5 Horror Tropes So Repetitive, We Wish They Would Just Die Out Already

5 Horror Tropes So Repetitive, We Wish They Would Just Die Out Already
Image credit: Falcon International Pictures, Legendary Entertainment

Which one do you hate more?

Like anything that taps into our primal instincts, the horror genre relies heavily on tried-and-true recurring arcs and character archetypes. If it works, why break it, right?

Well, some of the horror tropes have been used so often that they've become triggers for viewers. Especially for those who watch more scary movies than others, the fans of the genre.

Here are five storylines that thriller fans are tired of and hope never to see in another project. Horror makers, take note.

The Expert Trope

We all know how it goes. Something bizarre starts happening, the mystery and suspense build, and then bam - the protagonist goes to a librarian/mystic/previous victim (the expert in one word) and that character gives a full explanation of what happened, why, and what to do about it.

Really, at this point, this is no longer a viable creative option; it is nothing more than a lazy plot crutch. Filmmakers need to let characters discover things gradually and on their own.

Unsupportive Partner

The plot arc that is not only repetitive, but also triggering, is the unsupportive spouse who doesn't believe their visibly shaken and traumatized partner. Usually, it is a husband who shakes off his wife's words and simply tells her that whatever she saw was all in her head and stemmed from some past trauma (horror characters always have past traumas).

Well, what can we say, toxic relationships are out of style.

'It's all mental illness!'

Some forms of madness are frightening, so it is perfectly fine to use them in the horror genre. But when a movie uses insanity as the big reveal, the audience tends to feel betrayed. So all that chilling stuff was just in the character's head? How disappointing. It's like imagining Harry Potter waking up in his cupboard under the stairs and realizing it was all a dream.

To be fair, Shutter Island handled this trope really well, but there's an exception to every rule, right? Oh, did I just spoil the movie for you? Well, it came out in 2010.

Did you like the build up and the final twist in Shutter Island?

Unkillable Villain

It's perfectly fine if the main antagonist of the story is a creature that can't be killed in the usual way. But if the villain is established as human and is actively pursuing characters with the goal of killing them, why do they never fight back? Even if a protagonist manages to get a gun in their hand and the villain on the ground, there is zero chance that they will actually shoot.

I mean, the number of times Michael Myers from Halloween could have been executed while lying unconscious on the ground is insane, but no one ever capitalizes on the moment.

No Survival Instinct

Imagine something sinister lurking in your backyard in the middle of the night. What do you do? Obviously, if you're a horror character, you'll just get out of the house, leave the door wide open, and walk around yelling 'Hello?' Another example is when characters decide to split up and inspect dangerous places without backup or even a weapon.

To be more relatable, horror characters need to start acting like real people and get the basic survival instinct.