The Top Five Horror Movie Tropes

Halloween is coming, and besides jack-o'-lanterns and candy corn, it's time to break out the horror movies and scare yourself until you can't sleep. Here are five of the most common horror movie tropes and why they still scare us to this day.

Note: The video above contains some language and disturbing images.

I personally think horror is a great genre to study, because it probably has the most clearly codified storytelling language and tropes in all film. This fun and interesting video essay from CineFix examines five such tropes and why (despite our knowledge of their use), they continue to scare us. My personal favorite trope is the somehow omniscient/omnivident hidden stalker, à la 2001's "Joy Ride," in which an enraged truck driver stalks Paul Walker and Steve Zahn, somehow knowing their every move despite reasonable attempts to evade him. That sort of motif bypasses our rationality — "no person could reasonably find them now" — and in doing so, scares the daylights out of us by tapping into a primal fear of the inescapable, and really, that's the trick of a lot of horror: finding a way to defeat the rational thought that says, "this isn't realistic." Do you have any favorite horror films? Share them in the comments! 

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2 Comments

I guess all that is useful for a filmmaker, but if someone started talking to me like that before, during or after a movie I was watching, a real horror show would ensue.

As just a viewer I don't get all the dissection of movies that seems to be occurring more and more today from viewers. Movies and TV shows are escapism for me. I think they used to be for most people. They cease to be that if they are examined and dissected to such an extent. Anyway, in the spirit of the season 🎃, my favorite types of movies and my favorite time of the year, here are a few screenshots I grabbed of a couple of the movies shown, to get everyone in the sipirt of Halloween.

fabricated _minds's picture

The Shining (1980)
https://cinestills.eu/the-shining-1980/
is one of my favourites!