Five Horror clichés We'd All Fall ForTeeSeeBee
In just about every horror film, there are those moments where you just have to sit back, look at the screen and wonder, “Who would be that stupid?”. You, actually.
We all think that we'd be the ones who would never make the foolish decisions. We would always be too smart for the killer and we'd never say or do anything that would lead us into even greater danger. Unfortunately, the reason those things have become clichés is because they are so common. To get a good grasp of what I'm talking about, let's examine five common horror errors that we all assume we would avoid...but actually wouldn't.
1: Sex with a mysterious woman: I'm going to address this one to all the female readers. For all you ladies out there, this one might seem odd. You're probably wondering why we wouldn't pass on something like this as a matter of course. After all, who wants to have sex with someone they don't even know?
As difficult to accept as this might be, it's not everyday that we're approached by a drop-dead gorgeous woman offering us unsolicited, no-strings-attached sex. Strange, but true, I assure you. To be perfectly honest, she doesn't even need to be all that spectacular. Most of us would follow Julia into the attic. The guys already know what I'm talking about, so I'll just move on.
2- Disbelieving the children: Kids know nothing. If they actually knew anything, you'd kick them out of the house when they were two. Kids have a grossly distorted sense of reality and, under no circumstances, should you take their words at face value. As an example of this, I give you the following true story:
My five year old daughter came rushing towards me, terror-stricken, because she'd seen a “giant bee”. How big was it? She gestured that it was roughly six inches long. Rushing quickly to the scene*, I discovered that the “bee” was a half-inch long fly. This episode occurred a few weeks after she told me that she was afraid of something in her room. When I questioned her about what it was, she told me, “A gorilla”. Did I mention that we live in the north-east portion of the United States? If you're curious about where gorillas are commonly found, it's not here.
So the next time that you are approached by a kid who is telling you that the dead have risen to feast upon the flesh of the living until the curse of one-thousand years is lifted, you might want to do a little fact-checking before loading your shotgun.
*If you're wondering why I'd rush towards a giant bee, it's because I'm fixated on giant bugs. See 7 Killer Bug Horror Movies That RAID Won't Kill for more information.
3- Tripping while fleeing the killer: Most people have a limited sense of spatial awareness. If you ever want to see this in action, here's something to go check out. Head to your local supermarket and stand in the corner. You should be able to see down two aisles. Watch how many people bump into each other. As soon as you see the collision, check out the expression on their faces. They look at each other as if they're surprised to see other people. In a supermarket. Bear in mind that these people are not under duress. These people are simply going through basic, ordinary routines in one of the most controlled settings possible. Now, based upon what you've just witnessed in your highly professional and extremely thorough supermarket research, guess how many of these people could successfully negotiate their way through the darkness while being pursued by a machete-wielding psychopath. One final thing while you're standing there: under normal circumstances, you're likely one of the people bumping into someone else and looking surprised.
4- Investigating noises alone in the dark: This one comes down to playing the odds. What are the chances that the sound you just heard was made by a werewolf sniffing around for prey? Seriously. Every one of us has gone to check out some unexplained noise and yet, here we are today, gazing into our computer monitors alive and well. In a horror film, checking out a strange noise seems stupid only because the people are in a horror film. Here's the thing: they're not supposed to act like they're in a horror film.
I've walked through the woods, paused when I heard a noise, and then went to investigate. It was always either a deer, bird or some small animal that scurried off before I could get a good look at it. Never once was it an escaped mental patient, desperate to return to his childhood home or anything similar. What does this mean? It means that the one time that it actually is a deranged sideshow freak on a bloody rampage through the countryside, I'm a goner. And so are you.
5- Mistaking the killer for a friend: Again, we're talking about odds. Let's say that you and I are attending a party. We saunter off somewhere for whatever reason. Upon our return, we notice that some people aren't there. Do we a) Assume that aliens from a sinister dimension have arrived to kill them, flay them and masquerade in their flesh? Or do we assume b) They went home?
Unless people are routinely butchered at parties you attend, it's probably b). If people are getting knocked off at every social function you attend, remind me to cross your name off the guest list. The people in horror films who tend to mistake the killer for their friend aren't doing so because it's unrealistic. They're doing it because it's totally realistic. None of us is expecting that the person we're facing intends to vivisect us. When the time comes that the unpopular kid that we all thought had died suddenly returns for revenge, me and you will have taken our final walk.
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