Monday, January 18, 2021

Lessons Learned, 2020


Here at the Doll’s House, we celebrate a year’s end not on December 31st, but in the month that leads up to the very birthday of this here blog. The first round in this two-week party is one of my favorite parts of the year: a chance for me to review the past 365 days of accumulated knowledge and break it down into my favorite lessons. Categorized for your reference, here you go!

Lessons In Love

The art of wooing involves rock 'n roll -- Annabelle Comes Home

Snogging is a lot like kissing a vacuum cleaner — Paperhouse

Responsible adults use protection, even if they're having stranger sex in a dirty subway station floor that hasn't been cleaned since news of Watergate broke -- Stag Night

First dates are always better when done montage style -- Nothing left to Fear

Nothing gets a waitress hotter than when you stuff her face with a burger and rant about Tarzan -- Redeemer: Son of Satan

What Makes a Good Parent

There comes a point in every single mother's life when she has to do what it takes to make sure her firstborn doesn't throw her future away for a handsome failed architect turned diamond smuggler -- Smuggling In Suburbia 

True parental love means dropping your kid off with complete strangers for a wilderness weekend and trusting them enough to not even bother meeting the people in charge -- Ticks

When your daughter is balled in the next room, you handle it by kicking some ass -- Season of the Witch 

Modern Weaponry On a Budget

Never underestimate the usefulness of an antique baby doll as a hand-to-hand combat weapon -- Incident In a Ghostland

Before blasting it across a large field filled with extremely flammable beings, take a minute to consider the basic rules of gasoline -- Cell 

One of the easiest ways to kill someone? Climb a short ladder and drop a screwdriver on his head. Gravity is fun! -- Killing Spree 

Vehicular Science

The slower the car roll, the longer the death gurgle -- Up Against Amanda

Young People 101

The great thing about modern coeds is how much they talk in detail about their lives and motivations, ensuring new film audiences just stopping by for a peak understand every key part of who they are and what they fear -- Truth or Dare 

In any group of attractive college students, there will inevitably be one prankster who deserves to die -- Haunt 

The Law of Thermodynamics 

The best cure for a hot tub that's too hot is a bottle of tequila -- Head Count

Occupational Stereotypes That Are 100% True

Unleashed architects are one of the more dangerous sorts to be haunted -- Amityville: It's About Time

Witches can do anything, especially once they have a richer friend with a better reputation amongst teachers -- Poison for the Fairies

Pilgrims may be no fun and homicidal, but they can teach some handy tips about poisonous fruit -- Pilgrim

If you can't talk, you can't sell -- Exhibit A

Always assume that your babysitter is snooping -- Glass Houses

No preacher is more trustworthy than the one who wears a gun at all times -- Pure

Survival In the Internet Age

Fast typing is a vital life skill -- Unfriended: Dark Web 

Always read the terms and conditions. Oh, who are we kidding? Most of us would rather accept a supernatural death than actually do that every time we download something -- Countdown

Believe In Yourself & Others Will Follow

A bad bleach job was all you needed to pass yourself off as a Hanson brother -- Urban Legend

Complete confidence means nothing if your mom's a dirty alcoholic- -- Urban Legends: Bloody Mary

Wilderness Tips & Facts

Nothing starts a fire better than anti-fire propaganda! -- Body At Brighton Rock

The price you pay for roughing it is microwaved croissants -- Nightmare At Noon

Harder Than It Looks

When introducing someone to solid foods, remember that an ice cream cone requires far more motor skills than you probably want to challenge at first bite -- Parasomnia

Easier Than It Looks

Who needs event planners when there are candles and party store decorations? -- Witch-Hunt

Advanced Crime Coverup 

When burying someone alive, take a few extra seconds to make sure there's no exit route -- Martyrs

Furniture store bathrooms are a superb home base for murder cleanup -- Terror In the Woods

When covering up bloodstains, remember the cardinal rule: blot, don't scrub -- What Keeps You Alive 

An arcade is no place to discuss last night's sexual assault -- Necromancer

American Geography

Nice people don't live in Malibu - Monster Party 

Self-Preservation In Times of Turmoil

Maybe it's just the real-life quarantine talking, but doesn't it just seem OBVIOUS that one should avoid having sex when there's the slightest chance that you might be harboring a mysterious parasite -- Isolation

Never outright TELL the jaded 911 operator that you've awoken in a tub of ice cubes with a missing kidney. Just say, "I've lost a lot of blood" and let the paramedics take it from there - Urban Legend 2: Final Cut

First Impressions

You can always judge a woman by the quality of her homemade soup -- Culture Shock

Female Trouble

The only way to lose a Diva Cup is with abandon - Black Christmas

Maintaining a perfectly fit body is a lot of work, but the reward is that you get to rock a gold lamé harem jumpsuit - Killer Workout

You TOO Can Be a Filmmaker!

When in doubt about how to end your film, consider giving the last laugh to a cymbal playing monkey - The Blackout

And that’s a wrap! Next week, we’ll look back at the beast films I reviewed this year, followed by the TENTH Annual Shortening, aka a month devoted to the tiny villains who make horror movies worth watching. See you then, monkeys and all!


  1. This is a hell of a list. I have so many films I need to check out because of you, as usual. Thank you.