Throughout film history certain conventions and themes are constantly reused no matter the time or place. The one genre that’s stayed consistent with the same formula throughout the years is horror. It doesn’t matter if it’s 1965 or 2007, the same stuff pops up in everything. The virgin girl will always prevail, while her slutty friend gets killed. There will never be cell phone reception when you need it, and somebody will always forget to lock the door behind them.
Take a look at some of the top 8 most overused horror cliche’s of all time…
8. The Virgin Never Dies
Perhaps I should clarify this by saying the female virgin never dies in horror movies. For the most part, the film’s in this genre have been dominated by female leads. The character sticks out like a sore thumb, and usually does the opposite of everyone else in her crew. She’s either a loner without a boyfriend, or she has one but refuses to give up the goods. Either way, she always lives to reprise her role in the sequel, while her whorish friends are stabbed, decapitated, or strangled.
7. The Door Is Never Locked:
Why don’t people lock their doors? This goes for cars, homes, locker rooms, or wherever you go. For some odd reason the killer can easily walk into your house unannounced, without you noticing. Or you can get in your car ready to leave, and find yourself ambushed by someone hiding in the back seat. Lock your doors!
6. The Killer Always Reveals His/Her Master plan
In the more suspense driven horror films and thrillers the bad guys are a lot more articulate than Jason Voorhies or Michael Myers. There’s always a point at the end of the film, where they think they’ve won, and they get a little too cocky. They start divulging intricate details about their schemes, which pretty much gives the protagonist enough time to escape mid-monologue. Pride is one of the worst weapons out there, because it hurts you more than anyone else. Keep it zipped!
5. The Disappearing Body
Have you ever watched someone get stabbed or knocked the f*ck out in a movie, only to have them regain consciousness and disappear within a matter of seconds? It’s so over the top but it always happens, now you see it, now you don’t. This vanishing act typically occurs after the hero and the villain have duked it out. We think the hero is down for the count, but you blink for one second, and they’re gone! It’s amazing what adrenaline can do when your head’s been bashed in by a pipe.
4. The Black Person Dies First
In the past, the main reason minorities never made it through the final act of any film had a lot to do with the political climate of the times. Forty, thirty or even twenty years ago one thing you could always count on was the one Black person being killed within the first 20 minutes of the movie. It’s like a running joke in the horror genre. These days they even acknowledge that Black characters are more cautious in scary movies than the rest of the cast, but they still kill them off! What’s the point of even putting them on the movie poster?
3. The Phone Is Dead/No Signal
This cliche applies to all cellular phones (and if you have AT&T it’s probably realistic), because for some odd reason you either never have battery power or a signal when you need it the most. I can understand if you’re in the mountains or the woods, but if you’re in the middle of the city surrounded by cell towers, what’s really going on? Even if that isn’t the case, does anyone use their chargers anymore? These days cell phones can do everything under the sun except make an actual call.
2. The Car Won’t Start
Why is it that when your life is on the line, your car has to die first? The engine won’t turn over, while the killer is behind you ready to slice and dice. There’s always a random car, the victim tries to hop in that conveniently has no gas. And if there is gas it just won’t start no matter how new or expensive the car is. They chug, chug, chug it along until the engine finally turns over and they escape by the skin of their teeth. So predictable.
1. The Slow Walk
How is it that the killer can walk at the pace of a snail, and still manage to get to the destination before you? You’re running like a bat out of hell, yet they’re cool as a cucumber. Perhaps they know something you don’t. I’m convinced every killer has a book full of neighborhood shortcuts, because how else can we explain them being so travel savvy?
Here are a few honorable mentions taken from some of our commenter’s below. You guys came up with some of the funniest not to mention accurate horror cliches that definitely deserve a shout out. Keep’em coming!!
- Ken – I hate the”I’m going to go investigate the strange noise, alone.” Bonus hate for using a Candle. That reminds me, “The Light switch does not work, so lets investigate in the Dark. “
- Rebecca – It is impossible to wait until morning to investigate, or until someone can accompany you.
Night is always the best time to search around creepy, abandoned houses and there is no time to waste waiting around for backup.
- SuperAuthor – There is always a girl, running alone, usually down a dark alleyway, and being chased. Then what does she do? She looks behind to see how close her chaser is and trips. Then she rolls over on her back, and tries to get away screaming. Because you can get away from anyone on your back. Why not just run towards the large group of people in the lit area, rather than the dark shadowy sure-to-get-you-killed part of town?
What horror cliche do you hate the most? What should be added to the list?