Being stuck in a situation where your car has broken down in the middle of nowhere or you just happened to check in at the wrong summer camp and you become the unwitting target of a guy in a creepy mask and his sharp weapon-that sucks. Worst of all, it’s usually not your fault. So it’s unfortunate that so few people survive these encounters. However, if people would take a minute to recall the horror movies they’ve seen, their survival rate might increase dramatically.

You see, there are guidelines about this sort of thing (which were well-documented in the Scream series). By knowing these guidelines, especially when the actual chasing begins, you can make your survival much more likely. If you don’t have time to review your horror movie collection, we’ll give you a quick refresher of what not to do when being pursued by a murderer:

1. Trip

Nothing spoils a good getaway like tripping on a tree root, stair, or skeletal hand. Most often, victims who trip in the middle a chase tend to injure themselves and/or become so disoriented in the process that they lose track of their attacker. They tend to whimper and crawl or limp around for a few pitiful minutes before BAM! their attacker pops out behind them and finishes them off.

So, by all means, do not trip. Make sure your shoelaces are tied. Don’t drag your feet. Scan the ground in front of you as you run. By reducing tripping hazards you can greatly improve your odds of survival.

2. Try to make a phone call

It doesn’t matter who you’re calling. If they’re not Superman and can arrive in the next five seconds, the call is worthless. Besides, in horror movies, phones don’t work. If you are lucky to get a working phone line, the person you’re trying to reach won’t pick up or they’ll pick up just as you’re being slashed to pieces. So do yourself a favor: rely less on the person on the other end of the phone and more on your own feet to get you out of harm’s way. Once you’ve put some distance between you and Mr. Voorhees, then maybe it’s time to phone home.

3. Run into an abandoned building

People in horror movies always run into abandoned buildings, the perfect place for them to be murdered. By their very definition, these buildings don’t have any occupants, no one to help the victim, and no witnesses to the grisly murder. So, if you have to choose between staying out in the open or fleeing into a boarded up saw mill or an old slaughterhouse, do the smart thing and stay outside.

4. Stop running

Serial killers like to wait until the victim stops running and pauses to listen to the sounds of the night around them. Then the killer materialize right behind the victim. It’s like an unwritten rule of being an axe murderer. But you can use this rule to your advantage. If you never stop running, then the killer can’t kill you. It’s that simple.

Of course, this implies that you have to be in good enough shape to outrun the killer for what could be miles. But we think your life is worth jogging a few miles a day to get ready for the likely event.

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