Thursday, August 15, 2013

Meow.

OK!  So.  I promised you a late TropeFest because I'm a nerd that likes to turn large sections of bodily real estate into inky hamburger, temporarily.

LET'S BEGIN!

Eeeeexcellent.
As long as there has been horror, there have been asshole writers and directors trying to fake our shit out and THAT, kids brings us to the number one misused cheap ploy, EVER, the cat scare.  That's right, kids.  The Spring-loaded Cat.  And they're all fucking LAUNCHED at the actor because cats don't fucking come when you call them.  Some idjit has to stand off-screen and throw a cat at an actor.  I want that job.  That's the best fucking job, EVER! 

Beaten.  Hard.
Horror writers want to lull us into a false sense of confidence.  We get a HUGE build up of tension.  Our heroine (usually) is creeping along just WAITING for something to happen.  She expects it.  She WANTS it, almost.  We, as the audience are right there with her.  A door or cabinet or something opens a fraction of an inch.  Being the IDIOT that she is, our girl either stops and waits for something to happen or ACTUALLY OPENS THE FUCKING DOOR!  Either way, she gets a face full of screeching feline.  And ladies in the audience scream EVERY FUCKING TIME!

Oh, if only it happened this way all the time...
And, of course, the minute she says "Oh, Mittens, you scared me, yessoo diiid.  YESSoo did" is the minute she ends up face to heaving chest with a maniac loaded with large pointy things and the athletic facial protective gear of your choice.  Because boo.

Now, this trope isn't specifically limited to cats.  Bats and rats show up just as often.  Very rarely, you get a fluffy dog of a toy breed but mostly it's things that rhyme with "at". 

That's right.  "At."  As in "Fuck That".
Many times, the cat is an obvious precursor.  The character gets the cat scare and then realizes that there's no way the cat could have actually gotten to where he was without opposable thumbs and wrists that turn.  This, of course, does not take into account that cats are evil, little ninjas and they hang out in high places by their paws so as to drop on unsuspecting teen morons.  They still can't open locked doors, though, as far as humanity is aware so we have to assume that someone let them in.

OH, HOLY JEEBUS!!  IT CAN TURN THE KNOB!!
Fortunately, this trope is well on it's way toward being discredited because, seriously, it's starting to piss me right the fuck off.  This is just a low blow and it needs to stop.  There are other ways of building and releasing tension, film makers.  Use them.

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