My Least Favorite Horror Movie Cliches – By Nichele Johnston

We’ve seen them a thousand times. We hate them more every time we see them. I’m talking of course about horror movie cliches. Is there a single horror film nowadays that doesn’t have at least one or more? Now the definition of a cliche is a figurative expression used so often it has lost its figurative power. Gee, ya think? Now there is a reason that clichs become cliches. Let’s take a look at some of them now.


How many zillions of times have we seen this one? A gal–99% of the time it’s a female– is being chased by Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, some homicidal maniac or another, and she stumbles over a root, rock, step, stair, shoe, dead body, etc. Said stumbling female then has a twisted and can’t run from obligatory homicidal maniac and ends up with her entrails on the outside. Now if I had a choice between running with a painful ankle or letting some yahoo with a chainsaw carve me up like Thanksgiving turkey, I think I’ll run on a bad ankle and worry about the consequences later. Wouldn’t you? Just checking.

Spring Loaded Cat

Guy hears strange noise. Guy goes to investigate. Guy opens a closet and a cat, always accompanied by the mandatory “Rrreeeoowww!” dubbed in for good measure, jumps out. Most of the time it looks exactly like what it is, a cat being thrown into frame a stagehand. C’mon people, get creative! How about a spring loaded hamster or a spring loaded ferret? Or is that asking too much?

Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll

Apparently having a little smoke, a little drink, or screwing like rabbits is a crime worthy of the death penalty. To stay alive one must be one step away from joining a convent. Why? I don’t know. I didn’t make up these cliches, I’m just pointing them out.

I’m Baaacckkkkk!!!

The dead aren’t dead. Never. Never ever ever. Do the nice folks in horror movies ever check to make sure the machete-wielding maniac is actually deceased before turning their backs? Hell no!! If they did I wouldn’t be writing this. For the record, if you want to make sure someone is dead you have to throw them in an incinerator. And that doesn’t always work either.

The Bad Guy Can’t Stop Yakking

This is a good one. The bad guy explains all his evil plans–in excruciating detail– to the hero instead of just shooting him and taking over the world. Mr. Screenwriter, the average movie goer is smarter than you think. The step-by-step outline of the bad guys dastardly plans just shows how stupid you are. Thank you. Now go back to screenwriting class.

The Car Won’t Start

Get a new battery!!! Geez…..

The Ominous Thunderstorm

I don’t think I have ever seen a horror movie that had nice weather. Maybe more horror movies should take place in Phoenix. Be sure to notice how many lightning flashes have yellow tints instead of blue ones.

Picking On The Shy Kid

Nobody has learned that the shy kid is either going to go berserk and off everyone, or he/she will be the hero. Since the shy kids are usually virgins (in the movies anyway), it’s actually kind of fun to see them live longer while the designated slut meets a grisly end. Maybe this shouldn’t be on my list…..

A Maniac Is After Us….Let’s Split Up!!!

So like, Suzy, like this total maniac is like going to chop us up. Ya know? Like, so let’s find Chad cuz he’ll like so protect us ya know? You go that way and, like, I’ll go this way. Maybe one of will find a pond so we can like, skinny dip, ya know? BBBlllleeechhhh!!!!!

No Guns Allowed

Why does the killer always use a knife, spear, javelin, chainsaw, scalpel, crowbar, flamethrower, hedgetrimmer, weedwhacker, etc, but never ever a gun? No room for the extra ammo clips, guys? Seriously, if the killers carried a gun the movies would be about half an hour long. But just once I would like to see Michael Myers with a badass AK47. That would be so cool.

So there ya have it. The cliches to end all cliches. Now find the nearest horror flick and count the cliches. I’ll bet your list is longer than this one.