Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Top 5 Tuesday: Horror Tropes That Don't Usually Scare Me

This week I decided to switch back over and participate in Top 5 Tuesday, originally hosted by BionicBookworm, now hosted by MeeghanReads!

This week's topic is: Horror Tropes That Aren't Scary

Although there are plenty of horror tropes that I love and I do find delightfully creepy and scary, there are some that just don't really do anything for me for one reason or another. This week's Top 5 Tuesday topic has provided me the perfect opportunity to share some of those tropes that don't leave me feeling all that scared. I'll also be making another post this month to share some horror tropes that I do love and that can be perfectly scary!

1. Taxidermy. For some reason, when a character walks into a room or meets someone who loves to taxidermy, it's supposed to be a bit weird and spooky. Taxidermy is just another type of hobby, and the only reason it's "weird" to people is likely because it involves dead things, which (understandably) makes some people uncomfortable. I don't really have any big issues with being around death, and although I'm a huge animal lover that can barely stand the site of any animal in pain, if these are animals dying of natural causes/etc., then taxidermy can be seen as a pretty neat way to respect them and showcase them after death. The only way that would be scary to me is if the person was going out and killing animals in order to taxidermy, in which case I would be horrified and extremely upset. 

2. The "cat scare" trope. A cat scare trope is what happens when there's a super strong build-up of tension and/or the music starts rising and you know something is going to jump out and scare you–and then it's just an animal running by or branch falling or something. I find these relatable, since I definitely get spooked by things that turn out not to be spooky, but they sort of take away overall tension for me and then when something scary actually does happen, I'm already prepared for it and/or have been ruined by the "cry wolf" aspect. 

3. Ghosts with "unfinished business." I'm not entirely sure why, but any sort of 'vengeful' ghost that is only haunting people because it's angry or upset for whatever reason is just... not that frightening. It might be because it's such an overdone cliche that I just get annoyed sometimes when I see it now, but it doesn't really send any shivers up my spine when I see it. I just hope it has a chance to get that aggression out in a safe manner. 

4. Zombies. I'm sure actual zombies would be terrified, but they've gotten so cliche'd to me and always look so silly that I'm more likely to roll my eyes upon seeing one than I am to run away in fear. 

5. Torture. Torture isn't necessarily scary, it's just horrible and usually pretty overly gory. Certain types of torture I would classify as scary, but usually horror movies have torture that's just focused on the violence and gore, and that doesn't scare so much as repulse me. I'm not a super sensitive person, but I don't care for overzealous mutilation. Weirdly, however, I am someone who does enjoy a nice bloody aesthetic (like a blood-splattered cover or something). Maybe the aftermath of torture works for me? Or I'm just plain weird. Who's to say?

Bonus #6: "Satanists"/etc. Okay, here's a sixth because I just saw something with this trope mentioned and it reminded me how silly it seems today. Satanists may have been horrifying back in the day, but nowadays there are so many religions out in the open that having something like Satanism just seems like a pretty ordinary thing. Is that just me?

How do you feel about these horror tropes? Are there any horror tropes that you don't find as scary as they are meant to be?


  1. Yeah, Satanists don't seem scary to me!

  2. I've actually never thought about this topic before, but for me, I think the big, scary woods is losing its scariness for me. I've read so many books lately that involve the creepy woods or forest that it just feels like an overdone trope at this point.

    1. That's a good one! I totally agree, which is a little bit of a bummer just because I love a good scary woods. It seems super common these days.

  3. Ooh this is fun. And oh my gosh yes the cat scare! Love that. Sooo overdone and not that scary.