10 Rules of Schlock Horror

When three writers get together, they inevitably have to make a trilogy. The first in our series focused on the rules that every schlock Sci-Fi movie needed to avoid at all costs follow to be truly worthy of our notice, and like all great trilogies, the middle chapter takes a turn for the dark as our newest writer Tom OReily delves into the murky world of horror…

Horror movies are like pizza:  even bad pizza is still pizza.  We forgive a lot in horror movies, both because we enjoy their charm and we don’t expect too much in the way of originality.  So,while the forthcoming list may seem like clichés that should be avoided to create something new and exciting, deep down we look at them as old familiar friends.

1) Welcome to the Movie!  Please pick up your one character trait and interesting haircut at the front desk. As sequels progress, the stories become less detail oriented and more sketched out.  As a result, characters become more like caricatures with one identifiable quirk, which is usually used to give them a brutal demise.

Worst Offenders: Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and 5 featuring such intriguing personalities as Brainy/Asthmatic Black Chick, Buff/Roach-Hating Girl, Karate Kid with Bad Haircut, Skateboarding Comic Geek, Greaser Motorcycle guy, All Jock-guy, and Swimmer-girl!

2) Oh, such a cute little child…KILL IT! Even if the child in a horror movie is not the epitome of all evil him/herself, the child is always what the evil monster wants.  So, save yourself the trouble and kill the child right at the beginning. After all,  you can always have more children.

Worst Offenders: The Omen is the big one, but also look to the American remake of The Ring .  Not only is the big bad an adorable little girl, but who didn’t want to take out that freaky son of Naomi Watts?  Even before he becomes the biggest jerk at the end?

3) Guys, could we just-you know-LEAVE? Horror movie victims seem to have a terminal case of rubbernecking.  They all feel the need to go “check things out” when they hear a strange sound or the lights go out.  I understand when some psychopath is chasing you there is nothing you can do.  But why would you encourage the evil monster to kill you?

Worst Offenders: The Amityville Horror and most other haunted house movies.  The house is possessing the main character and driving him insane, but the family doesn’t leave until the very end of the  picture.  A more recent, more mind-boggling entry is The Midnight Meat Train . All Bradly Cooper has to do is not go into the subway looking for the insane serial killing butcher, and yet he goes back three times on three different days!

4) I know we’ve been friends forever but I’m gonna’ have to go ahead and leave you to die. Years spent building friendships and relationships will be swept away in a matter of hours when one’s life is at stake.  Unless, someone is in love –then they’ll sacrifice themselves, which happens about as often.

Worst Offenders: If The Evil Dead taught us anything, it's that it’s all fun and games until you have to dismember your loved ones.  Also great is Cabin Fever ; it’s like the anti-Breakfast ClubJeepers Creepers II is also fun as the anti-Rainbow Coalition.