Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The 5 Most Annoying Cliche's in Horror Films

Confessions of a Film Junkie: The Most Annoying Cliché’s in Horror Films

By: Brian Cotnoir

     As awesome as Horror films are as a Genre, we have to face the facts that there are far too many clichés that a lot of Horror films follow.  These are the things that once you see in a horror film you immediately throw up your arms and complain.  In a poll I did a few months ago on-line, I asked people to list what they considered to be the most annoying clichés in Horror films.  So this isn’t my personal Top 5 List, this is a list voted on by people and were ranked in order of the most popular.

#5.) Jump scares!

     Not only is this one of the most annoying clichés in Horror films, but it is probably the cheapest and simplest way to get a frightened reaction from the audience.  One of the worst parts about this cliché is that you can usually see it coming: The main character is walking slowly down the hall, it’s pretty quiet, and then once they turn the corner!  ROAR!!!!! *Scary Image* and loud music.  We must admit that there are some people who are easily frightened by jump scares in films, but personally I find them more annoying than anything.  When I’m watching a Horror film at the movie theatre, if the film has too many jump scares, I’ll become easily frustrated and start angrily proclaiming “stop doing that!”.  Seriously, there aren’t any better or other techniques Horror film Directors can use to frighten their audience?  They all have to rely solely on loud music and a character appearing quickly on screen?  Get it together people!

Not Gonna Lie, this one still makes me jump
#4.) Blood & Tit’s do Not Mix.

There’s nothing wrong with nudity films, but please just make it relevant to the plot.  Just because you can show a hot actress naked on camera, doesn’t mean that you have to.  For one thing, you’re always going to get some Conservative Watchdog Group claiming that movies that combine sex & violence will create a generation of Ed Gein’s or some other B.S. like that.  I’ve always felt that filmmakers who overly rely on sex and nudity in their films were always sending mixed messages to their audience:  Are we supposed to feel terrified or aroused?  I understand why the killer wants to kill this girl, but why does he have to wait till while she’s skinny dipping to kill her?  I suppose the argument could be made that more people are vulnerable when they’re not wearing clothes and that’s what the director wanted that particular character to portray (?).  However, a large number of people brought up an interesting point to this cliché:  Why is it okay to show a hot, naked woman getting murdered, but it’s not okay to show a naked man getting murdered.  This is a valid point.  Why is there no male nudity in most Horror films?  Why is there not a balance?  Is there a valid reason or are the directors who are making these films just trying to exploit their actresses?  What is the reason why?!

#3.)  There’s a psychotic murderer around here...we’d all better split up

     If I was in a house with a psychotic murderer, one thing is for certain:  I am leaving the damn house! I am not going to stay and wait to see what happens—no sir—I am leaving the house and hoping for the best.  What’s even more annoying is when the idiots in the film decide that the best course of action is to split up.  Why?  By splitting up you’re only making it easier for the killer to get you.  Heck one of the people in your group may be the killer, so by splitting up, you are jeopardizing the lives of other people in your party.  The smartest thing you can do in this situation is stick together and run (or speed walk) like hell!
Yeah, what is that???
#2.) Thank god the killer is finally dead...oh wait never mind

Seriously, how are you all still alive???
So after 90+ minutes of watching the films protagonist run, dodge, and hide from the killer.  It all leads up to this moment between the hero and the villain.  When all is said and done, and the hero walks off into the sunset with his girlfriend, and we get one last glimpse of the killers lifeless body, when all-of-a-sudden their hand raises up towards the sky before falling back to the ground.  This cliché has been used in countless Horror films and is quite popular in helping lead in to sequel films, but after seeing the killer get shot, stabbed, burnt, launched into outer space, trapped in an alternate dimension, you’re really asking the audience to throw away all their common sense and suspension of disbelief.  We’re only willing to let go of certain things, but if you ask me—in regards to Horror films—give it a rest after Roman Numeral III.

#1.) Let’s take a nice quiet drive the country were everyone is a psychotic homicidal inbred hillbilly.

Since the release of films like “Deliverance”, “I Spit On Your Grave”, and others people tend to be terrified of traveling out into rural locations.  But why do so many people (or should I say Americans?) assume that all people who live in rural parts of a country are a bunch of psychotic inbred maniacs?  I’ve lived in the city and I’ve lived in rural towns, and I have always felt more safe living in a rural town then I did in a city.  I don’t understand why more people are afraid of being in the woods at night then they are at the city at night.  Granted, each area is scary in its own right.  The argument could be made that the woods are a more terrifying place, because when there’s less people around and you run into trouble, it’s less likely that someone will be able to come to your aid.  Also, it’s not what’s there in the woods that are scary, but all the things that could be there, that are the most terrifying.  However, I look at it like this:  If I was lost at night, I think I would run into more danger in a city then I would in a rural area. Why don’t they ever make a film about people from the country who travel into the city and have to fight off people in the city who are trying to kill them?                                   
Dale & Tucker are so misunderstood
    There was a film released in 2010 called “Tucker & Dale vs. the Evil”, which took the premise of a group of college age kids getting stranded in the country with a couple of Redneck/Hillbilly characters.  However, instead of the story being told from the perspective of the college kids, it’s told from the perspective of our redneck characters, Tucker & Dale. It’s more comedic then scary, but it is nonetheless a truly enjoyable film, and I highly recommend it.  I don’t know why, this has become such a popular cliché, because it’s just seems so realistic in this day in age.  The country is such a lovely place to visit and enjoy...unless you hear banjos playing, in that case, run like hell in the other direction.


  1. Jumping for joy on the nudity front! And seriously, its been over 50 years; not all rural Americans are secret Ed Geins.

    1. I was surprised at how into #4 the people voting on this were. Apparently more fans of Horror movies want to see more gents/killers go the fully Monty

  2. The whole fear of rural places and people is ingrained in western culture going at least as far back as ancient Rome. Pagan basically just means rural, and Barbarian really just meant anyone who wasn't Roman.
    The city stands for civilization, so anyone who isn't of the city can't be civilized.

    1. Hmm...I can't believe I never thought it like that. Very Informative. Thank you for the information.