Saturday, August 30, 2008

Horror Movie Pet Peeves

There are qualities inherent in nearly all of the horror movies we see that just piss us right the hell off, are there not? Little quirky cliches that, granted, define the genre but become so repetitive and expected that they drive us up the goddamn wall. Things such as...

-Victim finally makes his way to his vehicle...hallelujah...but the car won't fuckin start!

How many times can we see this before we abandon horror films altogether?! How often does your car, for no apparent reason, fail to start!? And why must it always happen at the worst possible times. Even if your car is brand spankin new and top of the line, rest assured it will not start when you need it to. Leatherface is hot on your tail but your god forsaken car is gonna be the death of you. And you can bet your ass that the second he reaches the car, it'll start working again.

Example : The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

-Objects in mirror fuckin' cliche!

This may be the most annoying epidemic to ever hit the horror scene. I couldn't say which film started the trend, but it needs to be buried. It's getting so bad that a movie was made about killer mirrors themselves! Our hapless victim is innocently washing her face or taking the medication that she needs to get over the pain of a horrific experience, and when she shuts the medicine cabinet mirror, the killer is behind her, scaring the holy hell out of us all...but not really since we knew the second she entered the bathroom this was gonna happen. And don't think it's ok to provide the scare through sound when the cabinet is shut but have no one even be there, that's just as lame and unoriginal.

Example : I don't seem to own any of the shitty movies that possess this cliche(which comforts me), so i'll post this clip from Shaun of the Dead, poking fun at the mirror scare

-Bad CGI

Nothing will take me out of a horror movie faster then a case of bad computer gore effects. CGI is intended to enhance existing effects, not to entirely create new ones. If done well, it can be amazing (Machine gun leg in Planet Terror). But if done poorly, like it usually is, it can be a truly terrible thing. This is becoming a growing problem that has ruined many a horror film. How can you buy into what you're seeing on the screen when someone gets shot and you see bright red digital blood fly out of their cranium. What's even sadder is that gore effects were so much more effectively done back in the 80's...almost 30 years ago. Go figure. We need to start a petition to ban CGI in horror altogether.

Example : Land of the Dead

-When the moon is full I spout fur and rip apart my friends and family, but no one believes me!

When someone cries bloody murder in a horror film, believe them! Nearly any time something horrible is happening to someone, nobody chooses to believe them. They suggest taking medication or quelling your overactive imagination...anything to avoid the truth. Not even a dead body will convince them. It must be a joke or your mind playing tricks on you. Or you're just plain drunk. Once that motherfucker finally gets bit by you in werewolf form, you bet your sweet ass he's gonna believe you then.

Example : The Mist

-Bad Remakes

I am not of the mindset that remakes are the product of Satan. There have been several that I even enjoyed more then the original and I think that if done right, a remake can be a very positive thing. At the very least we get a special edition dvd release of the original out of it! But what is the point of a remake? Other then the simple fact of cashing in on an established name, a remake is supposed to be a fresh updated version of the old wrinkly original. Most classic horror movies were made back in the day on a shoestring budget by a group of friends. Now, major studios have tens of millions of dollars to pour into these things...but they're no better then the original! In most cases, they're far worse. Now what is the point in that?

Examples : The Fog, Prom Night, When a Stranger Calls, The Omen, The Eye, The Wicker Man, Black Christmas, Halloween, and on and on.

-I just hit my killer over the head with a frying pan..he's gotta be dead, i'm goin home

This one is perhaps the most frustraing of all the horror cliches. After an hour and a half of being chased and terrorized by some sicko in a scary mask, watching him mutilate and rape your dearest friends, you finally get the upper hand. You manage to lay him out, stab him, shoot him, whatever the case may be. And then you just assume he's dead and fuckin walk off! Now i've never been in such a situation, but i'm gonna bet that if some dude killed my entire family and then tried to anally violate me with the business end of a steak knife, I would not leave that room until that motherfucker was in at least three pieces! The worst of this scenario is when the victim is in possession of a sharp object/gun, but instead of stabbing the shit out of him and playing with his entrails/shooting him in the head till the gun cant shoot no more, they drop it right by his feet!

Example : Friday the 13th Part 2

-Jump Scares

It seems filmmakers these days just dont know how to scare an audience. Instead of supplying real terror, suspense, atmopshere, and thinks of that ilk, they now rely on the jump scare. Sure, it may make the black dude in front of you jump and scream like a little girl, but it's really not scary and you're not fooling anyone into thinking your movie is scary, either. These scares do not further the movie or even relate to the plot of the movie whatsover. They're thrown in for the sole purpose of making you jump out of your seat. Most of the time, it ends up being a cat or a mouse or some other little harmless animal jumping out of a cabinet or off a bookshelf. It seems true scary movies died off many decades ago.

Example - Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

There's a whole lot more annoying cliches in horror films that I could talk about, but these are the ones that get to me the most. Like I said, i'm well aware that all of these things make up the fabric of the genre, but they're getting just a tad bit old. We need some originality injected into our horror movies.

Share your thoughts! What are your most hated horror movie cliches?


EyeloveMetal said...

haha! Top notch post! I've got one!
The "I don't know how to kill a zombie till I see a news report on it" bullshit.. Enough of that already! I just wanna see one movie where a dude is like "Gotta shoot it in the head! Haven't you seen any zombie movies before!!?!?"

John said...

I know one you realllly hate...the 5 minute long opening credit sequence!

cthulhu_waits said...

Cell phones not working at the time when you need them most. Look, I know cell phones can ruin a lot of horror movie premises, but good writing is finding a way to work that into your movie, not just having a character say "Oh my gosh, I forgot to charge it last night!"

cthulhu_waits said...

Great post. My pet peeve is cell phones that don't work when the characters need them most. Look, I know that cell phones can ruin a horror movie but good writers figure out a way to work that in. Bad writers throw in one line about forgetting to charge it or not being able to get a signal.

Matthew said...

I deffinately don't find the Jump Scare amusing anymore. I have just seen so many scary movies it rarely gets me now and when it does I just feel dirty after. You can always tell when they are coming up. I'm sure most of you can agree with me on this.

christmas light said...

just in case your wondering, the first (and best)movie to use the closing the mirror scare was "An American Werewolf in London" the most recent (and sadly not worst) was "Prom Night". Hope this helps!

Johnny said...

I wanted to use Prom Night but I don't own it so I couldn't rip the clip from it. And I only have American Werewolf on region 2 dvd so I couldn't take from that either :(

Zacery Nova said...

That bad Land of the Dead CGI is actually quite amusing...

- Zac

willy jerk-off said...

What about the fact that most of the time the gorgeous chicks strip down to their underwear and then stop, i want to see them completely naked every time!!!.

Jimi said...

When they find out someone is outside and the first thing they go for is the phone, which is disconnected anyways. Dont these pussies own a gun?

And also, why is it always a small woman that is the hero? I can only think of one male heroband that's Ash.