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9 Horror Movie Cliches

by Leonora Watkins 3 months ago in pop culture

9 of the Most Overused Devices in Horror Movies

Let me start by saying that I love horror movies; they are my favorite kind and I would watch horror and action all day, every day if I could. I hate romantic comedies and I have no desire to watch tearjerkers. I think there's enough real stuff to cry about in this world without crying at things that haven't really happened.

But lately I have been noticing that horror movies are getting less and less scary. Or maybe I am getting harder to shock, but its seems like genuine scariness is being replaced with clichés. And I know that certain things are plot devices, but if every other movie you watch has it as a plot device, it's no longer a device, it's a cliché.

I am not sure if it is convenience, popularity, or just lazy writing, but these things are in so many movies that if you use them in a movie now, you're just being lazy.

The Dead Battery

Mobile/cell phones opened up a whole new world of possibilities for movies, but they presented some problems for horror movies because if you have a phone on you, you can call the police right? Wrong, you can't call the police because your battery is dead and so the one thing that might have saved you is now officially useless.

Does nobody in the movie world actually charge their phone battery?

No Signal Bars

If you are lucky enough to have a fully functioning phone with no battery problems, you won't get any signal, no matter where you might be. Even if you're in the attic of your own home, you won't get a signal because your roof is lined with six inches of lead apparently.

And if you want to make an emergency call, you don't need to use your provider, your phone can use any network to make an emergency call. But unfortunately for you, you are in the one place in the world where no provider on earth has a network, that sucks.

The Mirror Shot

There are 2 types of people who wash their faces in a really weird way, people in face wash commercials, and people in horror movies. These people just splash water all over the place; their bathrooms must be death traps, it's a wonder more people don't die.

But in a horror movie, it doesn't matter whether you were washing your face, brushing your teeth, or closing your mirrored bathroom cabinet, when you look back into that mirror, you won't be alone. But don't worry, sometimes they're real, other times they're just a figment of your crazy imagination.

The Wise Old Lady

Old women are smart, don't get me wrong, but in horror movies, they seem to be the key to everything that is happening. They know what the evil is and how to defeat it, but unfortunately for them, the evil knows more than they do and they get killed just before they can inflict any real damage, leaving the hero to fend for themselves.

The Dead Mother

Horror movies hate mothers about as much as Disney movies; inevitably there is a teenage girl whose mother tragically and mysteriously died, and her father is left to raise her, doing the best he can. The death is always related to the evil that is hounding the girl now.

The Underwear Shot

Young women and teenagers in horror movies don't wear trousers indoors, ever. There is always a shot of someone just strolling around in their underpants. It doesn't matter how cold it is, what time of day it is, they won't have anything other than a vest and underwear on.

You can't fight intruders or evil spirits on your pants, didn't your mother teach you that, well, before she died?

The Crappy Car

No matter what car you have, even if it has never let you down before, it will when you need it most. In a horror film, your car could be days old, and it still wouldn't start when someone was chasing you down.

The Nightmare

Yes, of course, if the spirit of an evil demon or your crazy stalker is hounding you, you're going to have nightmares, but they will be movie nightmares. Movie nightmares are different to regular nightmares; movie nightmares don't paralyze you with fear, or make you sweat through your sheets. Movie nightmares are very realistic and they just make you sit bolt upright in bed and breathe kind of heavily.

The Giant House

Seriously, what do these people do for a living that their house is so enormous? What is the mortgage or rent on that place and how gigantic is the heating bill?

We Need New Material

Horror movies are brilliant, but sometimes I can't help thinking that it would be nice if things could be a bit more original.

pop culture

Leonora Watkins

A qualified counsellor and an even more qualified queer. I specialise in victims of rape and sexual assault. I also have a degree in behaviour analysis.

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Leonora Watkins
Read next: Cursed Keys and Deadly Things

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