. HAL, Ash, VIKI - there are plenty of examples. If you give machines an inch, they're gonna take a mile.

Rule #5: No, you do not want that important specimen. Yeah, it's ugly and has an evil look in its eye (or maybe, as far as you can tell, it has no eyes), but you're gonna thaw it out or transport it home in the name of notoriety and dollars science. I'm gonna tell you what your gut's been telling you (or should have been telling you) all along - thaw that thing out and before you know it, it's going to waste you, copy your DNA, and then masquerade around as you. Or annihilate an entire population of colonists. Something along those lines.

Rule #6: Monsters have special abilities, like infrared vision or extraordinary hearing. Look, it hasn't survived natural selection this long to be defeated by you, you puny human with excellent color vision and the mental faculty of logic! Watch out for enemies that can hear you run on dirt, see your body heat, and of course, smell your fear. :)

Rule #7: You'd best learn to operate some heavy machinery. Whether you know how to repair the hyperdrive on a clunky old unreliable space craft or you've been certified to drive a cargo loader, you never know when this kind of thing might come in handy.

Rule #8: You might be dreaming, so there's that. Although, from what I hear, sometimes you wake up to another dream.

Rule #9: Aliens like music. Mythology has long taught that a ferocious beast can often be tamed with beautiful music. It might be to your advantage to learn to carry a tune or play an instrument before you embark on your sci-fi adventure. After all, the scientists used a keyboard to communicate with the alien spacecraft in "Close Encounters," and the other-wordly patrons of the Mos Eisley cantina certainly appreciate some live music. So play it safe, and learn to play.

Rule #10: "Life, uh...finds a way." As Dr. Ian Malcolm so eloquently put it, life just finds a way. No matter how small the odds that those monstrous creatures of science fiction will get the upper hand, it's a crazy universe we live in, and you can't be too careful. Unfortunately, you're a character in a sci-fi movie, so careful isn't exactly your middle name. But thanks for the thrills, the jump-scares, and last but not least, your heroism (or at least your last minute-attempt at becoming an olympic sprinter.)


  1. this is hilarious. very well written and wonderful advice. i will try to keep this in mind if i ever find myself on another planet...or in a sci fi movie. i particularly liked number six. nice usage of evolution you beautiful scientist.

  2. I can't help myself, "They mostly come at night...MOSTLY" (emphasis mine)

  3. That is a great rule to remember! And I have to admire that you can quote Newt verbatim.