Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Shanah @Bionic Book Worm, and is now being hosted by Meeghan @Meeghan Reads. This will be my first time participating in a weekly meme like this (or of any kind really), so wish me luck!
This week’s topic is top five horror/thriller tropes that don’t scare me. This was a tricky one to do because, as anyone can tell you, I am the world’s biggest chicken who will squawk in fear at the most obvious of terrible jump scares. I also don’t read too much horror for the same reason, so there’s probably some things here that are more common in movies than they are in books… but at least I felt a bit braver after writing this!
Top Five Horror/Thriller Tropes that Don’t Scare Me
The “Inescapable” Haunted House
This one’s probably cheating a bit, because I do love a good period horror set in a gothic mansion, but I’m focusing on stories set in the modern era. Because you can just… leave. Yes it would suck to have to pay the mortgage when ghosts are squatting on your property, but it annoys me how often characters can leave with minimal consequences, and don’t because… they can’t take the hit on their credit score? If I can pack up and move to escape the threat, it’s not much of a threat.
The Evil Doll
Oh no! My child’s favourite toy is possessed by an evil spirit that wants to kill us all! It’s not like I could throw it away when my toddler isn’t looking, or chuck that creepy thing straight into the fire at the first sign of anything remotely paranormal! Except yes, I definitely could.
Don’t Do the Thing!
They will do the thing. Before the first page, we know they are going to do the thing. This is more a problem with set up rather than the actual horror elements of a story (although they do sometimes overlap), but it takes a lot of the suspense away when I know exactly what is going to happen the second a character is told “don’t do that.” It’s obviously going to happen, and it will remove all the tension from the story until it does.
This one is, again, probably cheating just a bit as I do like stories with zombies (or any manner of shambling undead hordes), but I just don’t find them scary. Maybe it’s because I’m pretty confident I could outrun them (depending on what kind of zombie franchise I’m stuck in), or that I could run a few over with my car in a pinch, or maybe because they’ve been a bit played out in recent years (still not over it, Game of Thrones), but I don’t find them frightening in any way. I still find them entertaining, but not scary, or at least not scary enough to make me consider working on my cardio.
I know this is a popular one with readers, but I just can’t take creepy children seriously. At most, I would be mildly annoyed that the ghosts elected me to be their babysitter without consulting my schedule. This is probably from spending my teenage years watching my neighbor’s kids for twenty bucks a night, but I’m pretty sure I’m still capable of pick up and tossing a small child aside if they started speaking in tongues. And if I can do that, the threat seems a little overblow. Now, the responsibility of caring for children… that scares me.
Are there any horror or thriller tropes that don’t scare you? Let me know in the comments below. I’m sure you’re all way braver than I am!