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10 worst horror movie tropes, according to Reddit

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While tropes are an integral part of romantic comedies and can sometimes be necessary to define how the main characters will fall in love, horror movie fans can’t escape them either. Sometimes a trope just feels right and like nothing else could replace it. But for many horror fans who have watched and analyzed countless movies, tropes can be frustrating because they aren’t unique.

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Reddit users are talking about which horror movie tropes they’d rather not see in movies that focus on supernatural and serial killers because these tropes don’t tend to scare anyone or seem necessary for the plot. In many cases, removing these tropes would benefit every movie.

ten Characters running upstairs


Screaming Neve Campbell

Scream has some hilarious moments and it’s all thanks to the movie’s meta on the genre.

Reddit user shoup88 doesn’t like it when horror movie characters make “mistakes” like “climbing stairs when they should have gone out the back door.” Scream laughs at moments from horror movies like this, and even Sidney mentions how the characters tend to stay in their house when they should be moving away. Whenever a character avoids the front door or an emergency exit, fans can’t help but feel frustrated.

9 Children who see a supernatural creature / something


Cole (Haley Joel Osment) speaking to Malcolm (Bruce Willis) in The Sixth Sense

Reddit user blue_at_work doesn’t like it when a “person (often a child) sees the monster but no one believes it”.

Children often signal to other characters that something is seriously wrong, although, of course, parents often tell their child that everything is fine and that they are just having a nightmare. While this can work in some cases, it’s easy to see why moviegoers tire of seeing this same trope used over and over again. It would be much cooler if adults believed a child who knows there is something supernatural here.


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8 Skip the fear


For the Reddit user, Thunder, “Jump scares” is a bad horror movie trope because “it’s not distressing, it’s just surprising. “

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While some people literally jump when a creature or person makes their presence known, there are many horror movie fans who wish this trope would stop being used in so many stories. This doesn’t often have the impact you expect, especially since fans expect it in most movies.


seven A character’s friend / partner touches their shoulder


Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott and Skeet Ulrich as Billy Loomis in Scream

While some horror movie characters are smarter than others, a common thing that happens in many movies is a false moment of fear of jumping.

Reddit user kobuta99 mentioned the trope of “a very tense moment like someone can come out, and the person (usually the woman) turns around or is touched by someone who is just a friend / husband / SO “. It’s hard to think of a movie when it doesn’t happen because it’s such a popular trope.


6 A car that won’t start


Split image of a man at a gas station and a woman in a car with a killer behind her in Urban Legend

For a Redditor, one of the most frustrating tropes used in horror movies is “The Car That Won’t Start, Of course.” The fan said, “I can’t believe this is getting used to again.”

Cars are a big part of horror movies because they are an easy way to get away from the murderous / horrific situation, and as this Redditor pointed out, they can also be a way for a character to die because the killer sometimes hides in the backseat. . It takes place in the 1998 horror film Urban legend.


5 Characters doing research in the library


Natalie searches the Urban Legend library

Reddit user gabba8 has called the “library research scenes” a frustrating horror movie trope, and many horror fans agree with that.

While some horror movie effects are terrifying, several moviegoers admit that watching characters scavenge for something in stacks or on a library computer just isn’t that horrible. It makes sense that this would be a common frame, as libraries can be baffling at night, but fans have seen this trope so many times that it has lost its impact and power.


4 Hear the noise in the woods


Often the characters will be in complete peace and quiet, enjoying the calm nature around them, and then they hear a noise that causes them to panic. This is often a signal that something sinister is going to happen and they realize that they may not be alone, whether there is a person or a supernatural force nearby.

Not everyone likes this horror movie trope, however. For Reddit user Bazoun, “a boring trope is to take someone through an autumn forest at night, and suddenly a twig breaks.”




3 A cell phone no longer works


Since cell phones have become more common, it is difficult to use them in horror movies. Scary moments don’t seem so bad when a character has a phone handy, so sometimes a character won’t be able to use their cell phone at all.

Reddit user Rewayne doesn’t like it when a “cell phone has no reception / battery”. It’s a heavily used trope because it’s supposed to show the person is in real trouble, but often times it just feels too handy.


2 Someone doesn’t believe in spirits


There are scary ghosts from horror movies, but not everyone in a supernatural horror movie will think something supernatural is going on.

A Redditor doesn’t like it when “one of the characters is a willful informant skeptic who doesn’t believe he’s dealing with ghosts.” While it makes sense that this trope gets used a lot, as it leaves audiences wondering what’s really going on and often makes the character smart, this trope is getting old.


1 Characters going in separate directions


For Reddit user tescocarrierbag, “Let’s go our separate ways and look for clues” is a frustrating horror movie trope.

When a slasher horror movie tells the story of a group of friends, it seems like this trope is always in use, as it’s an easy way to split everyone up and kill at least one of the characters. By this point, horror movie fans have seen this trope in so many movies that it would be best if everyone stayed together and figured out how to survive.

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Split image of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, Michael Myers in Halloween Kills, & Seance.


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