It’s not just a bad dream. The horror genre is plagued by clichés. Like the paranoid neighbor who knew the truth all along, viewers can anticipate every bit of impending doom about to befall the unsuspecting victims.

There is a silver lining to these repetitive themes and motifs, though. It can be comforting to know something bad is about to happen before it unfolds. The familiar feeling of anticipation gives viewers a sense of catharsis—or perhaps superiority—in knowing that they could outsmart the on screen killers. We’d never turn our backs or leave that window open. That upper hand makes us feel like the real heroes.

So here’s our salute to all the bumps in the night (which may be an alley cat…or a creature of the undead). May these clichés never die—just like the bad guys who have been run over, shot, and impaled on fence posts.

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