EDIT: Because I said I would after watching a few more movies. Legit, this is going to get bigger and bigger as I remember what other things are on repeat. So: more to come!
Now, as promised long ago and oh so far away (sorry) the top billion things that need to die from movie writing so they can be watchable in the future. Because.
1. The teenagers who are a varied cast–and who seemingly have nothing really in common–who go out from supervised, sheltered to alone and deserted. Why in packs? Why teenagers? Why do all of you hate your parents/authorities so much?
Tough guy/jock/abusive dude, boy/girl next door who happens to be a virgin, slut, racial token, smart/nerd guy/girl, stoner. Yeah, we just all found each other in high school and have in common we’re all the same age.
2. No one in zombie movie has ever seen a zombie movie. What now? In our culture, you’ve never seen a zombie movie?
3. Information comes from the elderly, person of color. Or someone batshit insane no one in town or in their right mind would find even a little reliable. Unless it’s too late! STFU.
4. Being noisy while hiding. I’m hoping you’re stabbed, and so is everyone else watching.
5. Survivor women. Has anyone ever thought of letting men win? I mean, at some point, some guy did the rational thing and bolted while everyone else was slaughtered.
6. Sex. Sex is bad, but the act of killing is a direct parallel. And the whole movie is about a virgin sticking something phallic in someone else. Um.
7. Mirror scares. Fuck you. I am no longer scared of my mirror now and that’s scary.
8. The whole ‘run faster than your friend’ thing takes effect. Where are the fighters? Why do people not fight in a group?
9. Calling for someone in the dark when someone is chasing you.
10. The single moms are always MILFs. Actually, all moms are unless they’re bad. I like seeing pretty people as much as the next moviegoer, but legit? It screams fake.
11. The ankle grab from the presumed dead villain. Why would you ever even go over the villain? Unless you are trapped you shouldn’t. In case you are trapped, I’d recommend butchering the villain first.
12. Jamming guns, not working weapons when the villain arrives. This also sits with WTF was that at your house bro? A missile launcher? A civil war era sword? What?
13. Discarding weapons or allowing dead people to hold onto theirs. At least take the ammo!
14. Romance. Passion is both in murder and in love. If it’s good. Make it depraved or you’re making it a cliche.
15. The scientist/researcher/nut job who wants to preserve the Big Bad. Time to feed the land-walking pirhannas.
16. Deciding to blow up the unstoppable villain. How do so many of the protagonist survive putting together anything explosive?
17. Asking for directions. I don’t know about you guys but as a teenager I would drive around lost too and it was called “an adventure”. Why do so many of these people think, “hey, these rundown, clearly bitter, back-roads people will help me leave their decaying town”? Uh, not in your life. I don’t care.
This crazed-people-thing is getting old. Similar to this:
18. Tourist in another land don’t understand language (typical) or customs and run into the wrong small town people in the jungle-covered woods. Please stop. Stop being an asshole.
19. Small towns. Why is it always small towns? Killers are obviously scared of people. Group together and kill them.
20. Mom is to blame for most of the shit that people do. But abusive daddies? Cannibal patriarchs? Handsy uncles? *le sigh*
21. Not leaving when there is a legitimate chance. Yeah, I could understand the whole revenge thing but if a spray of bullets, a machete fight, a car crash into a lake, and an atomic bomb haven’t worked, it’s time to get more fodder. I mean run out screaming into another back road and potentially flag down more psychos.
22. There’s always an expert. I don’t know about you guys, but I would be Googling things fiercely if something came about with me. I wouldn’t even be brave enough to go to a historian/arms dealer/book worm for assistance or explanation.
23. A specific way of killing a villain. Jump backwards nine times before sunrise–and oh, wait. That’s the birth control in Where the Heart Is.
Magic and stupid, specific tricks gets sick and old. Like who wants to sit through you luring the hobbling evil into the same blown up mine he rose from and walk right into the center of the pentagram you drew? Like who?
24. The dream opening. Where something exciting is happening and it all turns out that our boring protagonist was having a moment before their alarm went off.
25. Ominous weather. “Stephen King is in town,” is my favorite thing to say when it’s foggy. But if something’s in the fog, you’re making that poor man wish something otherworldly comes out. Just stop using weather as an omen. It no longer works. (Sadly.)
And all that means is you have to set the tone in another way. Like maybe your killer likes humid nights versus cold ones. Think outside our very worn box.
26. A divorced man whose ex already has a boyfriend living in the same house as his kids needs to protect his small town from big construction that unearth an evil. Syfy, you’ve ruined me for this model. And because of that, I not-so-secretly want to punch every ex-husband/actor in the mouth.
27. Ancient evil we can’t destroy? Why not crate it and send it to Timbuktu. For fucks sakes, what is in Timbuktu? What magical retaining powers are in crates? Why the fuck would you let this little horror artifact out of your sight? For a sequel?
28. Children. Children laughing. The only way children’s laughter is funny is when, a) you don’t live with a baby. B) it’s in the dead of night. And the laugh track is deteriorating from use. Please stop.
29. Kids who see dead people. What? Change it. Enough with the creepy kids who know creepy shit that turns on them. Why not have a kid like from The Orphan?
And please, stop with the little boy demon. Damien/Nemo needs a moment, already. (Bonus points if you know who Nemo is.)
Anyone remember this meme starter?
30. I hate when someone doesn’t respond and the protag approaches and uncovers a corpse. The fuck if I will ever do that. Someone doesn’t answer, I think they’re the demon and I bolt.
*E would like to tell everyone that this may be as much her fault for years of relentless horrors as it is the fault of people being dead in movies.* –Ian Payin, Imaginary Lawyer.
31. Invincible Villain. Because fuck. Where’s the tension in that? Unless your characters are people we would cheer for–the child protagonist of Halloween–we know how it ends and that is never fun.
32. The over bullied kid who freaks out and takes it out on those around him, including the people who were protecting/loving him/her. Or the new Matilda, in most cases.
33. The stupid bitch who won’t shut up. This can fall into some categories above but this is the worst. I don’t mean the victims who run through the woods screaming, trying to escape the killer. I mean the women in these horrors who instead of listening to the MC/other character and judging quietly, constantly shuts them up or in general disbelieves everything. Commonly the girlfriend but sometimes also the mom. Male characters can also be this character. Annoying as f*ck.
34. This found footage explosion shit. You really can’t love movies and found footage without thinking that Paranormal Activity really launched it. Sure, it was here before but that was the start. And it did pretty well on reasoning. Now so many movies want that feel of real but a) don’t leave reality in the footage and b) cannot justify it. One of the movies I watched was, “I bought a camera. I want to videotape everything that happens.” Why? “The people making this movie didn’t say.”
I hear ya.
Enough with the jump scenes and the bad music cues. Stop with the stupid characters. You need us to care about what happens to (almost) everyone on the screen. Be smart. Live above the cliches.
A public service announcement.