Happy Nerdoween! Every October, Nerdist gets into the Fall and Halloween spirit with a fresh slate of posts and highlights from our previous hits. We have a little something for everyone, from not-scary board games to play to the bizarre history of the Ouija board. This year, we are doing something a little different with Trope Day, a one-day celebration of how tropes play into the horror genre.
Horror tropes are a staple in the genre, a setup for impending gore or perhaps a powerful commentary on our socioeconomic strife. They can be funny, thoughtful, or even irritating, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a horror offering that doesn’t lean into one of those tested pathways. When we began to think about horror tropes, we noticed that many of them line up with the seven deadly sins. As we all know, religion and horror often walk hand-in-hand, so this is not a shocking revelation. From “The Jock” archetype representing pride to the (somewhat fading) plot device of “having sex = death” obviously referring to lust, this was a fun way to examine common tropes through a fresh lens.
There are a few horror tropes and character archetypes, like the wide-eyed “Spook” and “haunted Indian burial ground,” that are thankfully fading into obscurity. Like any other genre, horror is continuously evolving and aiming to reflect the progressive changes in our society. But there are some tropes that will never, ever die. While horror can be quite serious, fans will always love the unseriousness of running up the stairs. “I’ll be right back…” Yeahhhh, you won’t be. And, of course, even with the worst antagonists imaginable, human beings are almost always the real monsters. A Nerdist collaborative post is always a good time!
Laser Focus Podcast: Horror Tropes
Kyle Anderson, Nerdist‘s Senior Editor and the host of our podcast Laser Focus, sat down with Features Editor Tai Gooden to chat about all things tropes. As always, there’s a few fun tangents and a lot of nerdy chatter about how tropes play into horror.
Nerdist News: The History of Horror Tropes (Video)
Team Nerdist digs into the history of a few major horror tropes that still resonate in media today! Surely you will learn at least one new fact from this in-depth video.
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