Michael Dougherty Made a Video Tribute to All of the Horror Movies Moments Guiding Him Through the Pandemic

The mayor from Jaws.
The mayor from Jaws.
Image: Universal Pictures

One pretty common response to awful events in real life like the pandemic, and the illness causing it, covid-19, is to relate it to movies. For those of us who are more privileged, media is a key way we brush up with our biggest, most primal terrors. So when authentically scary things happen in reality, it feels, well, surreal.


Michael Dougherty, the writer and director behind Godzilla: King of the Monsters as well as a bunch of other stuff, gets that. So he recently shared a video cutting together moments from horror and science fiction that connect to our present reality, that serve as touchstones for him and likely for many of us as we try to make sense of what’s happening in the world around us. It’s called “Everything I Need to Know to Survive Covid-19 I Learned by Watching Sci-Fi and Horror Movies.”

It has everything you’d expect. The Shining. Alien. Shaun of the Dead. The mayor from Jaws. As presented by Dougherty, it’s a jaunty, fun little video, but it’s an important look into how we cope via media, in cooperation and in conversation with it. Turns out, we’ve been telling stories about these sorts of things for a long time. And now those stories can help us manage.

The way this supercut manages to string dialogue together is pretty fun, too. “Where’d you hear that?”

“The president.”

Yeah. That sounds about right.

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io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.


I absolutely lost it at the “inject yourself with disinfectant” part.