Clichés. Elements that have been used so many times they have lost meaning. Or in the case of horror, lost the element of surprise and creepiness. Maybe I’m alone on this one, but it definitely takes away from the scary-factor when I already know what’s gonna happen.
I get that not all movies are going to be completely original, but they could switch it up at least a little bit! I’ve put together eight horror film clichés that just need to go!
1. “Why won’t you die?”
The villain rarely dies after he is “killed.” I get that the reason filmmakers do this is because usually the first “death” of the villain seems too easy. By having them come back, it creates more tension as well as a more difficult situation for the hero. But seriously, when it happens so often that you’re already expecting it, it almost takes away from the scariness of the film.
2. If you’re black, you’re basically screwed.
3. Madonna/whore complexes
It’s really irritating to me how women in horror are either portrayed as these hypersexualized beings, or conservative virgins. And of course, it’s the “whore” that ends up getting killed or punished, whereas the virgin usually lives. Seriously filmmakers, ya’ll need to quite categorizing women like this. It’s kinda icky.
4. Unnecessary nudity
Yes, I agree that sometimes it makes sense for there to be nudity in a film, but sometimes they just go a bit over the top. Most of the time the nudity has little to nothing to do with the plot. I’m sure plenty of people will disagree with me on this one, but I watch horror movies to be scared, not to see boobs every ten minutes.
5. It takes a ridiculous amount of time for the characters to figure out that they need to destroy the brain to kill a zombie.
I’ve always thought it was common knowledge that you have to destroy the brains to kill a zombie, so it’s pretty irritating that it takes characters a while to figure that out. This means that either zombie films don’t exist in their universe, they live under a rock, or are just kinda stupid. Then there are also the dummies that know about the brain rule, yet decide to waste ammo by shooting them below the neck. If your aim sucks, a gun won’t be as useful to you as a knife/sword, or any other weapon that doesn’t require ammo. Come on people, get your shit together!
6. Human characters who walk away from serious/fatal injuries.
It’s one thing when supernatural type characters come back, but it’s another when a human character (usually the protagonist) walks away from something that should have killed or seriously injured them.Yes, I get that it’s a movie and therefore not real, but still.
7. “Let’s split up!”
Horror is a lot scarier, to me at least, when it’s more believable, and it’s difficult to believe that in a horror film type situation, anyone would think that splitting up would be a good idea. Drop this cliché filmmakers!
8. Running upstairs to get away from an intruder
Let’s think this one through. There’s an intruder in the house, with intentions of hurting you. Why would it be a smart idea to run upstairs, where there are basically no exits? And stop hiding in closets. Isn’t the closet one of the first places you look when you know someone is hiding from you? Unless you have an industrial panic room in your bedroom closet, there is no reason why anyone should be running upstairs and into the closet to escape an intruder.
One could say that another horror film cliché is having really stupid characters. I didn’t give it its own category just because I feel like stupid characters can apply to quite a few of the clichés I have already listed. If you have any more annoying horror clichés that should be laid to rest, please post them in the comment box below!