Whatever film genre you’re into you’re bound to have seen a few turkeys.
The kinds of movies that almost make you hate life because you have sat through them.
Poorly acted, directed, produced, edited, scored, whatever their flaws but there is one thing in films that really gets my back up.
A film can have the highest of budgets, the most talented of writers and directors. The cinematography and production could be of the highest order. It could feature some of the most known faces in the business giving the performance of a lifetime but too many clichéd scenes and it falls apart like a pillar of sand and the every flowing tide.
It’s one of the pitfalls of horror that some of the most parodied clichés in cinema come from our beloved genre.
Don’t go into the toilet
There are several that jump straight out of the box like the “Don’t go into the…” horror stalwart. You can pretty much add any noun for this; a cellar, a woodland area, a child’s bedroom, an attic, a fridge freezer, anything really. And you are guaranteed that some dumb fuck will ignore the old gypsy woman’s/voice on the phone’s/whisper in the dark’s warning and have something bad happen to them.
Another of these classic eye rolling moments that has bugged me ever since I watched my first horror film is the jump scare with an animal. It’s usually a bird or a cat; sometimes it can even be a vehicle, a car horn blaring out at an intense moment as someone stagers out from an ally or runs from a killer but I find it’s always more of a cliché when it’s an animal.
One such scene that always bugged me was in the Schwarzenegger occult groan fest End of Days where he opens a fridge and a cat leaps out.
Two questions, why was there a cat in a fridge and who the fuck is putting cats into white goods around people’s dilapidated dwellings?
This little number is prominent in pretty much every jump scare/occult style movie ever made. Seriously, every single fucking one.
Another cliché is ‘running’.
Everyone that runs in a horror movie will, in some way or another meet a grizzly demise. Especially if you are female.
If you are a girl in a horror movie and you’re not lucky enough to have your name on the promotional poster/DVD cover and you start running… You’re fucking dead.
You will trip over a log/vine/leaf or maybe even slip on a patch of wet grass, whatever. But know this, your arse is going down. If you’re unlucky you might even break your ankle so that the bone pokes out for a gruesome close up, something like that.
And even if you manage to drag yourself back to your feet the fall will have injured you in some way so you are slowed to hobbling speed.
If you’re lucky the killer won’t catch up and you’ll just be hit by a speeding truck that takes your head off when you escape the woods, but most likely you going to be machete raped… In the head and arse.
This cliché is pretty much reserved for slasher movies along with if you ‘have sex’, ‘do drugs’ or ‘drink any alcoholic beverage’ – you’re fair game.
Don’t talk trash
Now the next cliché is one close to my heart. If you act like a tough guy or talk shit to people in a zombie movie you will be bitten, reanimate as a zombie and inevitably be killed by the people you were acting tough/talking shit to.
Or you might just get ripped open by a horde of the undead to reveal a week old chicken with all the gore FX inside your guts. Remember what happened to Rhodes in Day of the Dead? Not the remake because that was just pig shite awful. I mean the FX were good and Ving Rhames but a vegetarian zombie… COME ON!
ZOMBIES CANNOT RUN ACROSS WALLS LIKE POSSESSED SPIDERS!!!
Are you sure he’s dead?
Another of these horror movie no no’s is the classic ‘is the guy dead’ routine.
Even if you have filled the prick with enough lead to fix a church roof you never go back to see if he/she is dead. Like a firework safety pamphlet will state, ‘never go back once it’s out’. And to make sure to chop the bastards head off or something. Or better yet, get the fuck out of there and get the fuck as far away as you can.
Just like the wrestler The Undertaker, you can pound that fucker flat with DDT after DDT into a steel chair and the second your back is turned he will sit up, grab your neck and choke slam the shit out of you.
I’d like to point out that I am not a huge wrestling fan… But the Undertaker, yeah?!
Don’t split up
This is another big deal in horror; if there are a lot of you in a killer/stalker situation try staying together.
Never feel the urge to split up, if there is a gang of you when the killer comes a calling you might fare a better chance of kicking the son of a bitch’s arse. One on one you’re getting put in the ground, if there are ten of you the dude is in trouble. Then just pummel the fucker with everything you can physically pick up.
Bricks, bats, bits of wood, never use a bladed weapon because if he gets hold of it in the melee it’s going in you. That knife will slip through your fingers like a lubed up eel and the killer will stuff it in you quicker than you can blink.
If you can try and hit him with your car… Then chop the pricks head off.
For a moment there I sounded like that Jamie Kennedy scrotum (is he a comedian?) from Scream a film completely held up by running clichés and the fact that it knows it’s not very good. Probably why it was so successful.
Thank the stars I am not a fan of the franchise.