24 Overused Scary Movie Elements Fright Fans Are Tired Of

While some horror movies are creative and shocking, many can feel formulaic and predictable. There are a number of lazy elements that fans of scary films are sick of seeing (or hearing) in what otherwise could've been a decent flick. Check out the 24 most annoying elements that horror movie directors need to leave behind.

1. Jumpscares

Creepy mirror ghost
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Without a doubt, this is the most commonly hated horror movie element. An overwhelming amount of horror movie lovers despise jumpscares and find them to be lazy, as it's relatively easy to spook someone with a sudden scary image. I specifically detest bathroom mirror jumpscares, as I know it's coming, but they still get me every time.

2. Dismissive Loved Ones

Annoyed, bored, stop talking, hand up, Roll eyes
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It's always a bummer when someone in a horror movie confides to a loved one about the terrors they're facing, only to be rudely dismissed or ignored. I like to think that if I told a loved one that I was being possessed by demons, followed by a supernatural creature, or visited by ghosts in the middle of the night, they'd have my back.

3. Creepy Kids

The Shining Lisa Burns, Louise Burns
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

I don't know why, but kids in horror movies are the scariest thing ever. Fans are tired of horror moviemakers using creepy kids or eerie child voices to scare people. Personally, it freaks me out every time, so they're getting the job done.

4. Volume Scares

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Okay, this may fall under the category of jumpscares, but I think it's specific enough to warrant its own comment. As one horror fan explains it, “the manipulation of the decibel levels in movies irritates me to no end.” When dialogue is soft and quiet just to make a super loud noise more impactful, it feels lazy and easy.

5. Stupid Reactions and Dialogue

Annoyed, tired, embarrassed, hand on face
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I think this one irritates everyone. One movie lover explained, “I hate it when characters refuse to use any sense. Like seeing something creepy in the dark and walking toward it saying ‘hello?'” If there is a demon, monster, or serial killer in the dark, why would they answer you when you say hi?

6. Not Taking the Shot

Angry Man
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This one applies to both the villain and the hero. It seems like people will have a perfectly good opportunity to get rid of their target, but instead, they stand there like an idiot or give them one whack and then sprint off. Finish the job! 

7. Poor Communication

Hurtful Argument
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Some horror movies take the sitcom approach to the plot, where many events and much of the storyline revolve around misunderstandings between characters or a lack of communication between people. For example, if a husband sees ghosts, he should probably let his wife know. However, the dismissive loved one trope often ruins this plan.

8. Animal Cruelty

Facepalm, man, hand on face, cringe, upset
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I 100% support the elimination of animal cruelty in horror movies. Yes, it's shocking, scary, and unsettling, but often unnecessary. I hate when I see an animal at the start of a scary movie and I know it's going to meet its maker for shock value before the flick is over.

9. Creepified Songs

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One of the funniest annoying elements of horror movies is when they take a perfectly fine song and “creepify” it, ruining the song and pulling me out of the movie. There is no reason to bring Taylor Swift into this freaky situation!

10. Overexplaining the Bad Guy

African american man watching tv sitting on sofa with boring expression at home
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Sometimes, letting the audience figure things out for themselves is okay. When horror movies over-explain how the monster came to be, why the killer is the way they are, or the ins and outs of a demon's motives, it can feel condescending and even boring.

11. Vomit

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This one is pretty straightforward. Puking is gross and it's not a fun thing to watch. Have you ever seen Triangle of Sadness? It's not a horror movie, but the extended vomiting scenes are enough to make you turn it off. This level of gross doesn't fly with many cinephiles.

12. People Casually Cutting Their Hand

Knife cut chop hand
Image Credit: Wiki Commons.

Many dramatic scenes show someone taking a knife to their palm and intensely slitting their hand, whether to make a blood oath or show how tough they are. They would need immediate medical attention and likely be in a lot of pain, so this trope can be annoying and unrealistic.

13. Ill-Fitting Jokes or Music

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It can be off-putting when a movie uses upbeat music during a scary scene or writes corny jokes into the dialogue when characters are fending for their lives. These quirky choices can pull people out of the movie and make something that could've been serious and impactful laughable instead.

14. The Shushing Signal

Hush, Shush, Sh, Be Quiet
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Usually, when a character draws a finger to their lips to make the shushing signal, something terrible is about to happen. Also, it's creepy but cliche when the villain or monster does this, but I must admit, it gives me the heebie-jeebies every time.

15. Supermodel Actors

Channing Tatum
Image Credit: Wiki Commons.

It's weird when all the people in a horror movie are Gigi Hadid-level hot, right? Many horror fans agree that having supermodel actors in horror movies pulls them out of the story and makes the film seem cheesy or unrealistic. We want normal-looking people; do you hear us, Hollywood?

16. Muted Cinematography

Cemetary graveyard spooky
Image Credit: Wiki Commons.

Many horror movies utilize muted colors to create a gloomy and eerie atmosphere. While I think this technique makes sense for the genre, many horror fanatics think it's worn out and want moviemakers to get more creative with their use of color.

17. Scared Cats

Hissing cat
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Too many horror movies use a screeching, jumping cat to spook the viewers. One movie lover noted that it was a tired element even in the 1980s and it's time to retire the cat jumpscare. Maybe we can try using a different animal to spook viewers? Like a nesighing horse or squeaking mouse? Those probably aren't as jarring, though.

18. The Contortionist Upside-Down Routine

Image Credit: Screen Gems.

I hate the parts in horror movies when the creepy monster or human turns into a spider monkey and climbs upside-down all over the walls and ceiling, and I'm not the only one. This trope is sufficiently creepy but predictable and overused, especially when it happens multiple times in the same film.

19. Bone-Cracking Sound Effects

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The sound of bones cracking, whether someone is being hurt or a monster is straightening their spine, seems cheesy to many horror cinephiles. The cracking sound could be considered cliche and unrealistic, but how realistic do horror movies have to be?

20. Loud, Long Screams

Emma Roberts Scream Queens
Image Credit: Fox.

Of course, horror movies are allowed to have some screams. However, the super long, insanely loud screams are unrealistic. In real life, scared people tend to let out a quick yelp, not work on their vocal range while trying to escape certain death.

21. Obvious Build-Up Music

Upset woman wearing headphones listening to music or podcast or audiobook
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While some people despise jumpscares, others hate when the music gives away the upcoming jumpscare. Sometimes, the suspenseful, ominous music tells the viewer that something spooky is about to happen too soon, ruining the surprise.

22. The Cabin/Camping Trip Trope

Image Credit: Lionsgate.

I love this trope, as it gives me a solid excuse to refuse camping trips. But many horror fans think the isolated cabin in the woods or the campground in the middle of nowhere is played out and doesn't stir excitement in them anymore.

23. The Old, Wise Survivor

Elderly old man
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Why is there always some older person who survived the terror in the movie that the main characters seek out for advice? This trope is boring and confusing for many horror fans. It's also like cheating!

24. Punishing Characters for Intimacy and Love

New Erotic Languages Unlock Mind-Blowing Sex
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Just once, could someone in a horror movie do the dirty deed and make it out alive? It seems like an unwritten rule that if anyone in a horror movie is intimate with someone, even if it's just heavy kissing, they must be brutally taken out before the movie ends.

Source: Reddit.