1. The jump-scare
In older horror movies, jump-scares are not that annoying; most of the time, they are put to good use, whether the scare is a real one or not, and there is not one every 10 minutes or so. In most recent horror flicks however, jump-scares, and especially false ones, are over-used and it is becoming truly annoying. How many times has a movie made us jump just because the music suddenly got really loud? Or because the main character bumps into a friend? If used once or twice in a movie, a false scare can be somewhat effective, but I feel like in horror movies nowadays, false scares constitute more than half of the scares in a movie. We are becoming so used to jump-scares that, whether real or not, they are becoming ineffective.
2. “We should split-up”
Yeah, great idea. Why not just walk up to the killer and gently ask them to slit your throat?
3. The black character usually dies first
Most horror movies are filled with cliché and token characters: the jock, the nerd, the slut (usually also known as the blonde girl), the virgin, the stoner, the black guy… the list goes on and on. Most of these clichés and tokens come in a few variations, but one thing is almost always certain: the black guy dies first. Why? Except inculcated racism, I can’t seem to find a reason. It has become so “usual” that every time you see a black character in a horror movie, you have a pretty good idea of what’s gonna happen to them.
4. The phones don’t work
Whether you’re in the middle of absolute nowhere or in your own home, the phones never seem to work properly. I know it is supposed to give us the isolation vibe, make us understand that the main characters are totally alone against whatever evil is attacking them, but still, it is highly unlikely. And when the phones actually work, the main character often doesn’t even use it to call the police or, when they do, the police doesn’t believe them or gets killed upon arriving at the house. All in all, phones are pretty useless.
5. The villain has to die twice or just can’t die
Whether you stab it in the heart or chop its head off, it never seems to be enough. The villain either has to be killed twice or just can’t seem to be killed at all. This cliché is mostly used to create sequels (often unnecessary or unwanted ones (isn’t Jason X (2001) the worst?)), or to provide one last “scare”, but we are so used to this cliché that we expect it and aren’t surprised at all when it happens.
- The car won’t start/Dropping the car keys
- The ankle-grab
- Adults and authority figures are useless
- People can’t seem to remember how to run