trope la gi

Horror movies follow specific formulas and have some widely known tropes. As any hardcore horror người yêu thích knows, these movies are filled with the same elements over and over again.

These tropes are useful just for your own amusement or if you’re a writer, screenwriter, student, or creative looking for inspiration in writing a scary story or movie. We can’t tell you how lớn bake a cake, but we can show you the ingredients that fans love. We bet anything you’ve seen all of these examples of tropes in at least one horror movie.

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Creepy music forewarning the viewer

The trope goes lượt thích this: A young couple is walking at night and about lớn enter a store. Suddenly we hear the ominous opening chords of Beethoven’s 5th, and we already know that the store clerk is going lớn be a werewolf who decapitates them with his teeth. Incorporate music as a way lớn subliminally suggest something is about lớn go wrong.

The jump scare

This is sort of the opposite of the music that warns you lớn get scared, and it’s also the most common trope in all of horror movies—everyone’s tiptoeing through a haunted house trying not lớn make any noise when suddenly a very LOUD kitty-cat jumps out at them and makes everyone in the movie theater jump from their seats. What is crazy about the jump scare is that it always seems lớn work, no matter how many times we’ve seen it.

Evil clown

Fear of clowns is ví common that there’s a word for it—coulrophobia. In many ways, this trope evolved from the real-life horror story of John Wayne “The Killer Clown” Gacy, one of the most prolific serial killers in American history. It’s also a great trope because it plays on good and bad in a very uncomfortable way. Are clowns supposed lớn be friendly faces that make us laugh and play with our children? Or are clowns something out of a nightmare, ready lớn attack? It’s become a horror-movie staple in the same way as the child who sings nursery rhymes—it juxtaposes something that’s supposed lớn be innocent and happy with absolutely morbid dread.

Don’t go there

This is where everyone in the audience knows that just because the lead character heard a rustling sound doesn’t mean she should explore some creepy dark room in the middle of the night while everyone else is sleeping. It’s most horrifyingly demonstrated in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds when Tippi Hedren is the only person in the house who’s still awake and decides lớn investigate a sound she heard upstairs — only lớn be brutally pecked apart by the seeming hundreds of birds who are roosting in one of the house’s bedrooms.

Girl runs and falls

It seems kind of sexist lớn imply that terrorized girls don’t know how lớn lập cập through the forest without falling down, breaking their leg, and allowing the monster lớn catch up with them, but it’s a crowd-pleaser, anyway. If the movie features a girl in a forest, sooner or later she’s going lớn start running and fall down. It’s a great trick for building suspense.

The “crazy” girl that no one believes

In ví many horror films, the heroine’s suffering is compounded by the fact that no one believes her. This is agonizingly illustrated in 2020’s The Invisible Man, in which main character Cecelia (Elisabeth Moss) is not only tortured by a psychotic abusive ex, but by the fact that even her closest friends think it’s all in her mind.

Nature’s revenge

For eons, mankind has stepped on the environment with zero pushback—until nature finally reacts in righteous fury. This is seen in Deliverance—which is not technically a horror movie despite being horrifying—where the efforts lớn develop land up in hillbilly country go horribly awry. It’s also the theme in Hitchcock’s The Birds—in one scene we’re informed that there are over 100 billion birds on the planet, and if they ever decide lớn turn on humans, it will mark the kết thúc of the world. Perhaps the ultimate example of this trope is the great white shark in Jaws.

Split everyone up and try lớn solve the problem separately

This trope is a favorite, particlarly among slasher movies, where a group of people decide not lớn stick together and split up. Why? Because it would certainly be easier for one of us lớn kill the monster, defeat the paranormal ghost, or overthrow the serial killer — alone. Yes, it does not make sense, but hey, it’s a creepy movie, not reality. While you can incorporate this into your movie, don’t actually vì thế this in real life.

Underwater foot grab

Dark waters are an ominous sign. What lurks below in the depths? Screenwriters and novelists love lớn use this murky area lớn subliminally signal the unknown and therefore the creepy. You can take the dark water symbol one extra level by adding the underwater foot grab. Your character is happily swimming and then—agh!—out of nowhere they’re pulled under.

Cute child doing creepy things

Like clowns, there is something horrific about taking an innocent child and making it vì thế something weird and off-putting, lượt thích singing nursery rhymes while someone’s getting decapitated ten feet away. This a great method for unsettling your audience. Cute kids merged with morbid circumstances is a modern horror-movie staple.

Deus ex Machina: Ghost from the Machine

The “deus ex machina” trope refers lớn a sudden and unexpected solution lớn an unsolvable problem or dire situation. A famous example is in Lord of the Flies (the novel and the movies) when it appears as if the main character (a boy stranded on a desert island) has no hope of surviving his attackers, but he is saved when a Navy ship appears out of nowhere and rescues everyone.

An older demonologist with newspaper clippings who explains the evil spirit’s origins

In a horror movie, this character is usually an older woman who just ví happens lớn be carrying a binder full of information about the fact that no one ever occupies your house for long because it’s haunted. The demonologist spares the audience a lot of tedious plot development by summarizing the monster’s origins.

The evil doll that comes lớn life

If you see a doll in a horror movie, you can be sure that it’s something far worse phàn nàn an innocent child’s toy. As with other tropes, this exploits the juxtaposition of innocence and malice. Evil dolls have figured prominently in films such as Annabelle: Creation, Dead Silence, and all the Child’s Play movies.

The final girl

When they started out, they were all on a school field trip. There was the wise guy, the jock, the nerd, the cheerleader, and the shy girl who didn’t talk lớn anyone. Everyone but the shy girl gets killed. Now this common archetype is left with no else lớn help; what will happen lớn her? She’ll survive. She’s always the only one who survives. Why? It may be because most people in the audience identify with the shy character.

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The refrigerator door trick

Well, you’ve done a thorough kiểm tra of the house, and there vì thế not appear lớn be any burglars. Time for a midnight snack. You grab the mustard and croissants and cheese, and just as you close the door, there’s the burglar with a chainsaw, standing there and grinning at you. Sure he’s freezing-cold, but he’s also going chop you up.

The medicine cabinet mirror trick

See “the refrigerator door trick,” but substitute a bathroom medicine cabinet mirror and have a small little troll or gremlin.   

A diverse group of teenagers who’ve wandered into this haunted burial ground one-by-one instead of all at once

Whereas the teens always stupidly decide lớn split up, the monster always decides lớn stupidly pick them off one at a time, anyway. He’s big and strong and scary enough lớn kill them all at once, but that would make for a ten-minute movie. You need the monster lớn at least take enough time killing the teens that the audience doesn’t feel cheated.

No cell phone service 

Thank God we live in an interconnected world where, even if you make the reckless decision lớn explore an abandoned wheat silo thirty miles from the nearest town and a stranger wearing a hockey mask and wielding a machete is chasing you, at least you can đường dây nóng 911—but wait—NO BARS! This adds one extra level of terrifying frustration on top of the emerging horror.

Lost critical item, lượt thích keys 

This trope is used as a sort of “straw that broke the camel’s back.” It’s not bad enough that the zombie is chasing the hero—now he can’t find his siêu xe keys. It makes everything that much more terrifying.

Now that I’ve found my keys, suddenly the siêu xe doesn’t start!

Again, the siêu xe started when it was parked in the driveway. It started after you went out for dinner. But then you had lớn go out for a walk in the Nevada desert late at night, and even after you finally find your keys while a zombie is chasing you, you can’t get your siêu xe lớn turn over. Most likely, the zombie cut your battery cables.

The know-it-all archetype

This character does not belive in paranormal activity and is always ví smug at the start of the film or book. They cite science. Or just brush off people as crazy, but you know what happens next. This guy who did not believe in now facing the serial killer on halloween night and is decapitated. So much for that smart brain of yours! Audiences love this because everyone knows a character lượt thích this.

The abandoned place

There’s a reason places become abandoned. It’s because they’re haunted by vengeful spirits who can’t wait lớn take out all their anger on you even though you come in peace. So why vì thế groups of eager and curious youths always rush right into abandoned places? Because it’s a horror movie!

The vengeful spirit

People crave the idea of revenge and justice and retribution and punishing the wicked. Even though he’s a villain, the vengeful spiritis ironically a character that most viewers can relate lớn.

The weapon is just out of reach while you’re being choked

What’s amazing is that it’s only three inches out of your reach, he sees it there, but he keeps choking you instead of grabbing it and shooting or stabbing you. It’s an old and overused trick, but it’s guaranteed lớn make the audience empathize with your frustration.

The lights just happen lớn turn out one-by-one as the killer approaches

Sure, it’s over-dramatic and resembles a pro wrestler’s stadium entrance more phàn nàn it does any horrifying thing that would happen real life, but people lượt thích drama.

Running down the middle of the road while being chased by a car

This is what sidewalks are for, honey. Yet in classic horror movies it always seems that our characters find themselves in the middle of the road. Or running on the train tracks. It doesn’t make any sense, but audiences eat it up.

It wasn’t really dead!

This happens in all movies, not just horror movies, but this trick is beloved by many filmmakers. The characters think everything is going lớn be okay because their nemesis — a killer witch with one eye for instance — seems lớn have been killed by something and now everyone feels safe. Then out of nowhere, the cyclops witch is back up and chasing you yet again!

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Lookin’ good after the demon exits your body

In The Exorcist, the girl is nearly battered lớn death, but the moment the demon is gone there aren’t even any physical reminders that she was possessed. I.e., not only does the demon leave, but everything heals instantly. This quick healing, while unbelievable and silly, is still often used in the horror genre.

The kid doesn’t realize it’s a ghost

Not only does this trope play on children’s innocence; the audience is horrified when they realize the child doesn’t know what danger they’re in.

The “one last scare” after you thought everything was resolved

It was bloody and traumatic and exhausting, and everyone but you and the final girl were killed, but together you valiantly slew the Evil Swamp Monster. But as you walk away, his hand rises from the slime. This is a great trope for an aspiring screenwriter, because it leaves open the possibility for a sequel or three.