Horror movies exist as part of perhaps the most easily-identifiable genre in all of cinema. The specific atmosphere of terror that any horror movie worth its salt attempts to conjure is difficult to mistake for anything else, unmistakably setting horror movies apart from films in other genres. As a result, many of the things that typically build the suspense and fear necessary in a horror movie have long since become staples of the genre.
However, much like with dumb Christmas movie tropes, these ideas can pass into cliché all too quickly. Some of the elements that traditionally make up a horror movie are fast becoming trite, which in turn prompts a closer examination of exactly what’s going on. Through the careful application of simple logic, it then becomes clear that there are a lot of horror tropes that don’t really make any sense.
Some are just an extension of the general wonkiness of movie logic, while others are utter nonsense that’s become commonplace because it heightens the fear and drama that a film can offer. Either way, there are many things that horror movies keep doing that are absolutely ridiculous when you really think about it, and those are the ones that we’re going to be calling out today. With all that in mind, let’s take a look at 7 of the dumbest horror movie tropes that really don’t make any sense.
7. Running Upstairs
Typically, this particular trope is confined to the slasher subgenre, but that’s also where it makes the least sense. We can all picture the scene: the killer is loose in the house, chasing their next victim. They flee in terror, making their way upstairs with the killer hot on their heels…
But why? If a knife- or gun-wielding maniac was trying to kill you, the last thing you’d want to do is trap yourself. Fleeing upstairs is basically a way of giving the killer the advantage: in the vast majority of houses, the only way to get away is to get back down the stairs. It gives the attacker control of your only feasible escape route, and even a fear-addled brain should understand that it’s generally a stupid thing to do.
In all fairness, the victim’s plan is often to lock themselves in the bathroom or hide under a bed, but both of those present similar issues. It all comes down to the same basic idea: trapping yourself in a place where your killer stands between you and the only exit is pretty dumb. As much as this one understandably stems from the illogical way that fear manipulates the mind, it’s still a trope that makes no sense in real terms.