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Old 11-13-2011, 07:02 AM
Do the horror cliches even exist? Scream, running Jason, etc.

Do the horror cliches we have heard about since the 90s even exist?

Friday the 13th:

Jason never used a chainsaw ever. Not only this, but there is an abundant amount of times that I have heard that Jason never runs [with the question how does he catch up to victims?]. Some of the attacks are stealth attacks and Jason runs in 3 movies [parts 2, 3 and 4. He limped a little in part 3 after being stabbed in the leg but was still attempting to run]. He speedwalks in part 6. The first time real Jason even walks in a walking matter is in part 7.

The dumb uncaring boozing camp counselors [prominent after Scream and even inserted into a deleted scene of Freddy vs. Jason]...

Part 1: Brenda seems to want to be a good counselor and should have been the lead. Annie mentions she loves kids to Mrs. Voorhees and still dies. Marcy was ok. Alice was actually probably the worst possible lead to pick out of the girls. She wants to run home to California for Art workshop and doesn't want to do the job. Bill??? I couldn't even imagine him not paying attention to the kids either.

Everyone is a teenager??? Um, no, they were not...

Part 1: Camp counselors who were not teens. Maybe the two at the beginning were suppose to be but it is never stated ever that the main cast were teens. 20's but not teens.

Part 2: Ginny is a grad student

Part 3: Andy and Shelly are roommates which places this group as older too. Debbie is pregnant already [how the death scene of her even got through is anyone's question that year]. I know teens can get pregnant. Debbie tuns down the pot because she is pregnant as well as the beer after getting out of the shower

[Teens as the main cast are introduced for the first time in part 4]


The virgin rule - This has been broken several, if not more times... Many times, we don't even know if the lead is a virgin or not as it's never stated directly. Alice in Elm Street is no virgin after part 4... Ginny in Friday the 13th part 2 was probably not a virgin nor was Megan in Friday the 13th 6. Alice, Chrissy, Pam [30 in the movie I think as she runs the center with the guy] are questionable... Trish and Tina might have been virgins but I don't know. Tina was the best shot as a virgin. The Initiation '84 - the lead from Melrose Place and Spaceballs wants to date her psychology teacher... He Knows You're Alone '80 - Never implies but this girl is about to get married and had previous boyfriends. Elm Street 2 Lisa wants to go wild in a hut with her soon to be gay boyfriend... Heather Langenkamp was no virgin in WCNN and maybe Nancy wasn't by part 3 either after grad school (I know she dies at the end in part 3, same with Kristen in part 4 after being with Rick)... etc., etc.

[Silent Night Deadly Night - Billy was a virgin but the guy was good looking with a decent body for never working out at the religious center he grew up in. I can't imagine Mother Superior allowing this. Maybe the survivor of this movie Mother Superior was a virgin?]

Black Christmas '74 - Lead is a pregnant sorority sister who wants an abortion at a very rough time in the 70s.

Slumber Party Massacre '82 - Trish survives with Valerie. Trish likely was no virgin [she was popular at school, a lot of things. Valerie actually would have been too if not for some snooty jealous basketball b8888]. Valerie had Playgirl magazines in her room that Courtney [more important to the sequel] was looking at

etc., etc.


If you do drugs or take in booze you die...

Laurie Strode from Halloween takes in a joint and doesn't die for 24 years.

Alice from F13 seems very comfy doing the pot with Bill and Brenda and is about to take her shirt off very casually for strip monopoly before the wind blows the door open

Ginny in F13th 2 drinks at a bar and is maybe slightly intoxicated when she tries to ward off Jason with a chainsaw

I haven't seen this movie in a long time but I think a survivor or two does a few wrong things in Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl A Rama. Imp!!!!

Ginny in Happy Birthday to Me '80... She does pot and survives the film - though the old man at the tail end thinks she is the killer as I am sure people did in the middle end when she shoves a skewer of shishkabob down a friend's throat. At the end, her sister she didn't know about pulls off a plastic mask and turns into her best friend


The big breasted girl who can't act who runs up the stairs instead of the front door, it's insulting...

What movie does this happen in? I haven't found it yet


Never say I'll be right back!

I really haven't paid attention to this rule... I might have heard it somewhere but I don't know. I really just didn't pay attention

Last edited by cooper.bradley71@yahoo.com; 11-13-2011 at 07:48 AM..
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:26 AM
I have to agree with your list. A lot of the "genre conventions" are more famous for the fact that they were in Scream rather than actually having been in films prior to that film. Unfortunately, that is how the business of genre works. Break a film down into something digestible (as in: commercialization, public consumption, best give the audience what they expect so that you don't shock them too bad), and then apply all of the cliche rules of the genre to it and you've got a film. I've seen more of these cliches in post-2,000 Horror movies than I have any 80's movies.
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:26 PM
Yeah I always kind of thought that was bullshit too.

Same with: Black people always die.

Where does this happen? Night of the Living Dead he is more the hero than anybody else.
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:47 PM
This "black person always dies first" thing has always pissed me off.


Those are three of the only horror films I can think of where a black character is the first to go. In NEW YEAR'S EVIL, if I remember correctly, the black chick was the opening victim but it had nothing to do with her race. I doubt the character was even written black.

Kincaid was the first to go in NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4, but he survived 3 and again it had nothing to do with his race. Freddy was being smart, Kincaid was clearly the strongest out of the remaining "Dream warriors" so he took him out first.

SCREAM 2 is where this cliche started, I'm pretty sure. But after this they always made it a point to have the black guy live.

And let's not forget, the first important black character in a horror film was Ben in NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and he was the last one standing. And then that continued in DAWN OF THE DEAD and DAY OF THE DEAD, each had the only black guy surviving.

One of my favorite shows, COMMUNITY, is supposed to be so clever and self aware. In the zombie episode, Abed, the character that's supposed to know everything about television and movies, says "Make me proud. Be the first black guy to make it to the end." That totally pissed me off, it was the only time I was really upset with the show.
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:29 PM
The cliches do exist...just because you can find exceptions, that doesn't mean the cliches aren't there at all. The cliches do start breaking down when you get into higher sequels, but for the most part, they were there in the beginning.

It's a fact about Jason that he becomes enraged whenever he smells drugs or sex. His entire origin story is that he died in Crystal Lake when two camp counselors were having sex and smoking pot, ignoring him. That doesn't mean Jason manages to kill 100% of non-virgins and pot-smokers, but he does try to kill anyone that he catches doing either of those things.

Carpenter himself said, regarding the original Halloween, "The one girl who is the most sexually uptight just keeps stabbing this guy with a long knife. She's the most sexually frustrated. She's the one that's killed him. Not because she's a virgin but because all that sexually repressed energy starts coming out. She uses all those phallic symbols on the guy."

Obviously, in the original Halloween, it's the virgin who survives. The victims are mostly teens who are doing drugs and having sex.

The original Nightmare on Elm Street also has a virgin as the final survivor, while the girl who has sex on her parents' bed is killed almost right afterwards.

Pretty much the same thing for most of the other cliches. You can find exceptions, but mostly the cliches did exist in a lot of movies.

The one Scream cliche I don't understand AT ALL is the claim that being gay guarantees your survival in a horror movie. I mean, I can think of some gay characters who lived, but the majority of them die. So I don't know where they possibly got the idea for that cliche from.
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Old 01-31-2012, 01:50 AM
Originally Posted by ChaosRocket View Post
The one Scream cliche I don't understand AT ALL is the claim that being gay guarantees your survival in a horror movie. I mean, I can think of some gay characters who lived, but the majority of them die. So I don't know where they possibly got the idea for that cliche from.
Well, that was only in Scream 4 (disappointment of a movie, in my opinion), so I wouldn't pay much attention to it.
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:03 AM
Here's what I've always found particularly intriguing and frustrating; the fact that in real life, even if the killer was 100% human, most of the people in those scenarios wouldn't stand a fucking chance in hell of survival. Disagree? Read through the Crime Library archives about mass murder and serial killers. I mean, think about it. Michael Myers, 6'2", 185 vs. teenage kids??? Are you fucking joking, they would all be toast. Same goes for FT13th, a bunch of kids-or twenty-somethings- vs a maniac with three feet of sharpened steel to swing around and cut phone lines. Again, toast.
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