The World Is Getting Their Daily Dose of Internet During COVID-19

While the nation may be on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, people are getting their daily dose of internet. Explore how usage has changed.

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The World Is Getting Their Daily Dose of Internet During COVID-19


The Internet is by far one of the most useful tools for business, research, and general productivity. Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, though, Internet usage has vastly changed within a short period of time.

Browsing habits, online sales, and general behavior are far different than they once were, and the Internet is now more important than ever before. But, not everyone knows as much as they should.

Not sure where to start? Don't worry, we've got you covered.

Let's take a look at everything you need to know about how the Coronavirus has changed Internet use.

The Rise of Video Chat

With the nationwide social distancing guidelines in place, it's illegal for gatherings to take place. This means that anywhere that would typically experience crowds (such as bars, venues, or parks) has been shut down. Without a place to meet in-person, people have resorted to video chat in order to maintain their social connections.

Due to the ease of video calls and the level of intimacy they provide (two friends on a Facetime call often feel plenty socially connected, for example), this form of communication has seen a spike in popularity that transcends its necessity. Today, it's not uncommon for large groups of friends to join a chat simultaneously even while they're engaging in other activities.

Similarly, people have developed a reignited interest in neighborhood apps that allow people who live in the same community to discuss issues, report suspicious activity, etc. The same can be said about dating apps, which people are using for much longer periods of time to get to know one another since most public places are closed down.

Put simply, people are seeking connection more than ever before due to the gradual effects that self-isolation can have. Those who spend too much time alone without communicating with others can begin to feel increasingly isolated and experience a toll on their mental health.

Working From Home

With gatherings banned and most businesses being unable to properly accommodate social distancing guidelines, millions of Americans are now working from home.

For those who were already able to work remotely, this is nothing new. Those who have never experienced this situation, though, are still familiarizing themselves with the process.

Many people, for example, may find that newfound freedom makes it difficult to stay on-task. This could lead to a spike in non-work-related browsing during business hours and a minor to moderate drop in productivity.

Video conferences have also become a norm, with many important meetings now taking place over video chat instead of in-person. Given the restrictions people currently face, companies often negotiate multi-million-dollar deals over video chat.

This scenario has also led to many businesses revamping (or even creating) an online infrastructure to facilitate their employees' work. Many businesses have had to adapt to the sudden necessity of remote work, which has led to some companies developing entire systems to keep productivity as high as possible.

Video Games Are The New Pro Sports

Much to the dismay of fans, seasons of professional sports like baseball, basketball, and soccer were all cut short due to the virus. Even playing local, non-televised games is forbidden due to the government's restrictions on gatherings.

Instead, people have turned to professional gamers to satisfy their craving to watch competitive play. For example, streaming website Twitch has seen an enormous spike in traffic as a result of major league games being canceled. 

Watching live streams of video games or also just playing video games on the internet, also seems to satisfy the need for social connection that many people have experienced during the pandemic, something that isn't present while watching major league games. Since the focus of the stream is a single person (many of which interact with their audience), watching gamers has become an almost therapeutic practice for some.

For the time being, we can expect e-sports to gradually gain more popularity due to the ambiguity that surrounds when the ban on major league sports will be lifted.  

Self-Education

With the abundance of free time that people now have, using the Internet to research topics and teach oneself skills is more prominent than ever. Many people stuck inside are learning to play an instrument, how to code, etc.

In response, content creators have begun making far more tutorials in order to teach people the basics of many different pursuits.

People are also constantly researching COVID-19 and the impact that it's having on the entire world, often using scientific articles to educate themselves as opposed to news-based websites. 

Finally, college students are completing their required coursework online, putting them in a situation where they just use the Internet to research and teach themselves a large amount of material. All of these scenarios combined have conveyed how powerful and necessary the Internet is when it comes to self-education.

As restrictions are lifted in the future, it's likely people will still continue to use the Internet in this way.

Online Shopping

As time goes on, it's become exceedingly difficult to shop in-person at stores. Many retailers have transitioned to conducting sales solely on the Internet. Amazon, of course, is more popular than ever due to how easy the platform is to use for online purchases. 

People have even begun to purchase basic necessities online, such as toilet paper, paper towels, etc. Additionally, ordering food has become even more commonplace since restaurants aren't permitted to host patrons or employees, and grocery shopping online is soaring during the Coronavirus crisis.

Since outdoor advertising (such as billboards) is now largely irrelevant, many companies are reallocating their advertising budgets toward digital advertising instead. This means we can expect to see far more product ads in the coming months, especially for items that weren't typically purchased online before the pandemic hit.

It should be noted, though, that due to the large volume of online orders and the fact that many warehouses now only keep minimum staff, order times have significantly increased.

The Development of Cybersecurity Threats

Unfortunately, a byproduct of more people using the Internet is an increase in cybersecurity threats.

Hackers are even taking advantage of people's interest in the spread of COVID-19 and using fake pandemic maps to install malware on unwary users' machines. This malicious software can be anything from an influx of annoying popup ads to a virus that aims to compromise your personal information.

Additionally, many people are experiencing fraudulent texts and emails claiming to be from official sources, such as the CDC or a financial institution. Upon clicking the link provided in these messages, the user's computer is either unknowingly infected with malware or they are brought to a false login page that gives their login credentials directly to the hacker.

Fortunately, though, information regarding these attacks has become increasingly widespread and people are beginning to properly educate themselves on defending against them.

Internet Speed May Become an Issue For Some

For those who live in areas with a high population density, there may be certain times during the day or evening when their Internet speed is significantly slower. While this is sometimes due to the sheer number of users simultaneously using bandwidth, it can also result from multiple users  participating in remote conferences.

In fact, many people are left wondering 'will the Coronavirus break the Internet?'

While there isn't an imminent threat of Internet service providers failing to offer a reliable connection to their customers, slowdowns may be an issue that can't be circumvented during peak times. After all, this time period is most likely one that's seen the most simultaneous Internet usage, so the fast Internet most people are used to may occasionally experience lower speeds.

But, the Internet is dealing well with growing Coronavirus traffic, and general usage shouldn't be too heavily affected.

Streaming Services Have Seen Drastically Increased Usage

Watching movies, shows, or videos is a favorite pastime for many of us, and the abundance of free time the pandemic has left people with has caused a surge in viewership. Watching content can also be a form of escape or relaxation, which is something that those who are experiencing COVID-related hardships are taking advantage of.

Interestingly, people tend to be using their computers and smart devices to stream content as opposed to their phones. Since people no longer need to watch content while on their lunch break or when they're otherwise away from home, they can turn to devices with larger screens for a better viewing experience.

Understanding How Self-Isolation Has Affected The Internet Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn't have to be.

With the above information about the effects of self-isolation in mind, you'll be well on your way toward understanding both how Internet behavior has changed and the utility it provides.

Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.


High Speed Internet Providers News, Insights and Tidbits

Keeping you up to date with High Speed Broadband Internet Providers updates news and information.

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February 10, 2020

02/10/2020

Hey there Internet Explorers!  Here are some quick hits about what is going on in the world of broadband internet, satellite internet and internet service providers.

 

·      The Broadband Space Race is on:  

o   Last Thursday, February 6, 2020, a rocket was sent into space with the intent of changing up the landscape of what internet providers can offer from a speed and availability standpoint.  No its not AT&T, Comcast (Xfinity), Spectrum or some other big cable company trying to dominate the airwaves.  Instead, the rocket was equipped with several of hundreds of satellites to be deployed by OneWeb Satellite and SpaceX.  The goal of this and future launches is to cast a web of hundreds of satellites circling the globe aimed at giving high speed 5G internet access to each and every person on the planet.  Believe it or not, there are still rural parts of the United States that have very little access to high speed internet.  These folks have had to resort to satellite internet providers like HughesNet and Viasat to be able to provide them internet access.  Not to be outdone, HughesNet and Viasat are planning to harness the power of their existing network as well as new innovations to ensure they stay on top of the satellite internet game.  More on that to come in the near future…

·      Not as many people have Access to High Speed Internet as previously thought:

o   According to a PC Magazine article It looks like the FCC may have botched how it reported the number of Americans who have access to broadband high speed internet.  Believe it or not the article states over 42 million people don’t have internet fast enough to stream their favorite shows on Netflix. 

·      Rural Digital Opportunity Fund: 

o   Yaaay! Faster internet for all.  In January 2020, the FCC decided to allocate over 10 Billion in funding to help provide fast internet to the rest of the United States.   The Rural Digital Opportunity fund will create jobs, opportunity and most important of all the ability of all Americans to be able to binge watch their shows on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.  

·      Down goes Spectrum:

o   Spectrum High Speed Internet television and phone service came to an abrupt halt over the weekend leaving many of their customers upset, frustrated and disconnected from the online world.  This affected areas of New York, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and various other cities and states on the North East Coast.  It seems as though bad weather was to blame.  I just hope those customers had their DVR’s filled or old DVD’s to help pass the time trapped in their homes.  

 


The Horrors of Moving

Horror movies had a character to give a warning to the would-be victims. Here are some moving stories to serve as warning for your own moving stories!

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Horror stories of old, and some of the new, come with a warning.

The most common interpretation of these warnings is to have the would-be victims stop at a gas station to fill up their vehicle with gas. As they wait for the tank to fill, an eerie-looking person will step out and approach them. He’ll give an ominous warning that the direction they plan to go will lead to chaos, and most likely death.

Moving can feel like a horror movie, which is why you should listen to horror stories of others and heed the Message from the Harbinger.

Here’s the familiar “Harbinger” scene from a recent classic, The Cabin in The Woods.


(If you haven’t seen The Cabin in The Woods yet, go watch it! Also, if you have seen it, go watch it again. I’m even reading the novelization!)

The Harbinger is meant to give the would-be victims an opportunity to try a different path or change course completely. In The Cabin in The Woods, and other horror classics like it, The Harbinger scene is the ominous foreboding of what’s to come if the would-be victims don’t heed his warning.

…They don’t.

If the would-be victims listened and changed, then there would be no story, no horror movie, and no victims.

Your moving story doesn’t have to end like theirs.

Take heed and listen to the following stories so you can save yourself from the same peril that befell these victims! (insert ghostly wailing)

Never Trust a Neighborhood

James (not his real name), had been in his new house for barely a full week. It was Sunday, and he opened the garage to pull out his wife’s car as they made ready to go to church. Sitting in the driveway was his work truck.

Something was missing!

The work truck was a Toyota Pre-Runner, with an open bed.

As a pest control technician, James would use an expensive leaf-blower with an attachment to spray treatment chemicals on lawns. It was brand new. Cost nearly $1000.

Moreover, it was gone!

The previous neighborhood James had lived in was rundown. Cars were parked on lawns, a few homes had windows boarded up, and some of the residents had questionable jobs. However, the truck sat out in the open with the leaf-blower in plain sight…no one touched it.

This new neighborhood, although nicer, was still being built. No one parked his or her car on the front lawn, all the windows were intact, and everyone had a job.

Yet, someone had stolen equipment that James didn’t even own.

However, he still had to help pay to replace, to the tune of $450.

The Warning

New neighborhoods, though they may look nice, can still hide secrets.

If you’re not familiar with the area, you can get information from those who do live there. Check out City-Data Forums to see what locals have to say. You can post a question about your neighborhood there and get answers.

Make a Checklist

Bob (not his real name) had moved into a lovely two-story home with his wife and kids. He’d set up a bundle package through a local home services provider, getting his internet, cable TV, and phone from one source. Bob liked the convenience of the single check, and he was finding that it saved him some money.

Six months after the move-in, however, he got a bill with late-charges, overdue fees, and about seven months of monthly charge.

For services on his previous home!

Bob had forgotten to cancel the internet service at his last house.

With those built-up charges, Bob had to do a payment plan, as well as work with his credit company to keep his credit score from taking a hit.

It would take years before Bob could pay down the bill.

The Warning

Make a checklist to ensure you haven’t missed anything before you move out of your home. It may seem tedious, but when the moving process revs up, you’ll most likely be too busy to remember everything yourself. A simple piece of paper with the items listed can save you time, and in Bob’s case, money. You can even use the notes app on your smartphone to write out a list.

If you’re worried that you missed a crucial step, check out The Art of Happy Moving. The Art of Happy Moving has a checklist you can download. The checklist breaks down the timeline needed to get things ready for a smoother transition.

If you want to make a list yourself, that’s fine, but make sure you make a list.

However, most of all- don’t forget to cancel services at your old home!

Missing Pieces

On a Friday morning, Jack finally found time to start opening boxes that had piled up in his living room from the recent move. The process of moving had been bumpy, but so far, everything had smoothed out.

He’d hired movers to help, and they’d managed to get everything out of his apartment and storage unit, and into his new home in the time allotted.

However, the very next morning he had to go back to work and the stacks of boxes in his living room sat there for several days.

Now he finally had time to get the unpacking done.

As items came out, he noticed a couple of his Bluetooth speakers were missing. He was sure he’d packed them in the right box, but they weren’t there. All the boxes had been taped up, so the movers couldn’t have opened them and helped themselves to some of Jack’s stuff before they left.

Where were they?!

After opening every box, and stacking the contents everywhere else, he was still sure the speakers were missing.

He headed back to his old apartment and asked the management if someone had turned them into the lost and found. The answer was “no.”

The next week Jack searched the boxes again, called friends who’d helped him move, and still couldn’t find them.

It wasn’t until he’d just about given up hope that he found his missing speakers- right next to his bed. He’d pulled the speakers out of the box before taping them up so that he could show a friend. The friend had put them on top of the boxes when they’d loaded up the moving truck. The movers had placed them next to his bed.

The Warning

You can inventory your entire house to avoid something like this. But then again, that would take a lot of time.

Apps, like Sortly, allow you to take pictures of your stuff and the app will create QR codes that you can print out to put on boxes. You can then scan the closed box to see what’s inside, or what should be inside. While this doesn’t eliminate the possibility of lost items, it can help you track your stuff and provide peace of mind.

Bad Movers

To get his stuff across the country, Vince hired movers who would pack his stuff, as well as his car, into containers. They’d agreed to deliver it to his new address and help him unpack.

Vince, being busy, flew to his new home and continued working until the movers showed up.

When they did show up, however, they demanded “extra fees” because of some trouble getting it across the country. While Vince hadn’t agreed on this stipulation, the movers had the keys to the truck.

Vince also noticed that his car wasn’t with the truck.

Since his stuff was held hostage, and his car was nowhere in sight, Vince had to walk to a nearby gas station to use their ATM. Then he had to walk back, hand over the money, and wait for them to unload all his belongings.

With that finally done, Vince had to then negotiate for his car.

Another trip the nearby ATM and he was given the keys and an address.

He didn’t know how to get there, so he had to plug in the address to his map and use public transportation to get there.

At last, Vince had found his car- it was in a paid parking space, and he had to pay the parking fee to get it out.

The Warning

Make sure you have, in writing, the exact agreement you’ve made with the moving company that you’ve hired.

Before doing this, check them out on the Better Business Bureau and Yelp. Moving companies who do lousy work will get reported. A simple search of the moving company name, plus the word “complaints,” will help you find out who’s been complaining about them.

More reputable moving companies, though they might be more pricey, will save you a headache and you won’t have to worry about your stuff being held for ransom. They may provide a written contract for you, but you should still make sure you have, in writing, the exact agreement you made with them.

Save the Jump Scares for the Movies

Horror movies, with their copious deaths and arterial blood spray, are the best place for scary things to happen.

Not your moving experience.

Although every problem can’t is avoidable, you can take some steps to eliminate problems or at least mitigate them. Things like a checklist, writing up a “mover agreement,” or taking inventory of your stuff can save you from a jump scare along the way.

There is one last thing you need to set up for your new home- setting up your new home services.

Home services, like energy utility, home security system, and internet service provider, can be set up before you move in. It’s highly likely you’ll be moving to a new neighborhood, one you’re not familiar with. You may not know who provides energy, or what ISPs are in the area.

Check out the best internet packages and deals from KonectEaze. Here you’ll find internet, cable TV, phone, home security, and in certain places, energy utilities. You can research providers here and find out what deals are available by merely searching your new zip code.

You can save yourself some time, headache, and cash all in one place.

Do you have a moving horror story? Share it in the comments below.

For news and updates on moving, home service providers, and horror stories, keep the browser open to On The Download.


Venom: Creepy Enough?

While I have yet to see Venom, I’m hoping what I’m hearing from critics is wrong. Then again, I’ve been disappointed by superhero films before. I’ve also been surprised. We’ll have to wait and see.

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While I have yet to see Venom, I’m hoping what I’m hearing from critics is wrong. Then again, I’ve been disappointed by superhero films before. I’ve also been surprised.

We’ll have to wait and see.

Best of the Bad

I’ve always liked the character of Venom. He was one of those unique villains, the ones you loved to hate and root against. However, you didn’t want them to die away completely.

You know, villains like Dr. Doom, Magneto, and Apocalypse.

Victor Von Doom, who would later become Dr. Doom, was a megalomaniac bent on world domination. He wanted to be 'The One Ruler of the Whole World.'

Then we have Magneto. As a Holocaust survivor, he’s seen the worst side of humanity. Being on the receiving end of that hatred led him to believe that humans are not fit to rule the planet, nor are they capable of even taking care of themselves. What’s a metal-bending mutant to do? Take over the world, of course.

We also have Apocalypse. (Not to the movie version. He was weak)

The comic book version was much more terrifying; He was born in ancient Egypt…let that sink in for a second.

This guy’s mutant power allowed him to live for millennia. He was born with grey skin and random blue lines. This terrified his tribe. As a result, they sought to kill him. Thanks to this lack of understanding, Apocalypse, known as En Sabbah Nur at the time, decided humans must be subjugated. Moreover, who better to do that than himself?

A theme among all these bad guys is the wounds, both physical and emotional, received from small-minded people. Instead of understanding that it was small-mindedness that caused this, they’ve decided ALL of humanity must pay. That anger becomes hatred, and that hatred is what drives them to do great and terrible things.

This drive also makes them scary.

Venom gets put in the same category as these guys.

Not because he wants to rule the world. In truth, Venom could care less who’s in charge of the world.

He wants only one thing- to eat.

Moreover, humans are the tastiest of foods available on the planet.

Venom


In his original debut, Venom was an alien symbiote. He’s not a mutant or something created in a lab. Well, in the Ultimate Universe he was, but that’s beside the point.

The point is, he didn’t come from earth. He just showed up.

Now, the symbiotes are different in that they need a host to survive. They bond with a nearby host, or they’ll most likely die. The Venom Symbiote bonded with the nearest candidate, and that was Spider-Man. However, thanks to Spidey’s strength of will and cunning, he separated himself from the thing.

Eddie Brock--arrogant, angry, forever scarred by an abusive father--was nearby and ended up bonding with the symbiote.

While I’m not sure how the movie handles it, and I’ve heard they could have done a better job, that’s the basic gist of how Brock bonded with Venom.

The two have been a pair for much of the character’s history. There were times when Venom was a good guy. There were times when he was tearing through cities and was nigh unstoppable.

Also, there was a time when an Anti-Venom existed. He was the opposite, even in color, to Venom.

Throughout it all, however, Venom wasn’t to be trusted. He could do good things from time to time, yet there was this feeling that he was just *this* close to losing it and tearing things up again.

While Tom Hardy was a great choice to play Eddie Brock/Venom, it remains to be seen if this incarnation will live on in the movies. If that happens then, by all means, keep Hardy. If not, then I suggest Scott Eastwood.

There is plenty of comic book fodder here to keep Venom going, even if it’s just the symbiotes themselves.

You see, Venom wasn’t alone.

A rare trait of this alien species was that they could reproduce asexually- meaning they merely “hatched” another symbiote.

Carnage

When Venom did hatch another symbiote, that one did the same thing and looked for a host to bond to.

The problem was that it bonded with Cletus Kasaday.

Cletus was a cellmate of Brock’s. When the Venom symbiote came to bust him out, it left something behind. That something bonded with Cletus.

Cletus, unlike Brock, was an unstable serial killer.

The pairing of the two led to a real problem for the Marvel Universe.

Instead of a symbiote that could be persuaded to be good, from time to time, Carnage was never interested in doing anything for the good of others. Cletus loved to kill people. Carnage wanted to eat. Carnage could eat while also equipping Cletus with a unique way of murdering others.

He continues to be a problem, mostly for Spider-Man. A few other heroes have had run-ins with the deranged hunter-killer as well. Now and then it looks as though they’ve captured him and put him away, but he always finds a way to escape.

When they do debut Carnage on the big screen, and they need to do it soon, I suggest Toby Kebbell for the role.

Interestingly enough, when it came time for Carnage to hatch another symbiote, he ended up picking someone who was almost his complete opposite.

Toxin

Patrick Mulligan was a New York City Police Officer and was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Carnage, looking to offload his new symbiote, placed it in Mulligan, and left, thinking the problem was solved. If that were true, then there’d be no story and no reason to keep reading the comic. Luckily for the readers, and not Cletus, there was a problem.

When the symbiote hatched, Patrick did all that he could to keep the thing from going on a rampage. Unlike Brock, who was scared by an abusive father and Cletus, who enjoyed killing people, Patrick had a sense of justice and didn’t want to hurt anyone.

That sense of justice caused problems with the symbiote who came to be named Toxin.

Of the three symbiotes out there, Toxin is, by far, the most interesting.

When they do finally get around to casting a Patrick Mulligan, Liam Hemsworth would be great in that part.

After all, his brother Chris has done a stellar job as Thor, so why not let the younger brother have a shot at being a Marvel superhero?

Well, maybe not a superhero, but a highly conflicted anti-superhero.

Which One is Best?

While Eddie does have some sense of right and wrong, he’s ultimately a thug with a unique weapon. Whatever conflict there is minimal. This doesn’t degrade Venom as a character. Instead, he’s someone trying to wrestle with morality. The problem is that the “bad” side is constantly tapping at Eddie’s brain and making him feel hungry. Thus, Eddie usually gives in to Venom’s demands.

Carnage, on the other hand, is a straight-up sociopath.

While Lecter may use medical instruments to kill his victims, and Leatherface a chainsaw, Cletus has a suit that warps into blades and other sharp things. What more could a serial killer want?

For Cletus, the argument of right versus wrong is moot. He knows what’s right and what’s wrong, but he does not care.

Toxin is where it gets interesting.

Patrick feels beholden to justice; there is right, and there is wrong. For Patrick, it’s up to him to bring offenders to justice.

However, there’s this thing that keeps tapping at his brain, causing hunger in his throat, and that crawling sensation under his skin.

It will not go away.

So what’s a good guy to do?

And therein lies an intriguing conflict.

Until we get that movie, Venom will have to do. When it does hit streaming, make sure you’re hooked up with the best internet deals in your area. Just saying...

Between now and then, catch up on all your reading by heading over to Marvel Unlimited. This way you can stream the comics to your favorite device. You’ll be able to catch up on your reading whenever you have a free moment. You’ll also learn more about the characters as well.

The best part about this is you can form your own opinion about Venom, Carnage, and Toxin.

Who do you think is the best symbiote? When someone finally makes a movie about them, which actors would you cast?

For more news on upcoming films, provider reviews, and streaming technology, keep your browser open to On The Download.


6 Reasons to Laugh this Halloween

There are scary movies and then there are movies that spoof scary movies. This Halloween, let's laugh more than we scream.

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This Halloween I’d much rather be laughing than screaming when I watch a movie. Instead of having to decide between a comedy or a horror film, why not enjoy both? Watch a horror-comedy! Now don’t worry, there are plenty of movies out there to scare you. You’ve got your Chucky films, gore-fest stuff, the found footage flicks and your straight up freaky killer films. Just get onto your streaming service and I’m sure they’re not far off. Before you do, just make sure you check out the best internet deals and packages in your area. Because nothing is scarier than paying more for your internet than you absolutely need to. Right? For those out there who don’t enjoy the jump scares, blood spraying profusely from an artery, or that creepy guy who just likes killing people- you’re in luck. There are plenty of horror spoof movies out there. Like the Wayan Brothers’ with their Scary Movie series and A Haunted House films. Then there are the movies with horror creatures in them that are put into odd situations, like Warm Bodies. These are humorous twists on standard comedy setups. What I’m talking about are the movies that mock the clichés of the classic horror films. There are spoofs, which are over-the-top in their humor. And then there are these types of films which aim to tell an actual story with a humorous take on the “scary movie format.” Trust me, they are well worth your time.

Zombieland


Who doesn’t like Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin? This move teamed up with all four actors in a comedic look at the zombie genre. Instead of putting people into the usual “zombie outbreak set in X location,” it was a story about people. Jesse Eisenberg’s character, Columbus, is quite lonely. Although he’s survived the zombie apocalypse and is continuing to survive, it’s not the way to live. This is more of a metaphor for modern life, but we can save that analysis for the critics. The point is, Columbus must overcome his own “rules for survival” to make a human connection. And in doing so he’ll not only survive, but he’ll also find happiness. It’s also chockful of great one-liners from Harrelson; “You got taken hostage by a twelve-year-old?” “You ever seen a lion limber up before it takes down a gazelle?” “My mama always told me someday I’d be good at something. Who’s a guessed that something’d be zombie-killing?” And his catchphrase… which shall be saved for later.

Dracula: Dead and Loving It and Young Frankenstein

Thanks to a lot of Dracula movies being made, Mel Brooks decided it was time to spoof them all. Hence, Dracula: Dead and Loving It. Instead of finding an actor who would just parody Christopher Lee, Brooks went and signed on one of the best comedic actors ever- Leslie Nielsen. Best known for his role as Lt. Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun series, Neilsen was perfect for this role. He did the whole Transylvania accent and creepy act so well. We also can’t forget Stephen Weber, Amy Yasbeck, Lysette Anthony, and Peter MacNicol. And we can’t forget Young Frankenstein either. This was Brooks’ first spoof of a classic Hollywood monster, and the movie is full of references to other Frankenstein films. Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman, and Peter Boyle comprise a stellar cast that put the horror classic in its place. And instead of doing it in color, Brooks went with the black-and-white to give that antique feel. It still has that old classic horror film feel but filled with antics that will have you crying from laughter. These two spoofs were done just right. Not too much over-the-top antics, but the just the right amount of absurdity to really bring home the laughs. “Oh, I was having a day-mare.”

Evil Dead 2


In 1981, Sam Raimi created an independent horror flick called Evil Dead. It was scary enough, with some inventive camera techniques and gore. But the film tried too hard to be scary and came off as funny instead. Riding that success, Raimi did a sequel/reboot of the first film with Evil Dead 2. It was the same basic story but turned into a comedy-horror film. So now it could be over the top and everyone was okay with that. And this is where Bruce Campbell got his start, as Ash Williams. When Evil Dead 2 took off, Raimi made a third movie to create a trilogy- Army of Darkness. And now Ash is known as a cult hero on par with John McClane and Indiana Jones. In 2013 Raimi remade Evil Dead as a true horror film. And now it looks like that’ll be getting a sequel too. Enough about that, what’s important to know is that Evil Dead 2 is meant to be a cheap-looking horror film. Thanks to Campbell, it more than delivers on laughs.

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

With all these horror movies about “evil,” has anyone stopped to look at it from “their” perspective? This is how we get Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk, playing the titular Tucker and Dale respectively, are perfect for these roles. They’re just two hapless country boys who are trying to fix up their summer cabin, which also looks surprisingly like the cabin from Evil Dead. Anyway, a bunch of college students show up and start killing themselves. Or do they? As the two witless friends try to figure out what’s going on, hilarity ensues with several bodies involved. Be sure to look for how the normal horror movie tropes are NOT followed.

A Cabin in the Woods


While the previous five were out and out comedies, A Cabin in the Woods is something different. It satirizes the horror classics by making a dark comedy of what’s going on at this creepy-looking cabin. And yes, this cabin is similar to the one from Evil Dead as well. Apparently, there’s a certain type of cabin that’s scarier than others. I won’t ruin the end, but you’ll understand once you see it. Anyway, this film was made pre-Thor. Don’t be surprised when you see a thinner, more lean Chris Hemsworth. Along with Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, and Jesse Williams, these are the five college teens who go to “a cousin’s” cabin in some non-descript woods. Little do they know that they’re being watched by a shadowy no-name organization. The guys running this little operation are played by Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Amy Acker, and Brian White. To explain this organization would give away the entire plot of the movie. But know that Joss Whedon wrote the script with Drew Goddard, so it’s worth the time to watch it.

Laughter is Always Better

While a thriller is good for entertainment occasionally, laughter is by far a better choice. And with Halloween so close, there are plenty of chances to get scared, if you’re into that sort of thing. As for the rest who’d rather not create undue stress on their hearts, there are these comedy horror films. They’ll make you laugh and it’s been proven that laughter has more health benefits than screaming does. Underneath it all, you’re really doing something healthy for yourself when you watch a comedy. And not just any comedy, but a good comedy film.