Why you should avoid watching horror movies with a forensic investigator
Many people enjoy watching an exciting thriller or chilling scary movie on Halloween night. Some also like to get together in groups with friends and family to do it. But beware of who you invite, because if you simply want to enjoy the movie without giving it too much consideration, a forensic engineer or investigator could ruin your plans!
Accustomed to being called upon for their technical knowledge and their great analytical minds, forensic experts can take great pleasure in deconstructing movie scenes by explaining why the way in which a character dies is unrealistic, point out editing errors or claim that the scenario is improbable. If certain scenes remind them of a past investigation, they might tell you about it to support what they are saying.
Here are the top 5 types of horror movie scenes that a forensic expert could dismantle.
- Exaggerated blood spurts
Some horror films are very violent, and spurts of blood are pervasive. Instead of being solely horrified or disgusted by this excess of blood, an expert might have the reflex to shout out that the flow is exaggerated and that the film’s special effects specialists used a peristaltic pump. This is a tool used by our environmental investigators to collect water samples, for example.
- Unrealistic collisions
Many films, including horror films, often feature car accidents. When these collisions look surreal, a collision reconstruction expert could easily explain how the collision was caused using steel cables. The force exerted by cables, and using previously damaged vehicles, can have the effect of exaggerating the damage caused by the collision.
- Improbable vehicle explosions
Over the past few decades, Hollywood has popularized certain myths regarding vehicle explosions. Sometimes, the villain causes a vehicle to explode by lighting a rag, part of which is inserted into the gas tank. In reality, a fire and explosion investigator would tell you that the rag is more likely to burn and cause superficial damage than to cause that vehicle to explode. Likewise, shooting a bullet into a vehicle’s gas tank will not cause it to explode. The projectile will only pierce the tank, generating a simple gasoline leak.
- Inconceivable outbreak of a fire
When a crazy killer character in a horror film is a smoker, it is not uncommon to see them throw one of their cigarette butts into a puddle of gasoline to burn their victim and the surroundings. However, a fire and explosion investigator knows that a cigarette butt thrown into a puddle of gasoline will go out instantly rather than starting a fire.
- Serial killers who forever elude the police
Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees would (fortunately!) have no chance of causing so many victims and disappearing into thin air by escaping the police after each of their crimes in the real world. With the technologies and means available to investigators today, the police would catch them much sooner rather than later.
With any luck, the investigators will save their observations for the end of the film, but you may be treated to an editorial from them during the final credits!
And who knows, they might also suggest that the inventive side of certain protagonists should be used to better effect. For example, one of our experts is convinced that John Kramer, aka Jigsaw, would make a great product development engineer! 😱
Happy Halloween everyone!