ByNatasha Price, writer at
Natasha Price

Don't you hate it when you're watching a film, and you feel as though you've seen it fifty times before? Cliches can ruin a film and make it predictable. In moderation, they're not too bad, but some film cliches are so overused that they make the whole film boring. Lets take a look at a few of the reoccurring problems that most great movies avoid.

10. Help arrives just in time

Don't you hate it when you're watching a film with a good gritty fight, and having it resolved by outsider help. Except, the outsider not only helps, but turns up at the precise second that they're needed most to save the day. You can almost expect it to happen in some films. Nobody's timing is that good.

9. Villain details his plan to the hero

When you have your arch-enemy at gun point, the last thing you want to do is start telling them everything you plan to do. Just shoot them and get it over with. It's going to backfire. There's rarely a film where the villain will just kill the hero when they get the chance.

8. The hero gets the girl

Even if it's not a romance, you can usually tell from the beginning who the protagonist is going to end up dating, even if they have no on-screen chemistry. For once, it'd be nice to see them become best friends in the end, because even heroes get friend-zoned.

7. Unintelligent teenagers in horror films

If it's a horror film containing teenagers, you can expect that they aren't too bright. Where this cliche came from, it doesn't matter, but it's become normal for horror films. Perhaps serial killers and axe murderers worry that intelligent people will foil their plans.

6. The female needs saving

Part cliche, part gender stereotype, the idea that the female is always a damsel in distress has become normal for films with male protagonists. It's nice to see films like The Hunger Games, where a female protagonist saves the male character.

5. Bad guy regrets everything and saves the day

One of the less used stereotypes is the antagonist realizing his mistakes at the end of the film and potentially sacrificing himself to save the world. Although it occasionally works, it can also the villain and make the viewer feel cheated.

4. Dead parents (superhero/Disney)

For some reason, in a lot of films (specifically superhero films and Disney films, where almost all protagonists are orphans), the protagonist becomes a hero when their parents die. Although this might be motivation for some people to become a hero, most people would just grieve and try to move on with a normal life. This trope also allows younger characters to become central to a story that would, in real life, not occur due to having parents or guardians.

3. The villain is English

British villains have become common in too many genres of film, specifically American action films. Perhaps it's the accent or the way they talk, but British people in films are usually evil. If you don't yet know who the villain is, look straight for the British person. Nine times out of ten, you won't need to look any further!

2. The misunderstood villain

Although it can make a great plot twist and make fans interested in the villain, having a misunderstood villain (or a villain who's doing what they do for a good reason) is incredibly overused. Sometimes it can feel cheap and we feel cheated, as someone who was potentially incredibly evil is actually compassionate and doing it for the right reasons.

1. The hero loses somebody and becomes disparaged (then moves on)

It's nice to see that some heroes can feel guilt and grief. Particularly when they could've saved someone and failed to do so. This adds authenticity. However, when your protagonist fails at something and has a breakdown every other scene, it can become irritating. This is also usually followed by the classical pick-up, in which they save the day in the name of the people/person lost. Perhaps this cliche wouldn't be so bad if the heroes didn't pick themselves back up after each casualty and vow vengeance.


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