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tropes in horror movies

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Post by ThePunisher January 20th 2024, 8:26 am

What tropes in horror movies do you think are overused? Do you think jump scares are getting old? How about the scary kid? Ever notice how many people hear something, but don't turn on the light or use a flashlight? How about the cell phone that never has reception or wasn't plugged in to charge? How many cars have flat tires or run out of gas when a serial killer is on the loose and in the woods you're camping in?

Then there are the people who jump out of their hiding spot exactly thirty seconds after the lunatic walk by, making a lot of noise when they go. Then there's the serial killer who only looks dead. As soon as you knock him down and start to leave, he gets up and starts chasing you again, sometimes outpacing you walking while you are running. How about the teenage girl possessed by a demon walking backwards on her hands and feet?

How many times have we seen people magically find a book on evil and spells while someone or some THING is creeping about? And of course, we have killer dolls, murderous clowns, death after sex, death after drug use, and the all-time fan favorite- the Final Girl.

What's YOUR least liked trope????
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Post by SonofOdin6039 January 20th 2024, 10:32 am

I get irritated with the gun's safety always being on, round not chambered, or out of ammo period. The car working fine until the critical moment, the hysterical woman driver. The village elder who seems to be the only person who knows what's happening but unwilling to intervene. The protagonists never being fully prepared or the grand plan backfiring because of a self absorbed participant.
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Post by ThePunisher January 20th 2024, 2:47 pm

SonofOdin6039 wrote:I get irritated with the gun's safety always being on, round not chambered, or out of ammo period. The car working fine until the critical moment, the hysterical woman driver. The village elder who seems to be the only person who knows what's happening but unwilling to intervene. The protagonists never being fully prepared or the grand plan backfiring because of a self absorbed participant.


How about the creepy gas station attendant who seems to know what's going on and be part of the plan?
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Post by I'm Not a Goalie January 20th 2024, 6:06 pm

With Tropes, I feel it's all about how their executed. If done well, I don't have a problem with them, in fact if done really well you probably won't even notice them on the first watch through. If they're done poorly, then well... You kind of know that the rest of the film is probably going to be littlie more than a poorly made cash grab from creators that probably learned everything they know about horror through Wikipedia.

For older movies, it's two things. The first being the car during an escape scene that never starts. I know why the scene exists, simple logic purposes, but it feels like such a waste of time... There's only two ways that part of the scene is going to unfold... The Car doesn't start, or the victim manages to drive away only to immediately crash or disable the car somehow... On occasion, the killer might already be in the car, but that's been overdone at this point too. There's just no way to make that trope good because there's really no way to subvert it and not make it feel like they're just checking off another box on the horror movie 'to-do' list. The only good subversions I can recall are in Evil Dead when the bridge gets mangled, a creative way to make escaping via the car out of the equation, and Halloween 4 when Michael clings on to the truck and slowly crawls up it while taking everybody out. Hadn't really seen anything like that before at the time.

The big one for me though, is the authority figures never believing the main cast that something odd is going on. Like the car, it just feels like another checkbox scene there to chew up runtime. It works better in some movies than others depending on how much time they waste focusing on it, just... Keep it to a minimum. I also don't like the 'suspecting' that one of the main characters is the actual killer trope, when it's been made obvious to the viewer this is not the case. (Yes, I'm aware of the Irony of my own statement, lol) I don't mind the 'hinting' throughout the movie that one of the main cast might be involved or the red herring character tropes, even if those are slightly overdone. You have a lot more options creatively to make those interesting

For most pre-modern movies, it's everything to do with the cellphone... Has there been any bigger hindrance to the horror genre over the last twenty years than the existence of this ubiquitous device in everybody's pocket? Every film now has to dedicate an entire scene explaining how to take these things out of the equation to justify the movie running longer than twenty minutes. You didn't have this issue in the 80's lol.

For modern horror, it's the new tropes forming due to modern Hollywood Mandates that quite frankly... Bore me to tears. 90 percent of all modern horror films seem to fall into two categories... A cast of diverse friends, with personalities as diverse as a movie from the 30's, go to some random secluded location where spooky shit happens, or a lone woman moves to a secluded house somewhere spooky, maybe with a kid once-in-a-blue-moon for variety, and spooky shit happens. Very cookie-cutter and predictable with very little variety. I'm extremely concerned for the future of Slasher Movies and just horror in general considering how mandates require that certain characters have to be treated a certain way. While I don't think the last Scream Movie was all that bad, there were a lot of warning signs as to why Slasher Films as we know them might be an endangered species.
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Post by ThePunisher January 20th 2024, 6:30 pm

I'm Not a Goalie wrote:With Tropes, I feel it's all about how their executed. If done well, I don't have a problem with them, in fact if done really well you probably won't even notice them on the first watch through. If they're done poorly, then well... You kind of know that the rest of the film is probably going to be littlie more than a poorly made cash grab from creators that probably learned everything they know about horror through Wikipedia.

For older movies, it's two things. The first being the car during an escape scene that never starts. I know why the scene exists, simple logic purposes, but it feels like such a waste of time... There's only two ways that part of the scene is going to unfold... The Car doesn't start, or the victim manages to drive away only to immediately crash or disable the car somehow... On occasion, the killer might already be in the car, but that's been overdone at this point too. There's just no way to make that trope good because there's really no way to subvert it and not make it feel like they're just checking off another box on the horror movie 'to-do' list. The only good subversions I can recall are in Evil Dead when the bridge gets mangled, a creative way to make escaping via the car out of the equation, and Halloween 4 when Michael clings on to the truck and slowly crawls up it while taking everybody out. Hadn't really seen anything like that before at the time.

The big one for me though, is the authority figures never believing the main cast that something odd is going on. Like the car, it just feels like another checkbox scene there to chew up runtime. It works better in some movies than others depending on how much time they waste focusing on it, just... Keep it to a minimum. I also don't like the 'suspecting' that one of the main characters is the actual killer trope, when it's been made obvious to the viewer this is not the case. (Yes, I'm aware of the Irony of my own statement, lol) I don't mind the 'hinting' throughout the movie that one of the main cast might be involved or the red herring character tropes, even if those are slightly overdone. You have a lot more options creatively to make those interesting

For most pre-modern movies, it's everything to do with the cellphone... Has there been any bigger hindrance to the horror genre over the last twenty years than the existence of this ubiquitous device in everybody's pocket? Every film now has to dedicate an entire scene explaining how to take these things out of the equation to justify the movie running longer than twenty minutes. You didn't have this issue in the 80's lol.

For modern horror, it's the new tropes forming due to modern Hollywood Mandates that quite frankly... Bore me to tears. 90 percent of all modern horror films seem to fall into two categories... A cast of diverse friends, with personalities as diverse as a movie from the 30's, go to some random secluded location where spooky shit happens, or a lone woman moves to a secluded house somewhere spooky, maybe with a kid once-in-a-blue-moon for variety, and spooky shit happens. Very cookie-cutter and predictable with very little variety. I'm extremely concerned for the future of Slasher Movies and just horror in general considering how mandates require that certain characters have to be treated a certain way. While I don't think the last Scream Movie was all that bad, there were a lot of warning signs as to why Slasher Films as we know them might be an endangered species.

For ME, the whole idea of a main character being the prime suspect would best be shown by Steve Christie, proud camp counselor in charge and Jeep owner. I'm sure we all know what I mean there. And of course, the whole killer in the car thing is an urban legend that's been beat to death.
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