Last night, as I was waiting for the subway, I noticed a poster for the upcoming horror flick, The Haunting in Connecticut (in theaters March 27). It wasn’t the absurdly geographically specific title that caught my eye, but the nasty picture of a kid barfing up what looks like part of the faun in Pan’s Labyrinth. Then I saw the tagline: “Some things cannot be explained.” Um, yeah — some things like how a marketing person convinced studio execs that that disgusting picture should be the poster image! Anyway, I watched the trailer (below) today and discovered more horror-movie clichés in that one short clip than you could ever dream of trying to cram into an entire movie.
I noted the following cliches:
* family moves into a seemingly perfect house, wonders “where’s the catch?”
* family learns “the catch” is that the place “has a bit of a history”
* an ominously locked room is discovered
* there’s a full moon
* a spooky figure is reflected on a switched-off TV screen
* someone singes their hand on an inexplicably hot (or cold?) doorknob
* scary stuff happens in the basement
* a swarm of birds shows up
* doors spontaneously slam shut
* a wise man in a fedora dispenses advice (shades of The Exorcist one-pager here)
* a woman has a hard time in the shower
* someone wields a “Heeeeere’s Johnny!”-like ax and smashes it through the wall
After that, I pretty much lost count. So help me spot the other blatant rip-offs, er, homages in the trailer. Or simply share your favorite horror-flick clichés. That is, if you dare…mmmmmwwaaaa!