With Halloween just around a corner, many of us are preparing to binge-watch horror movies. Good scary films can set a perfect Halloween mood, by making us shiver with fear and suspense. However, there are also plenty of films that leave us just plain confused, rather than scared. This is usually because they are either ridiculously predictable, or just don't make sense. We here at Bored Panda have compiled a list of the most annoying cliches, the ones that just ruin horror films. While we're not saying that all horror movies are guilty of these cliches, you'll definitely be able to recognize quite a few! Scroll below to read them!
#1

Running On A Road While Being Chased By A Car Cliche

Running On A Road While Being Chased By A Car Cliche

This one is actually a comedy gold. If you were chased by a car, wouldn't your survival instincts tell you to run somewhere where the car can’t drive? Well, not if you’re a horror movie character. It’s way too common for the protagonist to run on the road, in front of a car while being chased.

Di Bonaventura Pictures Report

Enuya 10 months ago

What is even more funny, sometimes they run for a long moment before the car catch them up.

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#2

Women Can't Run Without Falling Down Cliche

Women Can't Run Without Falling Down Cliche

In real life, women are pretty good runners. Too bad horror movie script writers think otherwise. According to them, women can't run a mile while being chased by a killer without slamming their whole weight into the ground and that's when the killer gets them.

Lionsgate Report

Dan H 10 months ago

and usually wearing heels

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#3

The Car Never Starts Cliche

The Car Never Starts Cliche

One of the most nerve-racking moments of horror movies is when the protagonist tries to escape from the claws of death. However, luck is never in their favor if they decide to flee the danger by jumping into a car. Because in horror movies the car never starts, for no apparent reason. Your brand new vehicle may have been working perfectly 10 minutes ago, but it won't start when you are being chased by a killer.

New Films International Report

Misterscooter 10 months ago

It goes with the, "No mechanics work in spooky towns," cliché.

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#4

Splitting Up Cliche

Splitting Up Cliche

If you wind up in situations when there’s a psycho killer running around murdering people, the best thing you can do is stay with as many people as possible to increase your chances of survival. What do horror movie characters choose to do in situations like these? They split up! Sure, they will cover more ground when searching for an escape, but usually, they will end up getting offed one by one.

Blinding Edge Pictures Report

Victoria A 10 months ago

Ok gang let's split up. 10 seconds later..... Hey where is everyone?

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#5

The Inconsistent Strength Of A Killer Cliche

The Inconsistent Strength Of A Killer Cliche

The villain is so skilled at killing that they make every irrelevant character drop like a fly, up until they encounter the main protagonist. Then suddenly a killer becomes weaker and clumsier than usual, giving an unfair advantage to the hero of the movie.

New Line Cinema Report

Pan39 10 months ago

Yeah, this just isn’t right

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#6

Adults Are Useless Cliche

Adults Are Useless Cliche

In horror movies that revolve around teenagers or younger children, getting help from responsible adults is next to impossible. They usually never believe nor listen when children try to tell them about the crazy things that are happening.

New Line Cinema Report

Misterscooter 10 months ago

Adults don't have time for murderous shenanigans.

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#7

Betrayed By One Little Sound Cliche

Betrayed By One Little Sound Cliche

No matter how good is the victim's hiding spot is, there's definitely going to be a sound that will give away their location. We’ve seen way too many scenes of a victim hiding in a closet or under the bed and their phone going off helping the killer to find their victim.

EuropaCorp Report

Misterscooter 10 months ago

And they've always just had beans for dinner.

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#8

The Speed Walking Killer Cliche

The Speed Walking Killer Cliche

It doesn't matter if the killer is crippled or missing a leg, he can even walk instead of running because he will always be faster than a victim sprinting in terror.

Dimension Films Report

Kenny Kulbiski 10 months ago

It doesn't make any difference anyway, the sexy victim always trips over a dust particle .

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#9

The Mirror Scare Cliche

The Mirror Scare Cliche

It seems that the filmmakers just cannot resist this cliche. Every time there’s a mirror in a movie you know what’s about to happen - when the character looks at it they will suddenly see a reflection of a monster standing behind them.

unknown Report

Misterscooter 10 months ago

With some of these clichés, they do it well when they show the mirror or other expected scare moment, and then shift it just when you think the scare moment has passed.

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#10

Bad Cell Phone Reception Cliche

Bad Cell Phone Reception Cliche

At some point, scriptwriters probably realized that it's quite unconvincing for a character to never have a phone when they need to call for help. So they figured out a solution - bad reception. So when disaster strikes, phones are always useless.

Columbia Pictures Corporation Report

Tomas Holicka 10 months ago

That´s to compensate for the spy/war/scifi movies where technology always works, and much faster than in real life.

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#11

The Dark Basement Cliche

The Dark Basement Cliche

If a horror movie character buys a house, there definitely will be a creepy basement where someone was murdered or will be murdered. Not to mention that the owners always feel the need to inspect weird noises coming from it, when they are alone. Also, that dimmed light bulb that hangs in the basement? Well, it most certainly will go out at the worst possible moment.

Dark Sky Films, Report

Misterscooter 10 months ago

I only rent out my basement to deranged psychos. You?

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#12

Ignoring The Elder's Warning Cliche

Ignoring The Elder's Warning Cliche

While we usually don’t expect for the main character to pack their bags and leave when some old person warns them about crazy stuff going on in a house they just bought, some consideration would make this scenario a little bit more believable and less of a cliche. Old people usually don’t just walk around warning people of danger for no good reason.

Paramount Pictures Report

Daria B 10 months ago

This one clashes with the "adults are useless cliché".

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#13

The Final Girl Cliche

The Final Girl Cliche

The final girl trope is prevalent is slasher horror movies when only one girl out of a group of people survives. The final girl is often portrayed as a shy, innocent person in the beginning, but as once the hell is unleashed she turns out to be the most resourceful and intelligent character.

unknown Report

C 10 months ago

well the Final Girl usually survives because she isn't distracted by sex the whole movie (another cliché) and is doing something innocent like babysitting.

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#14

The Killer Is Invincible Cliche

The Killer Is Invincible Cliche

Even the most human-like villains in horror movies seem to be immortal. This invincible monster makes everyone drop like flies, and easily recovers from any hit he takes. And when a hero finally knocks down the bad guy, 10 minutes later he's alive and ready to hunt down the rest of his unsuspecting victims.

New Line Cinema Report

Andres Tejeda 10 months ago

Or another common one related to this one. When they manage to knock out the attacker in the movie they don't out right kill him while he is incapacitated. Seriously Scream, I know what you did last summer, and others. If I go through all of the trouble of knocking him out best believe I am making sure he is dead.

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#15

Everyone Is An Idiot Cliche

Everyone Is An Idiot Cliche

One thing is clear - when a murderous psycho is breathing down your neck, only basic survival skills can save your life. But if you're a horror movie protagonist, then chances are that you're a dummy who keeps making one stupid decision after another, until you get bludgeoned to death. The protagonist making absurd, life-threatening decisions is one of the most prevalent horror movie cliches.

Dimension Films Report

Night Owl 10 months ago

Fear and panic will do that to you

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#16

Expert Shooter Cliche

Expert Shooter Cliche

Once the guns appear in a horror movie, despite never firing a gun before, every character becomes an expert shooter.

Dimension Films Report

Sandra La Madeleine 10 months ago

Is this a screenshot of ''Scary movie'' ? XD

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#17

Creepy Children Cliche

Creepy Children Cliche

Children are generally innocent looking and not scary at all unless you see them in a horror movie, then they are freaky as hell.

Warner Bros Report

Sandra La Madeleine 10 months ago

OOOhhh this one is shit though. Ever babysat a kid? They are freaking creepy. They can tell you weird shit like you're gonna die while they are playing with a doll. Or stare at the corner of the bedroom for no reason like they see a freaking ghost. Children ARE SCARY FOR REAL.

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#18

The Black Guy Always Dies Cliche

The Black Guy Always Dies Cliche

Do you know who has definitely no chance of survival in a typical cliche-ridden horror movie plot? A black person. However, this cliche is beginning to die out as studios begin to realize that the main protagonist doesn't necessarily have to be white.

Universal Pictures Report

Andres Tejeda 10 months ago

Being Mexican, if I see some serial killer people in the woods, house, suburbs, or wherever. Trust I will be gone. I will not stick around to investigate.

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#19

Jump Scares Cliche

Jump Scares Cliche

Cheap horror movies are known to use horrible jump scares to frighten their viewers. You can almost feel when something weird will jump in front of the screen for no reason at all. How about instead of startling viewers show something actually frightening instead?

Atomic Monster Report

Andres Tejeda 10 months ago

I hate these, not because they are scary (they are not), it just over used and breaks up all the tension that was built up during the movie. Its like blowing your load too soon and wondering what to do next.

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#20

Dropping The Keys Cliche

Dropping The Keys Cliche

It's unbelievable how clumsy protagonists can get when they are running away from a killer. Fear does make people frantic, but the number of scenes of characters dropping their keys while trying to unlock the door is incredible.

Columbia Pictures Corporation Report

MJ 10 months ago

Because no one invented a remote yet, maybe that's an idea for car manufactorers...

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#21

The Same Old Creepy Locations Cliche

The Same Old Creepy Locations Cliche

If you’re a big fan of horror movies you probably seen way too many movies set in abandoned houses, creepy orphanages, mental institutions, basements, caves and so on. Despite the fact that in our minds these places are frightening, it's getting a bit repetitive, isn’t it?

Margaret Weir Report

Victoria A 10 months ago

Let's go into this spooky dark room and we will be perfectly fine right

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#22

Murder In The Bathroom Cliche

Murder In The Bathroom Cliche

Not many people expect to be murdered in a bathroom, well maybe except those who watch a lot of horror movies. If you've seen a handful of them, you know how often killers assault their victims who are taking a shower.

unknown Report

Hayley Lightcap 10 months ago

You are your most vulnerable in the bathroom

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#23

The Stereotyped Characters Cliche

The Stereotyped Characters Cliche

While not every horror movie is guilty of stereotyped characters, we’ve seen way too many of those which are. Usually, there’s not just one walking stereotype - there’s a whole group. Typically they are - a slut, jock, nerd, and virgin.

Lionsgate Report

Andres Tejeda 10 months ago

I think Cabin in the woods really hit it home with this cliché.

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#24

The Police Always Arrive Too Late Cliche

The Police Always Arrive Too Late Cliche

With all the obstacles horror movie characters face when trying to get help, waiting for the police is probably the most nerve-wracking. The character goes through hell and back trying to get help and a glimmer of hope appears when they finally call the police. However, as this cliche follows, the police can take ages to arrive and when they finally do - there’s usually no one left to save.

Jocelyn Augustino Report

Andres Tejeda 10 months ago

This one is true if you live in the rural areas or the ghetto.

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#25

Sex Will Get You Killed Cliche

Sex Will Get You Killed Cliche

Horror movie fans know this already - if there's a scene of a couple getting naughty, they’ll both bite the dust. Because what better time to kill somebody than when they're having sex?

New Line Cinema Report

Jordy Star 10 months ago

exactly right, perfect time

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#26

Based On Actual Events Cliche

Based On Actual Events Cliche

While there are movies which really are based on actual events, others are nowhere near the real facts. Yet filmmakers still try to fool their audience into thinking otherwise. Even though there are many people who believe everything they're being told without second-guessing, even they have seen too many fake 'based on true events' announcements to believe them.

New Line Cinema Report

r3dd3v1lL 10 months ago

I laughed my ass off when this appeared at the start of The Conjuring. Couldn't take the movie seriously for one second after that.

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#27

Scribbling On The Walls Cliche

Scribbling On The Walls Cliche

A character's obsession with scribbling bizarre calculations, nonsense words and religious symbols on random surfaces has been a good depiction of some kind of mental disturbance. However, once every screenwriter began copying this idea, it became a cliche in the horror movie industry.

New Line Cinema Report

Iván Galarraga 10 months ago

That and the wall full of pictures of the stalked victim

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#28

Rising Tension When Nothing Is Happening Cliche

Rising Tension When Nothing Is Happening Cliche

Many horror movies are guilty of raising tension when nothing is actually happening. The viewers are often led to believe that the monster is coming closer, but then the protagonist discovers that the weird sound they're investigating is just a pet.

unknown Report

Person2638 10 months ago

Yeah but that's what makes the movie good. You never know when the monster is near and you slowly let your guard down and BAM!

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#29

Investigating In The Dark Cliche

Investigating In The Dark Cliche

The first death in a horror movie often happens when one person in the group gets this excellent idea that they should go out alone in the dark to investigate a suspicious sound they just heard. The person is usually so unbelievably oblivious to the danger, that they never take anyone with them, not even a weapon of some sort.

FF3D Report

Jordy Star 10 months ago

what even is the point of that?

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#30

Running To Hide Upstairs Cliche

Running To Hide Upstairs Cliche

When there’s an intruder in your house the safest option is to run outside and yell for help. But way too often protagonists are not aware of this option, so when they run out of the living room or a kitchen - they run upstairs and crawl under the bed, or jump in a closet. While it makes sense for children to do so, when you see an adult doing it, you know that scriptwriters did a sloppy job.

unknown Report

Amreen Godhrawala 10 months ago

And most horror movies are set in bungalows. No building apartment-type setting where you can run straight to your neighbour's house! Rich victims.

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#31

Creepy Dolls Cliche

Creepy Dolls Cliche

While most dolls look cute and innocent, watching too many horror movies can change this perception quickly. They have a way of making dolls look creepy as hell.

United Artists Corporation Report

Enuya 10 months ago

Dols ARE creepy. Actually, the more innocent they looks, the scarier they are.

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#32

The Children Can See Spirits Cliche

The Children Can See Spirits Cliche

Many children have imaginary friends, but in horror movies, these 'friends' are usually vengeful spirits who will try to kill their whole family. And of course, parents only take their children's bizarre behavior into consideration after it's too late.

Twentieth Century Fox Report

Stille20 10 months ago

Well that's just because kids say creepy ass things.

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#33

Cat Scare Cliche

Cat Scare Cliche

Cats are usually gentle and sweet animals, unless they are shown in horror movies, then they are creepy as hell. It usually goes as follows: the protagonist enters a dark room to investigate a strange noise - as they always do - and the viewers prepare themselves for something scary to happen. Then suddenly a cat jumps out of nowhere, angrily hissing for no good reason. These 'cat scares' are so prevalent that when you see a cat in a horror movie you know that this will happen sooner or later.

Paramount Pictures Report

C 10 months ago

Dog growls are pretty prevalent in horror, and the dogs always die!

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#34

Warnings In A Dream Cliche

Warnings In A Dream Cliche

The main character of the movie often has a dream or a vision of the stuff that’s about to go down. They take it as a warning and desperately try to convince everyone around them. Except no one believes them, so the protagonist is left alone to save all the clueless people around them.

unknown Report

Cheesecake Queen 10 months ago

Ha, screw y'all, I'm leavin' you guys! Have fun dying!

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#35

Indian Burial Ground Cliche

Indian Burial Ground Cliche

A scenario of a young family moving into a new property without knowing that their house is built upon an Indian burial ground was common in horror movie history. Gladly, this racist cliche of Native Americans trying to exact revenge on white people by haunting them is less prevalent these days.

Paramount Pictures Report

diane a 10 months ago

The Native Americans deserve all the revenge they can get.

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#36

Screaming For Help In A Secluded Area Cliche

Screaming For Help In A Secluded Area Cliche

Screaming for help in an area where there are definitely people nearby can be life-saving. But when you’re trapped in a secluded area, such as a basement of a house located in the middle of the woods, chances are that nobody is going to hear you. So conserving energy for making an escape would make a lot more sense than yelling frantically. Also screaming while running with no chance of anyone hearing won't get you very far.

PalmStar Media Report

Pan39 10 months ago

Like that one time of of Judaic world where they where in the elevator and that one girl screamed, it just fucked up all those whom where in it

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#37

Creepy Hitchhikers Cliche

Creepy Hitchhikers Cliche

If a character sees someone on a roadside needing help, they are definitely going to help them, no matter how suspicious the stranger looks. However, it always ends badly for them. While this scenario is quite believable and realistic, we’ve seen it way too many times already.

unknown Report

BusLady 10 months ago

When it doesn't pay to be a Good Samaritan.

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#38

No Guns Cliche

No Guns Cliche

The characters would have it so much easier if they could carry guns. However, this would probably make the movie end so much faster and with a lot less gore. That’s probably the reason why you rarely see a protagonist defending themselves from a killer with a gun.

Groundswell Productions Report

Don Flynn 10 months ago

They forgot the "everyone is a victim" cliche... some people would fight back

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#39

The Paranormal Expert Cliche

The Paranormal Expert Cliche

When a character in a horror movie scenario thinks their house is being haunted they usually consult a paranormal expert of some sort. Whether it's a Catholic priest, a demonologist or an actual ghost hunter, seldom do movie plots go without relying on the help of these experts.

Morgan Creek Entertainment Report

Stille20 10 months ago

... wouldn't you be foolish not to consult one of these guys if there was paranormal activity?

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#40

A Killer With An Axe Cliche

A Killer With An Axe Cliche

There are probably a lot of better murder weapons, but many horror movie slashers prefer to use axes. There’s just something about axes that makes every death awful and gory.

Warner Bros Report

Jordy Star 10 months ago

HERE"S JOHNNY!!!

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#41

Recovered Footage Cliche

Recovered Footage Cliche

A first few successful attempts managed to captivate the audiences. But as of now, we've seen way too many movies about a recovered scary footage of someone getting murdered or possessed by a demon.

Castelao Producciones Report

C 10 months ago

Some of these are actually really well done. Found footage horror if done right is amazing and creepy

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#42

Killing A Loved One Before They Turn Cliche

Killing A Loved One Before They Turn Cliche

With a spike in the popularity of zombie horror movies, some of the old cliches are brought back to our screens. You must be familiar with the tear-jerking scene when a family member or a friend of a protagonist gets bitten by a zombie and is begging to be killed before they turn. While this scene is used to help viewers empathize with the horrible situation of a zombie apocalypse, we’ve seen this happen in so many movies that it has become just too predictable.

AMC Report

BusLady 10 months ago

I real life, some people would like to murder their relatives.....😜

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#43

The Death Of A Pet Cliche

The Death Of A Pet Cliche

Scriptwriters often use this old trope to elicit emotion, to the point that it is becoming boring and predictable. Pets usually don’t require as much character development as humans, so it's easier to make viewers feel empathy for a dead pet.

unknown Report

C 10 months ago

okay I'm SO DONE WITH THIS CLICHE!

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#44

Protagonist Is Ghost Cliche

Protagonist Is Ghost Cliche

You've definitely seen this one - a very disturbed protagonist is worried that their house is being haunted, then it is revealed that the character is a ghost who is actually haunting somebody else. Quite a few movies are guilty of this cliche plot twist.

Hollywood Pictures Report

Stille20 10 months ago

Cliche? It happens occasionally, but rarely.

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