Every new horror movie, like the recent Orphan: first murder available on Paramount+, has its unique qualities to offer audiences new scares. However, there are still certain tropes in the genre that viewers have come to expect.
There are dozens of overused clichés in horror movies that have aged for most fans, making the film fall flat if incorporated in excess. Despite the demand for new and exciting terror, some fans are eagerly awaiting the tropes they’ve grown fond of. These Redditors shared their favorite horror movie snaps.
Some horror movies follow the dark gothic theme that is normally associated with Halloween. While most modern movies have abandoned the use of these cliches, with the exception of some movies like traditional vampire movies like dark shadows.
While modern horror fans often find the concept of carefully placed dungeons and skulls overused, some fans still appreciate it when these themes are incorporated into films. Reddit user viken1976 said, “I swoon for the Gothic stuff. Old castles and coffins, bats and skeletons, dark family secrets.” If every horror movie used gothic themes it would definitely get old, but sometimes it’s good to go back to basics.
9 Off-Screen Teleport
The teleportation trope is most commonly used in classic slasher franchises like Halloween and Friday 13. Although these villains don’t technically transport themselves from place to place, they still seem to appear out of nowhere after being far from the place.
While some classic horror movie fans find this off-screen teleportation boring and too convenient, it leads to plenty of heart-pounding jump scares and action-packed battles for survival. Reddit user without tariff says, “the way a slasher can walk slowly towards someone running away from him, and yet end up catching up with them, or better yet, beating them to their destination.”
8 final girls
Horror movies tend to follow similar plots when it comes to story endings. One of those common tropes is a last woman standing, fighting to the end after everyone else is gone. These characters in horror movies are called final girls.
Although some horror fans are rolling their eyes at this overused concept, there are still fans who think it can be used well to tell the story. Reddit user caitlionator said, “I love Final Girls. One of the reasons I got into horror movies as a teenager was because they featured capable young female leads.” Despite recycling this trope, these strong female characters, like Extraterrestrial‘s Ellen Ripley, are feminist icons.
There are many horror movies that incorporate mirrors into their themes. Some movies, like Oculus and Mirrors, center their paranormal villains around the concept of cursed or magically enhanced mirrors. However, there are also classics like Dracula (1931) which simply incorporate mirrors into the film’s suspense.
Whether central to paranormal history or simply used as an object of terror, mirrors have been widely used in horror. A Reddit user said, “It’s been done so, so many different ways, that even when there’s a shot that has a mirror in it, I get jittery and jittery in the best way.” Although considered a cliché, the mirrors add suspense that leaves fans on the edge of their seat just at the sight of one in a scene.
6 Cannibals in remote rural areas
One of the most unsettling clichés in horror movies is that of inbred cannibals preying on victims who roam their remote rural areas. While there aren’t as many of these types of films as other tropes, The hills Have Eyes and wrong turn popularized the theme.
While some viewers think these movies help reiterate stereotypes of rural dwellers, others think it’s just a disturbing way to portray modern-day cannibals. Reddit user nilbogresident said: “Maybe it’s because I grew up in a small town in the Deep South. I seriously scour Netflix Instant for horror movies with plots that involve [country-dwelling cannibals]These fans find this shot even more terrifying if they come from a rural area similar to those depicted in the movies.
Found footage is one of the most controversial tropes in horror movies. While some fans love their realistic nature, others don’t mind the camerawork involved.
However, some films have innovated in found footage, such as The Blair Witch Project, using the tech angle to make some really scary movies. A Reddit user said, “I love found footage. It gives me a sense of immersion that other types of film can’t match.” Whether fans like this cliche or not, the idea of making a film as if it were real events recorded by those involved is captivating and disturbing.
4 scary towns
It’s one of the most used cliches in horror movies. Although the spooky town is not always the focal point and is more of a setting used to create more suspense, it continues to be used repeatedly in different horror films.
movies like The village and Corn Children use these spooky towns to reinforce the disturbing nature of events. Reddit user FlavorFlavFlu said, “Secluded places and creepy locals. It always happens to me.” Although this cliche is used many times in the horror industry, it makes sense that fans like these settings. A story of fear is much more disturbing in a remote cabin in the woods than in a five-star hotel.
3 surprised ghost
There are many variations of the jump scare trope, but one of the scariest is when the audience gets a sudden glimpse of a ghost standing up conveniently enough to go unnoticed. A film that uses this trope to increase the tension is Insidiousa film too scary to end according to many viewers.
Many horror fans think this scene Insidious is even scarier than when audiences first see the demon after Dalton’s body. Reddit user Witch_at_the_cross_stitch said, “That glimpse of a ghost in Insidious grabs me every time.” Although it’s a cliché, creepy jumps are still an effective way to make paranormal movies feel weird.
2 Ask the Experts
When it comes to all things scary, paranormal, and weird, movies often find someone to explain it all. These characters are seen as the experts on whatever victims face, coming forward to offer advice and help defeat evil.
This trope was made popular in movies like Fighting spirit but also seen in more modern films, such as Conspiracy Franchise, which was even more popular with its portrayal of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. Reddit user The_night_prowler said, “I always like it when the characters visit the expert and the expert talks about the evil they’re facing.” This snapshot provides a way for the character to get reliable information from an interesting source.
1 Uninvited guests
In real life, most people aren’t going to walk into a scary building or a dark house without an invitation and without shouting. However, this situation is often used in horror films, leading to the character walking towards his own doom.
One of the most popular films that use this cliche is Chainsaw Massacre (1974), in which the young victims enter the home of Leatherface and his disturbed family. Reddit user rewster said, “When people knock on a door and then walk into someone’s house when no one responds by shouting ‘Hellooooo?, is there anyone here?’ Although he seems a bit unrealistic for someone to walk into a scary house, it’s a good catalyst for a scary scare.
Next: 10 Classic Horror Movies In Need Of A Reboot, According To Reddit