Sommerleigh Pollonais – Senior Writer/Horror Head Writer
It was so nice, I had to do it twice! Plus there’s the fact I’ve been bingeing on Horror movies like a fat guy at an all you can eat buffet, and I’ve noticed that modern horror movies are just as guilty as the classics of creating tropes that can go from cool to cringe worthy in no time flat.
So buckle up buttercups! As we take a trip back to Trope Land with FIVE ANNOYING HORROR MOVIE TROPES Pt. 2:
#5 Making Too Much Noise
You walk into a dark house/room/asylum and you’re alone and unarmed. There’s a killer on the loose. What’s the first thing you do? Peeps like you and I who have normal functioning brains might cautiously investigate the area. Horror movie folks, however, choose to yell at the top of their voices “HELLO! IS ANYONE THERE?!” *SMH*
Really?!! How could this possibly be a good idea you moron! Even if you are armed (for extra dumb points, some of them will yell this out too) why would you want to give the monster/masked killer a heads-up? There are also those characters who are screaming at the top of their lungs when someone or something is chasing them. I get it – you’re scared and maybe you hope someone will come along and save you. The sad truth is, most people will run in the opposite direction of those scary-ass screams.
I would like to think stupid folks like these only exists in movies. Then again, there are people throwing parties during an epidemic where RULE #1 is keep your distance, so, what the hell do I know!
BAD USE OF TROPE: When a Stranger Calls, Scream, Friday the 13th
GOOD USE OF TROPE: A Quiet Place, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Bird Box
#4 Doing That Thing You’re Not Supposed to Do
Speaking of people not following simple rules, what about the idiots who ALWAYS break that one main rule that someone specifically told them not to. I recently watched a movie called Neverknock (wasn’t half bad folks) and there was just one thing the character(s) wasn’t/weren’t supposed to do – knock on the damn door of the abandoned house. To add insult to injury (and SPOILER ALERT) the person who activated the curse was the lone survivor of it.
Of course this is just one story. We have a plethora (that’s my one fancy word of the day) of examples, like reading from the cursed book, playing the cursed video, saying names into mirrors, the list goes on and on and on.
Honestly, how the human race made it to the 21st Century is a friggin’ mystery.
BAD USE OF TROPE: Ouija, Oculus, Pet Sematary
GOOD USE OF TROPE: Candyman, Evil Dead, Gremlins
#3 Creepy Kids
Here’s one thing your pets and horror movies have in common – they both hate kids. Back in the day you were pretty sure if you saw kids in a horror movie they were gonna make it out alive. They were innocent bystanders and it seemed like even the deadliest of killers had that one line they wouldn’t cross (both Jason and Michael have spared kids on their killing sprees). But then a little movie called The Omen dropped and with the introduction of a pint-sized Anti-Christ the genre took a turn into creepy kid territory and never looked back.
It now goes without saying if there’s something strange in your neighborhood and there are kids involved, you know that some little pre-pubescent bastard is gonna turn evil faster than you can say “You’re grounded!” Hell, even the so-called “good” child tends to be creepiest character on screen, either spouting a bunch of stuff they shouldn’t know about, standing and staring at people, or popping up and scaring the crap out of them. These days everyone is stocking up on hand sanitiser and toilet paper. If you have kids might I suggest adding holy water and a couple of crucifixes to your list too?
BAD USE OF TROPE: Sinister, The Unborn, The Turning
GOOD USE OF TROPE: The Shining, Pet Sematary, The Sixth Sense
#2 Buying Cheap Real Estate
If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Truer words have never been spoken, especially when it comes to someone inexplicably selling a house or mansion or any kind of real estate on the cheap and for no apparent reason.
Too many horror movies start off this way: a couple/family decide to root up their lives and start fresh somewhere new and get “the offer of a lifetime” to buy some giant-ass house they could never really afford for next to nothing only to learn the hard way, as we Trinis like to say, “nuttin’ good eh cheap” (translation: no good thing is cheap). Because OF COURSE IT’S HAUNTED! Why else would anyone part with a seven-bedroom, six-bathroom, living room, dining room, in-house movie theatre mansion for pennies!
What’s worse is when they ask how come it’s so affordable and are told “people died there” they turn around and say, “well, that’s not gonna happen to us!”
Yeah right, because the ghosts that inhabit said house decided: “I’ve already killed, like a hundred people. Two more seems a bit much.”
BAD USE OF TROPE: The Amityville Horror (2005), House on Haunted Hill (1999), The Woman in Black
GOOD USE OF TROPE: The Conjuring, 1408, Poltergeist
Honourable Mention: No Parents Around
Do adults with kids just decide to up and leave when bodies start dropping? A serial killer is on the loose and now seems like a good time to take that vacay they’ve been planning for months? Honestly, it’s like there’s an unspoken rule with parents in horror movies that once you hit puberty, you’re on your own. Good luck chumps!
#1 No Cell Signal
Okay, so this one might not be so bad, as it is possible to have no bars or a weak signal if you’re in the middle of nowhere, but it’s become a mainstay of modern-day horror as a lazy way to explain why the person didn’t just “call for help” and I hate it.
But if we’re being honest, most smartphones are pretty powerful now and most phone companies have much better service than they did in the past. I go hiking nearly every year and even when I’m standing near a damn waterfall in the middle of the forest I’ve been able to get a signal!
There has to be a better way to disconnect characters from safety without falling back on this trope over and over again. Hell, I’d even accept the character losing the phone during a chase or forgetting it in their car over those two words that pop up way too often in these flicks.
BAD USE OF TROPE: Legion, Wrong Turn, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged
GOOD USE OF TROPE: The Cabin in the Woods, You’re Next, The Mist, 10 Cloverfield Lane
And there you have it folks. Another set of horror tropes that have quickly become clichéd. Again, some of these work when handled with care and intelligence but let’s face it, most horror movies are created with a sledgehammer instead of a scalpel, so these trashy tropes aren’t gonna disappear anytime soon.
Hasta luego my pretties!
For part one of Top Five Most Annoying Horror Movie Tropes you can click here.
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apoclaypse comes.
Double Tap Baby!