Top 3 Horror Cliches That Need to go ASAP + Top 5 Horror Films

To say I am a fan of horror movies would be an understatement. Every time October rolls around, I’m diving deep down the rabbit hole of getting spooked.

The thing that makes being a horror fan difficult is that there are very few scary movies that are good each year. Typically, the writer or director relies too heavily on cliché horror tropes. They become way too predictable and make the stakes not feel as high and the experience not feel as real.

When horror becomes predictable, what’s the point? The point is to get scared, not bored.

Top 3 Horror Clichés That Need to go ASAP.

Jump Scare overload!

If the only thing that a horror movie hopes to do is shock the shit out of you by changing frames and adding EXTREMELY loud noises out of nowhere…I am not interested.

There have been many times where I had been excited for a scary movie and leave disappointed because there is absolutely zero plot or story progression whatsoever. Just an hour and a half of cheap jump scares. Yeah I may have jumped a few times, but that’s such a cop out.

Let’s get back to creating captivating characters and creepy settings!

Final Girl / Cliché Characters

I do appreciate the Friday the 13th franchise for bringing a lot of fans to the horror genre, but they totally screwed with the minds of far too many horror screenwriters. Over half the time I sit down to watch a horror flick, I can literally guess which characters will die, in what order, and who will survive- all within the first 5 minutes.

Change it up people! You don’t all have to be the same.

Stupid Decisions

Why does there have to be so many idiotic characters in horror movies? I’ll tell you why, because these writers are lazy.

If the writers spent more time developing characters and story, then maybe we could have a few more horror movies with at least slightly smarter characters. Characters that must be truly outwitted in order to be taken out.

Think about how many times you have said, “What are you doing!” or “Don’t go down there!” or “You are literally the stupidest person ever bro, like how did you even make it this far in life.” Okay maybe the last one is just me, but you get the point.

Now you know what annoys me, so here are my personal top 5 horror movies.

Dan’s Top 5 Horror Movies

top horror movies conjuring

The Conjuring

What a breath of fresh air this movie was. Watching this movie in theatres reminded me of what I loved about horror movies. Directed by newly appointed horror legend (by me) James Wan, this one is definitely one of my favorites.

When I left the theatre that night in 2013, I knew immediately this would be in my top 5 forever. Sure, it has some of the typical horror tropes, but it doesn’t overdo it.

The setup of this movie is perfect, and it has you on the edge of your seat the entire time. There were a few moments in this film that had me extremely worried for the characters. This is the sign of a great horror movie. Too bad the sequel was garbage.

top horror movies IT stephen king


I know, I know, this literally just came out. But it still immediately enters my top 5 for horror movies. This movie couldn’t have been better casted and the writing and setting were perfect.

Bill Skarsgård brought Pennywise to life better than I thought possible. A scary clown seems like a cheesy concept, but Bill made him truly frightening. The kids were a delight on the screen and brought the stakes of the movie up a notch with every passing scene.

The jump scares were minimal and unless you read the book, you wouldn’t have been able to predict which direction the movie was going in.

The movie was so good that I bought the book. And that is a huge investment which will take me forever to finish. As long as I finish it before the sequel comes out, it’s cool with me.

Hear our review of IT in episode 2 of  the Scene Invaders Podcast.

top horror movies cabin in the woods

Cabin in the Woods

Now, technically, this is a comedy/ horror film, but it is too good for me not to have on my list. The movie was written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard and directed by Drew Goddard. Cleary Joss and Drew were tired of the same clichés in horror movies that I was, because this movie makes fun of all of them throughout the entire movie.

They somehow found a way to make fun of these clichés, while still making a scary and interesting movie. If you are a fan of horror, and wish we would get better movies made more consistently, watch this movie. You won’t regret it.

top horror movies signs m night shyamalan


To me, this is the best movie M. Night Shyamalan has ever made. This movie is a near masterpiece when it comes to the horror genre.

The characters are captivating, the acting is spectacular, and the concept is simple. No tricks or any twists this time around for M. Night, just an alien film, and it delivers on all spectrums.

When you watch Signs, you are part of the experience. This movie also has the best score for any horror movie I have ever seen. You literally feel the tension building throughout the experience. If you knock M. Night for some of the garbage he has made in his career, I totally understand. But if you haven’t seen this movie because you think he is a bad director, you are missing out. Put this movie on, and sit back and enjoy the experience.

top horror movies get out key peele

Get Out

The horror movie that horror fans deserved. I saw this movie on opening night to a completely sold out theatre and I don’t think I have ever had a better time at the movies.

The whole theatre was engaged and it made the experience such a great time. Jordan Peele wrote and directed this masterpiece under Blumhouse Productions, an ever growing production company that is churning out hit after hit. Get Out found a way to address important social issues that need to change, while still making an extremely entertaining movie. It’s just a shame I can’t watch this movie with hundreds of people again, because I feel that truly added to the experience.

I believe this is one of the best made horror movies of all time, right from the beginning scene. Well done, Jordan Peele. Can’t wait to see what you do next.

If that’s not enough horror for you, listen to episode 6 of the Scene Invaders Podcast where we discuss our favorite horror movie moments in a Surprise Top 5 Segment.

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