North Texas Daily

Horror movie stereotypes are dull and outdated

Horror movie stereotypes are dull and outdated

Horror movie stereotypes are dull and outdated
October 21
15:00 2020

October is easily the best month of the year. With Halloween taking over and the weather finally becoming pleasant, it is a happy time for a lot of people. Many of those people will probably divulge in a horror movie or two, so I think it is appropriate to look at some movies that have made jokes or stereotypes towards certain groups of people in horror movies.

These stereotypes can be played off as jokes or even just character traits. Either way, it is important to know what movies have done this to prevent any future horror flick from retreading over stale water. 

Excessive, unnecessary nudity was a stable of horror movies. This has been extremely prevalent in past decades, and it is unfortunate that a lot of these movies feel the need to add it to their flicks. There are countless slasher films that are well-known for their gratuitous nature, and to sit and think how many of these cast members were used solely for their body is disturbing. There are many instances in a movie where nudity can be utilized, but as we have seen in movies like Rob Zombie’s “Halloween” remake along with his other movies, there seems to be no real significance other than having naked people in their films.

In contrast, there’s the final girl trope. The final girl is the morally superior lead who always makes it to the end and survive. Drew Goddard’s 2011 film, “The Cabin in the Woods” beautifully subverts this trope. In most horror movies, the ditsy, promiscuous blond usually ends up the first victim, while the Christian brunette who gets good grades will be the one ultimately surviving the entire encounter. This is another stereotype that was heavily present in the early ages of horror and slashers, but it is important to know that these types of stereotypes can create social problems. We have all heard “dumb blonde jokes” and I think that stereotypes in films like these only feed into that. It is not right in the slightest, and I am glad that we are moving in a direction of horror that steers away from hurtful stereotypes.

A franchise of movies that have made their mark on the entertainment industry for being crude and obnoxious is the “Scary Movie” franchise. With extremely hurtful racial stereotypes, along with making fun of homosexuals, the series has not held up well in the slightest. Growing up, I watched these movies thinking they were funny and edgy, watching them today now makes me cringe with how they have some of the characters act. Offensive is an understatement, and I think movies that use groups of people as targets for comic relief should not be praised in any way at all.

The main point of this was to just make sure the awareness is at an all-time high. We are finally at the point where people in the entertainment industry are being held accountable for their actions, and just because a movie came out 40 years ago, doesn’t mean those people can’t be held to the same standards. Stereotypes, especially those played for laughs, are nothing but hurtful, and it is important we locate these in things like horror movies and use them as a reference in the future on what not to do.

Featured Illustration by J. Robynn Aviles 

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Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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