Top 5 (horror/thriller tropes that don’t scare you) Tuesday

Okay, so, I’ll admit, I think this will be less book and more movies because I’ve consumed way more horror tropes in movies than books. I hate seeing them in movies and think they should be retired.

It’s a new month and Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads has some new prompts for us! Better go see which tropes she’s not scared of here!

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Using mental illness as a plot. This one doesn’t scare me and it definitely is used way too much and needs to be retired. This includes movies where the antagonist has a mental illness and that’s why they commit the crimes. Any movie where abandoned hospitals that used to house mentally ill patients (insane asylums, sanitariums, however you want to call them), the trope is overused and can be negative at times if you have a mental illnes.

Especially since so many of those old hospitals treated their patients horribly – and maybe they tried their best and didn’t have the goods they needed and no one wanted to give them it – or maybe they really didn’t like their patients. Whichever way, it’s a bad trope. Sometimes the antagonists are the patients, sometimes it’s the doctors/nurses who treated the patients and want to carry on hurting the protagonists. I’m more for the stories where the patients aren’t the antagonists, mostly because a lot of the times, it’s not their fault.

To me, it just feels like a total cop-out to have mental illness/abandoned hospital as a plot simply because it’s supposedly super scary to imagine the protagonists in there. Like, is it scary because we’re meant to see mental illness as a bad thing? Are we meant to be scared of the screaming patient who’s probably just screaming because no one understands them?

And by the way, like the WOODS is way more scary than an abandoned hospital. A school, even, as well! Abandoned office buildings!! Heck, I’ll even take AN ABANDONED FOOTBALL STADIUM – because like, there are a couple plot lines you could cook up that’ll make that scarier than an old hospital.

Virginity as an extra character. And by that I mean the ANNOYING TROPE of having a character be a virgin and that + their nerdiness is their entire personality. I can’t really remember a character in a horror movie who’s a virgin and not smart – have you? Why are those two tropes together? What are they trying to say? You lose your intelligence when you sleep with people? Are they perpetuating the ‘dumb slut’ trope? It just annoys me!

And also, they make fun of the character being a virgin so much it’s absolutely annoying. Does it really bother you that much that this character hasn’t had sex? Why are you so fixated on the character having sex? Do you know what’s more important? Making sure everyone stays alive!! Defeating the villain!!

And also what’s so bad about not having sex? Whether the character’s choosing to wait for marriage, because they’re asexual, because they’ve been assaulted in the past and can’t comprehend doing it again; WHATEVER – it’s not your business? Even IF you’re friends with that person, there should be a limit on the amount of jokes you can make. Seriously, enough with this trope.

The typical final girl. Look, while I do like the final girl trope, I like it less when I can easily spot her. While they can be done really well – Ready or Not has a final girl that I didn’t mind knowing she’ll be the final girl from the beginning. But most of the times you’re able to see the ending a mile away. And they usually have more of the same personality – the good girl, the shy girl, the sweet girl. Give us the unconventional final girls!!

Easily accessible research. Okay, so like, picture this. You’re in a horror movie and you’re racing against the clock to find any type of information about the dark evil that’s haunting you. Maybe it’s an age-old evil, maybe it’s something from a near-forgotten culture. But you somehow find it in like a day. A DAY? It’s something from a culture that barely anyone knows about AND IT’S UP ON THE INTERNET? PLEASE, real research takes like A WEEK to find AND THEN you still have to try to back it up with other sources.

Like who are you fooling? You’ll be dead before you find two good sources AND you somehow find the information on the FIRST page of Google results?

Backing up the previous trope, the super popular thing of ‘oh there’s this really weird looking book with super weird writing – let’s read it!’ LET’S NOT!!! Because do you know what happens? YOU BRING CHAOS AND DESTRUCTION INTO THE WORLD. Like why read it aloud?? Especially if it SAYS not to read it aloud? Do you not possess reading comprehension? Clearly not!

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Did I just ramble on about movie tropes? Yes, and I liked doing it! Okay, but seriously, we should stop using these tropes. Either create new ones or use the others that aren’t as bad.

Which horror tropes do you dislike the most? Which ones would you want to cast into a fire? Let’s chat about it!

5 thoughts on “Top 5 (horror/thriller tropes that don’t scare you) Tuesday”

  1. Hahahahaha, my original PS section had this long rant about mental illness and using it to build a “villain / evil character”, but then I decided to take it out because I got SUPER ranty about it. But I’m really glad that you mentioned it!! Hope you had fun this week 🧟‍♂️

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