What do you do if you want more than a double or a triple feature? Picture the scene: you’re at home, you’re ill, or it’s pissing down rain. You have nowhere to go and nothing to do. A double feature would kill some time, a triple feature slightly more, but you’re looking for something bigger, something much more time-killing.

Today, class, we’re going to talk about how to movie marathon. The rules for a marathon are simple: it must be more than three movies and must last less than 24 hours. Anything less is a triple, double, or single, and anything more is a 24 hour marathon, of which we shall talk more of next week.

The genre that most readily lends itself to a movie marathon is horror. Pick a horror film and chances are it has at least three sequels. Obviously, this is a game of diminishing returns as no matter how good the first movie is, chances are it’s seventh sequel won’t be great. However, given the right circumstances, and group of watchers, the descent into bad movies will be just as entertaining as the initial scary classic. Think of Friday the 13th. The first movie is a cheesy slasher movie with some genuine scares while the tenth is set in space. That’s a fun journey as you watch the movie try to jump through narrative hoops to bring its monster back to life and outdo the previous movie’s kills. The same applies for Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Saw, Hellraiser, Leprechaun, and Final Destination.

A bonus with a lot of horror movies is that if you finish the original series of movies you can always get onto the remake (and its sequels) to add a few hours , though with Friday the 13th adding the remake and Freddy vs Jason brings it closer to a 24 hour marathon because, inexplicably, there are 12 movies in that series (including remake and crossover).

If sequels are your jam then you can always dive into the Fast and the Furious movies and wonder how the characters go from DVD player thieves to superheroes.  Or Die Hard to see if you can pinpoint the exact second Bruce Willis stopped giving a shit. Or Harry Potter, which has the weird thing of starting bad and then getting good and then bad again and ending good again.

There are other ways to marathon that aren’t simply following a series of movies. You can choose a director and cherry pick a handful of their movies based on a theme or a period in their career. Maybe watch every Scorsese/De Niro movie or Scorsese/DiCaprio movie. Or choose some of the movies Spielberg made in the 80s or the 90s or the 2000s. Or the 70s. Or just write down every Spielberg movie, put them in a hat, pull out five or six. Do the same with Kubrick. And Hitchcock.

For the most part, the order in which you watch the movies is easy to pick. With most of the horror series’ mentioned above you simply watch them from movie one to movie seven/eight/nine/ten or whatever (note: with the Halloween movies you can skip Season of the Witch as Michael Myers is not present in it). With the directors series you can watch them in the order they were made or however you want. The key to a movie marathon is to have good friends, a big TV, and enough pizza and beer to ensure you do not have to leave the house at any point.

Next time, get comfortable, because we’re delving into the king of the marathons: The 24 hour Movie Marathon. Not for the faint of heart.