26 September 2012

Horror Clichés - Character Behavior

A list of five horror clichés concerning character behavior. This is not a top list, just a list of five things I came to think of. These examples are mainly taken from modern horror movies.

1.  Damn, I fell!

The Situation: You’re in a really bad situation, a monster, ghost or whatever is chasing you (slowly of course).

Question 1: What will a horror character do?
She will stumble and fall, crawl a few meters and struggle to get up, just like in a dream when you’re really helpless. Also, she’ll stop within a radius of 100-200 meters from her previous location.

Question 2: What would I do?
I would run and not stop till I reach a safe place. IF I fell, I wouldn't crawl for the next few meters, I would get back up and run.

When you’re running or hurrying in a room, in the woods, on the streets or anywhere, how often will you fall?

2.  I think he’s dead.

The Situation: Just when you thought your life was over, you somehow manage to get a lucky strike with a plank and the killer passes out.

Question 1: What will a horror character do?
He will slowly slip passed the killer without removing or confiscating any potential weapons and then carefully proceed upstairs to see if his friend is still alive, whereupon the killer will wake to life and continue the hunt.

Question 2: What would I do?
I would brutally kill him with his own weapon, no hesitation. He would not kill me with his last strength.

3.  Could you check out the cellar please?

The Situation: Weird things are going on in your house and there are noises and strange activity everywhere. Suddenly, you hear a louder noise coming from the cellar or the attic.

Question 1: What will a horror character do?
She’ll ask her partner to go check it out, while for some reason, she’ll wait for him. In many cases, either one of them will get in trouble. It could have helped to stick together!

Question 2: What would I do?
I would simply not split up, where you go I go.

4.  Disbelievers

The Situation:  A Family consisting of the parents and 1-3 children, at least one teenager have just moved into a suburban house. “Why so cheap?” they ask themselves, just before strange things starts happening in the house, especially to the teenager for some reason. The father, of course, won’t believe him or her, even though it’s pretty obvious something not right.

Question 1: What will a horror character do?
He, the father, will get mad and grumpy and call the rest of the family ungrateful. In the end, he will be the one to die, or at least almost die. He got it coming.

Question 2: What would I do?
It’s hard to say exactly how I would react, because haunted houses as depicted in movies does not exist. I guess I would listen to the family, why would they blame ghosts for not liking the house, if they haven’t showed any similar tendencies earlier in life.

5.  Hello!

The Situation: Nobody’s home but yourself,  you have no pets, and the door has been locked since you got in. Suddenly you hear a sound coming from the second floor.

Question 1: What will a horror character do?
Walk towards the staircase and carefully call out “Hello!?”

Question 2: What would I do?
Probably get over there, assuming there’s a perfectly logical explanation. I’m not saying I would live longer than the horror character, I just wouldn’t say “hello!?” every sound I hear.

What would you do?

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