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20 Horror Movie Clichés that Make Us Cringe So Hard

20 Horror Movie Clichés that Make Us Cringe So Hard

June 15, 2021

Don’t get us wrong, we love our horror flicks. And these dramatic moments occur in some of our Halloween favourites. But there’s a few scenes we’ve all probably seen happen in more than one Halloween or horror film that seem questionable. What would you add to the list?

  1. Women running away in high heels

It may look good, but us ladies know how unrealistic this is. Wendy should have broken both her ankles on multiple occasions during her frantic attempts to escape death in the original Prom Night. Or at least broken a heel. Yet those heels are evidently made of steel.

Image: AVCO Embassy Pictures (Prom Night, 1980)

2. Women fighting with their hair flowing perfectly, not obstructing their vision at all

If Venus Williams couldn’t claim her Grand Slam titles without a hair elastic, the rest of us certainly aren’t fighting evil with loose locks flying in our eyes. And it’s definitely not going to look the least bit sexy by the time we’re through.

Resident Evil Claire Redfield Scenes:

3. Always running upstairs when chased

If Michael Myers is coming in through the front door, head out the back. If he’s got the back covered, head for the front. But unless you’re storing weapons in your bedroom closet, never ever under any circumstances go for the stairs.

Image: Compass International Pictures (Halloween)

4. Calling a friend when someone breaks into the house instead of calling 9-1-1

I understand having your bestie on speed dial, but there’s not much they can do for you at this time. And it’s just three numbers — it doesn’t take that long to punch in when you hear the sound of a window breaking or get a creepy phone call in the middle of the night.

Image: Sony Pictures Releasing (When a Stranger Calls)

5. Falling down and crawling instead of getting up and running away

Sure, this has happened to all of us in our nightmares. We’re being chased and suddenly our legs don’t move. But is this something that actually happens in real life? Do we really just forget how to walk or completely lose the use of our legs?

Image: Lionsgate (The Cabin in the Woods)

6. Going to investigate the most terrifying noise one could ever hear while alone

Particularly unarmed. If you’re going to investigate that strange sound coming from the basement, at least grab a baseball bat or something first. And if the light switch doesn’t work, please, please, please just abort the mission entirely.

Image: Open Road Films, Universal Pictures (Silent House)

7. Cell phone dying or no reception at the most inopportune moment

Victims can never seem to catch a break. The least you could do is ensure your cell phone is fully charged and ready if you suspect you’re being stalked. But there’s not much you can do when you find yourself in the dreaded no-signal zone where murderers have a heyday.

A homage to the “no signal” horror movie cliché:

8. Not using a vehicle to escape because it has a flat tire

Sure, it’s not good for the wheel or the vehicle, but a trip to the repair shop or certain death shouldn’t be a toss up.

9. Waking from a nightmare, bolting upright, sweating, and gasping for air

Has any nightmare ever been terrifying enough for this to really happen? No. But it has such a good impact on film.

Check out the best cinematic rude awakenings here:

10. Teens who make out in cars late at night never live

When you hear a strange sound outside the car, don’t just shrug it off and reassure your girlfriend it’s nothing. Especially if it’s around Halloween or a full moon. Start the car and squeal those tires.

Image: Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures (Zodiac)

11. Running as fast as one can while the serial killer in pursuit is casually strolling along, then somehow manages to catch up and overtake them

Case in point: Ghostface. He’s apparently impossible to outrun. There’s no point in even trying, really. You’re better off saving that energy for hand-to-hand combat.

Image: Dimension Films (Scream)

12. Police and military personnel being completely useless against a killer

Essentially anyone trained to handle an emergency situation doesn’t stand a chance against the antagonist. More often than not, their reaction is similar to that of Officer Caporizo in I Know What You Did Last Summer, laughing off any potential danger or being completely oblivious to it. If horror movies have taught us anything, it’s that teens and children are the ones you should count on to get the job done.

Image: Columbia Pictures (I Know What You Did Last Summer)

13. Dropping the keys or the vehicle not starting at that crucial getaway moment

It can never be as easy as making it to the car and getting away. Although it’s easy to see how one might be shaking uncontrollably as they fumble for their keys in such a life-or-death situation.

14. Venturing out of the house, alone, at night, after hearing widespread news reports of a serial killer on the rampage in the community

Really? A bloodthirsty killer has already claimed several lives in your neighbourhood, but you just had to go to that Halloween party? You could’ve at least had someone drive you.

15. Hiding under the bed or in a closet instead of climbing out a window and fleeing

It’s the first place you think to hide — and it’s the first place serial killers think to look. So it’s not surprising to see that terrifying moment the next victim is torn out from under the bed. If you’re on the main floor of the house, always go for the window first.

Image: Sony Pictures Releasing (The Call)

16. Running in a straight line on the road when chased by a speeding car

Has it never occurred to them that anywhere is better than running right in the middle of the street? Veer off into the forest or cut between houses and through yards. Just don’t stay the current course that guarantees being turned into road kill.

17. Moving the family into a creepy old house in the middle of nowhere

I don’t care how cheap the rent is (which in itself should also be a red flag that you probably don’t want to live there). And then not immediately leaving said creepy old house, even after bizarre things begin to happen. Or when neighbours share of the horrifying murders that happened there.

Sinister (2012) Official Trailer:

18. Failing to inform the new neighbours or cryptically warning them of the horrors that have taken place in their new home

There’s got to be a way to casually work this into the conversation with the new neighbours at some point. And that sage old man who’s lived in the neighbourhood for decades? He loves speaking in riddles and can never flat out tell the couple that’s moved in that their lives could be in danger.

19. Getting annoyed at one’s dog or cat when they suddenly start freaking out instead of trusting their sense of imminent danger

It’s a well-known fact that animals will pick up on something eerie long before we do. So why is it that pet owners in movies never seem to pick up on that?

20. Silently fleeing from a killer instead of screaming for help and banging on doors

If Freddy or Jason is after me at 1 a.m., the whole neighbourhood is going to know about it. I’m running to Jeff’s house across the street, pounding on the door, screaming his name. I’m getting to a busy street and stopping cars, or at least counting on drivers seeing a frantic person being chased by someone with a knife and then doing the right thing.

Halloween Alley is proud to be 100% Canadian owned and operated, with stores opening across Canada during the Halloween season. Be sure to check out our locations page this summer to find out when and where our Halloween stores will be opening as we gear up for Halloween 2021.

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