Top Ten Things in Horror Movies that Aren't Scary Anymore

This list compiles the most noteworthy scare tactics in horror movies that have become so commonplace and clichéd that they are simply not frightening anymore (or, perhaps, never were to begin with).
The Top Ten
1 The "Fake" Jump Scare

When a hand lands on someone's shoulder and you think "Oh no! The killer! ", but it's just the best friend. Or when something is shuffling in the bushes and when the branches are pulled apart OUT JUMPS... a cat. It's so commonplace these days that it's completely un-frightening. This is especially true when there's no REAL scare moments afterwards. When that happens, all the suspense is lost and the real scares that eventually happen are much less effective.

It could still work, if not for the clumsy use of faux-suspense music that always precedes it.

2 The "Found Footage" Technique

Horror filmmakers went crazy over the "found footage" technique after 1999's 'The Blair Witch Project' became a pop culture phenomenon. It was cheap, it was easy, it was money in the bank. So, naturally, a whack ton of horror movies made in the same style started to pop up everywhere. And, for a while, it was great. It gave horror movies a more naturalistic feel which upped the movie's plausibility and, therefore, made for an enhanced experience for horror movie audiences. But, like any craze, it started to feel overdone and stale after a while. Nowadays, it's mostly been reduced to a lazy way to make empty jump scares. My what was found now be re-lost.

3 The Unkillable Killer

Michael Myers was supposed to be dead at the end of 1981's 'Halloween II'. I mean, he was lying face down, completely engulfed in flames (a close-up of his mask on fire is the film's final shot). But, because 'Halloween III' (with its completely different story) was so poorly-received, they decided to bring the silent killer back for the fourth film. So they made it so that he was just in a coma. The series would continue on for many installments, each displaying Michael's inability to get killed. And I'm hoping you can guess what it is about this idea that renders it frightening. Well, if you can''s the fact that you know the killer we come back for the next movie (so what's the point of giving us hope that the killer MIGHT actually be permanently dead? ). You'd think audiences would clue in and stop paying money to see the same thing happen again (I haven't - mainly because I find these movies to be more fun than frightening anyway).

4 Creepy Children

From the beginning of horror film-making, children were always a showcase of purity. That was, until movies 'Village of the Damned' and 'The Shining' changed everything. Creepy kids have been a standard practice in horror movies ever since, and it's getting old. What once was a shocking idea (think "The Exorcist") is now so commonplace that we're completely desensitized to it. I would argue that part of the reason why 'The Conjuring 2' packed a smaller punch than its predecessor was because of this very reason.

5 Demonic Possession

Again, it all started with one film. 'The Exorcist' paved the way for movies showcasing how demons binding to innocent people lead them to change color, contort their limbs, projectile vomit, crawl on ceilings, float in midair, throw furniture, curse profusely, and withstand normally-fatal injuries. And, yes, the thought of witnessing such things is terrifying... unless we're watching it all happen to someone we don't care about. And that's the fatal flaw that most modern horror movies fall prey to. These days, nobody is willing to wait long enough for the characters to become interesting and likable so when the individual becomes possessed ten minutes in, we ultimately don't care, and there's no weight to the situation (unless a dog's at risk, or something - then we care).

6 Zombies

It's hard to believe that when George A. Romero's 'Night of the Living Dead' was released in 1968 it was considered to be horrendously gory and explicit as if it was that generation's 'Saw'. Well, it was all that and more, I'll tell you. But, boy, did it work wonders for the horror crowd. As you must know, the zombie sub-genre remains as one of the most popular commodities in pop culture today. They've featured in countless movies and are responsible for one of the most popular graphic novels-turned-television programs of all time ('The Walking Dead', of course). So, obviously, we still love zombies. But, are we still scared of them? I'd argue that our long-standing acquaintance with the grey-skinned brutes has left us unmoved by their nastiness. It's a pity, because nothing should scare us more than a hostile rotting corpse, you'd think.

7 Blood and Gore

If your adult memory goes back as far as the early 2000's, you'll recall how torture-porn horror movies were everywhere. There was the 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' remakes, the 'Saw' series, and countless others that have since faded from memory. Well, for me, that stuff was never "scary" to begin with. It just made me feel sick. But for others, the sight of someone losing a limb or being cut in half was as frightening as anything. Well, while the concept of being disemboweled should be disturbing to anyone with a sense of self-preservation, it's just not frightening to watch anymore. Like I said, it's just gross.

8 The "Wake Up" Scare

You've seen this before, I'm sure. A guy's walking in a dark hallway when, all of a sudden, a monster jumps out of the darkness and terrifies the guy (and the audience with him) and he wakes up in bed, realizing that it was all a bad dream. He goes to lay back down. As he rolls over in bed he sees the monster laying right beside him and BOOM! You have an extra, "unexpected" scare that takes advantage the audiences' false sense of safety and security. Well, like everything else on this list, it's becoming old hat now. Sometimes, if done cleverly enough, some forms of this tactic may still work, but most of the time you can see it coming from a mile away.

9 Possessed Dolls

"Who is Annabelle"

The haunted doll. You've never seen the movies?

10 The False Escape

Every time the movie's protagonist is shown running from the killer (or whatever it is that's after them) we see him/her stopping at a certain point because they feel confident that they've given the evil-doer the slip. Of course, we know that the big scare is right around the corner and that the villain is really behind the next door the hero opens (or something relative to that). The only times where this does not happen is when there's a "fake jump scare", and we've already covered that.

The Contenders
11 The "Mirror" or "Fridge Door" Scare

Since there are two equally known versions of this scare, I decided that not crediting both in the item title would be wrong, hence this two-named list item. Now, the premise is simple (and predictable). Someone is either doing something in front of a mirror (e.g. brushing their teeth) and something happens that leads them to bend downward (e.g. spit out their toothpaste into the sink). The camera pans downward with the action, taking the mirror out of the shot completely. Once the person stands straight upwards again (facing the mirror directly) something awful happens (a scary face takes the place of the normal guy's in the mirror or said scary face is revealed to be standing directly behind him). I'm going to let you figure out the "fridge door" variant of the scene for yourself (if you don't already know it), since it's pretty simple.

12 Gremlins Rip-Offs
13 Headless People
14 Lullaby Music
15 Decapitated Body Parts
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