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Five horror film clichés

Since almost the beginning of cinema, we have had scary films. Of all the genres that exist, horror is perhaps one of the most conventional. Many horror films rely on specific plot devices, also called tropes, to make their audience frightened. When a trope is used too much, it can become a cliché. But when used well, it can really make us jump out of our skin. Here are some of the most used, and perhaps abused, clichés in horror films.

1

No matter what kind of house it is, the basement is a scary place in horror films. That's usually where something is hiding or where the evil psychopath has hidden their tools. Basements are always dark and often damp. You can only reach them by a narrow staircase. And basements are always creepy, even when there isn't anything down there.

2

In older horror films, when protagonists were in desperation, it was difficult or impossible for them to call for help or call the police. Mobile phones have made that situation a bit less believable now. What's the solution to maintain suspense? No phone coverage! If you're a hero in a horror film, it's almost certain that at a key moment, just when you absolutely need to call for help, you will not have any coverage at all. Or your phone battery will die just as you are making the call. Or both.

3

Horror films love uninhabited places. This could be an abandoned hospital, a scary empty house or a ghost town. There's something about lonely, empty places. What was it like when people lived there? Why did they leave? Maybe it's also that they are so quiet, which can be very scary too. Of course, abandoned places are also handy for horror film directors in that it's more believable that you will have no phone coverage there either (see above).

4

The hero has been driving for hours. It's night-time and it's beginning to rain. Suddenly he sees a person on the side of the road. Maybe the company will keep him awake? In horror films, giving anybody a ride is asking for trouble. The hero always does it, and it always ends badly.

5

This horror film cliché was especially popular with horror films of the late 20th century. It starts with a group of teenagers all enjoying themselves, and it ends with everyone dead except one girl. At the beginning the girl is usually innocent, shy and not particularly strong. By the end, she has become the toughest and most resourceful person in the world. The last girl almost always wins in the end.

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I really don’t like horror movies, they don’t enjoy me and I feel uncomfortable after watching them.however I enjoy reading the article.

I don't like horror movies, and just watch them occasionally for entertainment.
I think there will be one more horror film cliche relating to internet, particularly social media. The plot will turn around connection among users of smart phones, computers, internet and social media. For an example, when a stranger try to connect a teenager via a social media account, a connection between them is set by the teenager's curiosity and naive and baits from the stranger. Then suspenseful things start happening when the stranger knows everything about the teenager such as friends, photos, videos posted on social media; the stranger try to manipulate the teenager by a deep secret. The teenager's life is upside downed by threaten messages bombarding every time from the stranger. The mobile phone is suddenly so handy that it doesn't need to charge all day and wherever the teenager goes, there is also fully coverage. At last, a creepy truth is opened somehow surprisedly. To sum up, the new cliche is likely to relate to modern, current issues happening around us now: the computers & the internet.

I like horror film very much; another cliché of this type of movies is to go downstairs, because there are always stairs, at night to check on noises, which normally come from the kitchen, where the main character, holding something as a weapon, finds the back door open.

Very interesting exercise. The cliches mentioned have existed for over several years now. Fun way to learn a few new words and ensure to read with concentration. It is also an easy way to revise abstract nouns and tenses.

I remeber one cliche from a horror movie where the clock ticking sound is so focused that it itself causes a sense of fear or unease. Such instances are frequently copied and repeated countless horror movies to drive the audience crazy and catch their attention for knowing what lies ahead.

This article has been really informative about the main features of horror movies nowadays, particularly of those films made in the United States. Before reading this article, I have identified the first cliché: the basement is the place where the scariest things happen. For me, this is silly, because, despite of the dangerousness of going down to a damp and dark place, the protagonists always go there; if I were they, I would scape from the house and, no matter what happen, I would never go down the basement!

A bad guy in a horror movie are usually very tough and need to be killed by many different means.

loved the article. Thank you!

I really enjoy!!!