Storylines in horror Films have taken brutal beatings over the years, severely challenged while trying to impress creativity. John Carpenter Halloween She helped grow the final cliched girl that longtime fans of the genre were subjected to, but did quite well with the psychological and emotional development. Viewers were able to look into the baffling backstory of Michael Myers and catch his occasional emotional bond with his sister Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis, in HalloweenTechnically his sister was in several movies), specifically until the end Halloween (78) and Halloween 2. It’s in those two movies (and the Rob Zombie movies) where Michael has such a rage for his own blood that he needs to kill Laurie but somehow never finishes the job. Unfortunately, many horror films use “the last girl” and other tropes with minimal emotional and psychological impact.

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Update June 23, 2023: This article has been updated with more horror clichés smeared to death, pardon the pun.

The origins of clichés can come from the comfort of the familiar or the difficulty of coming up with new ideas, but what’s undeniable is the lack of suspense they create in scary movies because of how predictable they are. Ditch the old cliché that everyone’s seen a billion times, and something different might actually happen for once (as in the new era of “high scare”). Products thrive when they stray farther from what is considered the traditional formula for storytelling and enjoyment; Audience members can feel the difference between an innovative film and one that uses an unoriginal crutch of cliché. Here’s how scary movies can do it right by avoiding the following horror cliches.

Completely cancel “The car cannot start, just as the villain is approaching”


Friday the 13th Part 2And leprechaun, And mother’s Day Among the many supposedly scary movies that showcase these depressing clichés. Just when a character needs to start their car, it crashes out of the blue (via a dead battery or an empty tank). This leads to a moment where the stupid car comes to an unexpected stop just as the character(s) need to escape the killer, sparking a split second of what is called sheer panic in this overused cliché.

Related: 11 of the Scariest and Most Important Horror Movies of All Time

moment in Jeepers Creepers Where Dare (Justin Long) and his sister Trish (Gina Phillips) try to jump-start the truck it was left on (big surprise) is really the most frightening creation of this cliché yet. While Trish and Darry desperately try to get away, the creepy creature (Victor Salva) is in the middle feeding on the tongue of a decapitated head. Not only is this super gross, but it also indicates the crawler’s confidence in getting to the two at the right time. The clichés in scary movies are corny and cliched, but horror sometimes does them well.

Any Hanky ​​Panky is a death sentence

Friday 13th 2009
Pictures Warner Bros

For example but not limited to , a lot Films in which an attractive young couple meet their sexual desires with a bloody end take incredibly long to list, as clichés have been carried out on screen for decades. Michael Myers ditched his older sister, Judith, in John Carpenter’s hit classic Halloween, kicking off his killing rampage and giving audiences a slew of spine-tingling bruises in the process. Chances are that if a few characters engage in naughty behavior in a oscillator, they most likely won’t live to see the credits roll and will be picked on in a particularly horrible way.

Obviously, horror movies aren’t too fond of sexually liberated people and want to punish them for putting it all on screen and having a good time, and loyal fans know very well that a quick roll in the hay will sadly result in an evil death sentence for the parties involved.

The heart is the key to a successful escape

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Bryanston Distribution Company

All too often, would-be horror movie victims will be completely stumped when pursued by a knife-wielding killer, and for some strange reason, their coordination seems to fail in the middle of a climactic chase. from Night of the living dead to Children of the cornAnd A nightmare on Elm Street to either Friday the 13th Clicks and characters (often slim) I can’t help but stumble and fall at the most inopportune moment (say, when a terrifying killer is hot on his heels). Any time the on-screen protagonist steers him away from the big bad, he can’t help but peek to see how far they are and if they’re finally safe, only to be turned away.

Drew Goddard The cabin in the woods He deconstructs many popular horror films, including the trip-and-fall cliches, which have become exhausting and completely overdone. While audiences could really appreciate a good chase scene just because of the adrenaline-pumping factor, perhaps the villain could spill in place of their victims for a change.

Make the phone charger a frequent occurrence

Drew Barrymore as Casey Baker in Scream
Dimension movies

Because if viewers need time to remind them to keep their phones on a charger nearby, scary movies are the most effective way to scare them directly. Despite the fact that phone connections are much better in the 21st century than they ever have been (5g is here and thriving, folks), scary movies have no problem promoting the dead battery rhetoric. for example, Drag me to hell (who has great fun with the idea of ​​clichés) displays the phone dying just as a demonic entity stops by the door where Kristen (Alison Lohman) is hiding. Charging the phone always indicates a stronger chance of survival.

whether there is no signal (the hills Have Eyes remake, human centipede) or empty batteries only (Siren, roost), phones always seem to stop working in scary movies, even Get out, perhaps the most famous horror movie of the past decade, has often made a point to mention the protagonist’s battery charger that isn’t always plugged in. At least the characters were smart in it Cloverfield-Take a break in the middle of a monster attack to stop at an electrical shop and get a charge. Now that breaks the cliché.

Viewers Finish A Lie ‘Based On A True Story’

The Conjuring 2012
Pictures Warner Bros

The Exorcist (1973), The Amityville Horror (2005), Sorcery, and even baby play It is purportedly based on a series of real-life events. Although some plot lines are more apocryphal than others, the cliché of being “based on a true story” isn’t the problem itself. It’s really scary to think about how horror films can be based on true events, but this can sometimes be portrayed as manipulation by producers to use real-life horrors on screen for the sole purpose of increasing promotional responses and ultimately growth in box office sales.

Related: Ripped From The Headlines: 5 Classic Horror Movies Inspired By True Stories

It’s also sometimes an outright lie. coverage behind Sorcery This franchise aims to tie a series of isolated tragedies into the film as an attempt to strike fear in its viewers. Once viewers discover that the supposed “true” story isn’t true at all, the whole thing feels like a cliché; Plus, there could be some serious treatment and legal billing production studios have to pay back the costs through litigation (just half kidding). The supposed “true story-based” buildup used to create fear and panic often does not originate from real-life events but is instead, at best, loosely based. Audiences are mostly wise to this in scary movies now and are tired of being lied to.

Enough already with constant division

cabin in the woods

When a deranged serial killer is on the loose and is taking people out one by one steadily, maybe it’s the best idea not divided Just to cover a larger area when investigating. There really is strength in numbers, and the chance of a character’s survival only increases when they decide to stay and take on a villain with the help of their allies. While going separate ways might sound great on paper, the killer undoubtedly does a happy little dance to the pure stupidity of such a plan, as it becomes more accessible and pickable slowly but surely.

Breaking up has often become a comical tactic to get over the bad guy, often backfiring spectacularly for those foolish enough to do so. Scooby DooThe very private Fred Jones has always been very vocal about breaking up into groups to investigate, and does it really yield results? Daphne is always kidnapped, Velma can’t find her spectacles, and people in horror movies tend to suffer the same fate (albeit bloodier and grim than these meddling kids).

Possessed dolls, 1990s

Bride of Chucky
Universal Pictures

Please stop turning baby dolls into brutal serial killers for scary movies; That is not nice. Viewers see this representation of the villains as children over and over again, from early on Twilight Zone Episodes eight baby play films, QuietAnd Puppets, master of puppetsAnd Annabel, and much more; Don’t disrespect Annabelle, because she’s actually a real doll that’s stored in a glass box and could explode at any time, so don’t come for us, Annabelle.

It’s ominous because even though these scary movies aren’t directed directly toward children, they include characters inspired by children, turning them into brutal, heartless, and vicious psychopathic killers. It’s some weird cognitive dissonance, but the whole story of the possessed doll in horror movies is so old and outdated now. There’s only so much you can do with it in scary movies, and it’s been done.


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