10 Horror Movie Cliches Fans Still Love To Watch, According To Reddit

Each new horror movie, like the recent Orphan: First Kill available on Paramount+, has its unique qualities to offer the audience new scares. However, there are always certain tropes in the genre viewers expect.

There are dozens of overused clichés in horror films that have gotten old for most fans, making the movie fall flat if they're incorporated in excess. Despite the demand for new and exciting terror, however, some fans look forward to the tropes they've grown fond of. These Redditors shared their favorite horror movie clichés.

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10 Halloween-esque

Count Dracula - Bram Stoker's Dracula

Some horror movies follow the dark Gothic theme that is normally associated with Halloween. While most modern movies have moved away from using these clichés, except for some movies like traditional vampire movies like Dark Shadows.

While modern horror fans often find the concept of dungeons and carefully placed skulls to be overused, some fans still appreciate it when these themes are incorporated into films. Reddit user viken1976 said, "I swoon for Gothic stuff. Old castles and coffins, bats and skeletons, dark family secrets." If every horror movie used Gothic themes it would certainly get old, but sometimes it's good to go back to the basics.

9 Offscreen Teleportation

Michael Myers in Halloween

The teleportation trope is most commonly used in classic slasher franchises like Halloween and Friday the 13th. While these villains don't technically transport from one place to another, they always seem to appear out of nowhere after being far from the spot.

While some classic horror movie lovers find this offscreen teleportation annoying and too convenient, it does lead to many thrilling jump scares and action-packed fights for survival. Reddit user tariffless said, "the way a slasher can slowly walk towards somebody who's running away from them, and yet eventually end up catching them, or even better, beating them to their destination."

8 Final Girls

Alien Movie Ellen Ripley

Horror movies tend to follow similar plot lines when it comes to how to end the story. One of these common tropes is one last female survivor, fighting to the end after everyone else is gone. These characters in horror movies are called final girls.

Though some horror fans roll their eyes at this overused concept, there are still fans that believe it can be used well to carry the story. Reddit user Caitlionator said, "I love Final Girls. One of the reasons I got into horror films in my teens was because they featured young female protagonists who were capable." Despite this trope being recycled, these strong female characters, like Alien's Ellen Ripley, are feminist icons.

7 Mirrors

Katee Sackhoff in Oculus

There are many horror films that incorporate mirrors into their themes. Some films, 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) that simply incorporate mirrors into the suspense of the movie.

Whether they're the focus of the paranormal storyline or used simply as an object of terror, mirrors have been used widely throughout horror. One Reddit user said, "It's been done so much, in so many different ways, that even when there's a shot that just happens to have a mirror in it I get all jittery and nervous in the best way." Though considered a cliché, mirrors do add suspense that leaves fans on the edge of their seats simply at the sight of one in a scene.

6 Cannibals In Remote Rural Areas

One of the most disturbing clichés in horror movies is the inbred cannibals that pick off victims that wander into their conveniently remote rural locations. While there aren't as many of these types of movies as other tropes, The Hills Have Eyes and Wrong Turn made the theme popular.

Though some viewers think these movies help reiterate stereotypes of rural dwellers, others think it's just a disturbing way of portraying modern-day cannibals. Reddit user nilbogresident said, "Maybe it's because I grew up in small-town Deep South. I seriously browse Netflix Instant searching for horror films with plots that involve [country-dwelling cannibals]." These fans find this cliché even more terrifying if they come from a rural area similar to those depicted in the films.

5 Found Footage

Paranormal Activity 5 First Look Images

Found footage is one of the most controversial tropes in horror movies. While some fans love their realistic nature, others don't care for the camera work involved.

However, there are some movies that innovated found footage, like The Blair Witch Project, using the angle of technology to make some truly chilling films. One Reddit user said, "I love found footage. It gives me a sense of immersion that other types of film cannot match." Whether fans love this cliché or not, the idea of making a movie appeared as if it's real-life events being recorded by those involved is captivatingly disturbing.

4 Creepy Towns

This is one of the most commonly used clichés in horror films. While the creepy town isn't always the focal point and is instead a setting used to create more suspense, it continues to be used repeatedly in different horror movies.

Movies like The Village and Children of the Corn use these creepy towns to enhance the disturbing nature of events. Reddit user FlavourFlavFlu said, "Isolated places and creepy locals. Always gets to me." While this cliché is used repeatedly throughout the horror industry, it makes sense why fans appreciate these settings. A story of fright is far more foreboding in a remote cabin in the woods than in a five-star hotel.

3 Surprise Ghost

The surprise ghost spotted in Insidious. 

There are many variations on the jump scare trope, but one of the freakiest is when the audience gets a sudden glimpse of a ghost standing conveniently enough to go unseen. One movie that uses this trope to heighten the tension is Insidious, one movie too scary to finish according to many viewers.

Many fans of horror think this scene in Insidious is even more spooky than the moment the audience first sees the demon after Dalton's body. Reddit user Cross_Stitch_Witch said, "That glimpse of a ghost in Insidious gets me every time." Though a cliché, jump scares are still an effective way of making paranormal films eerie.

2 Asking The Experts

Tangina stands before the Freelings in Poltergeist

When it comes to all things spooky, paranormal, and weird, the movies often find someone to explain it all. These characters are considered the expert of whatever the victims are dealing with, showing up to offer advice and help to defeat the evil.

This trope was made popular in movies like Poltergeist but seen in more modern movies as well, such as The Conjuring Franchise, which was even more popular with its portrayal of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. Reddit user The_night_lurker said, "I always love it when the characters visit the expert and the expert talks about the evil they are up against." This cliché offers a way for the character to gain reliable information from an interesting source.

1 Uninvited Guests

In real life, most people aren't going to walk into a creepy building or dark house without an invitation and call out. However, this situation is often used in horror movies, leading to the character walking into their own doom.

One of the most popular movies that use this cliché is Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), in which the young victims walk into the house of Leatherface and his deranged family. Reddit user rewster said, "When people knock on a door and then just let themselves into someone's house when no one answers shouting "Hellooooo?, is anyone here?"". Though it seems a bit unrealistic that someone would just walk into a spooky house, it's a good catalyst for a frightful scare.

2022-09-11T13:57:06.000Z

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