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|HORROR THRILLER IDEAS!
Overused, Outdated, Uninspired, Untalented, Time-Tested hack tropes for a more successful you!
Copyright 2006 by E.C.McMullen Jr. for feoamante.com
HORROR THRILLER Scenario 1: The Mortal Maniac Killer - Single Human
HORROR THRILLER Scenario 1b:
In the first 5 minutes of this story/movie, a teenager or two gets killed for no explicable reason, likely after sex or the suggestion that he or she or both have had sex.
Anywhere from 24 hours to 24 years later, a bunch of teens are brutally hunted down in their home town by a serial killer for no apparent reason. Gasp! That stranger in the first five minutes has returned!
Various teens get killed immediately after sex until the killer runs out of steam and disappears in time for the next sequel.*
HORROR THRILLER Scenario 1a:
The Mortal Maniac Killers - Many Humans
In the first 5 minutes of this tale, a girl is brutalized after enjoying her first taste of adult freedom away from the folks.
Anywhere from 24 hours to 24 years later, a bunch of teens are brutally hunted down in a backwoods locale, then tortured and killed for no apparent reason - other than the pleasure of the killers. Various teens get killed immediately after sex or merely appearing sexual. Various people get killed right after, or during sex until the maniacs are whittled down to one that escapes in time for the next sequel. One girl survives, saving no one. If a lone guy survives, then Major movie / literary critics who never like Horror Thriller anyway, will label it misogynistic.*
The Mortal Maniac Killers - Many Varmints
In the first 5 minutes of this story/movie, a young person or two gets killed for no explicable reason, likely after sex or the suggestion that he or she or both have had sex.
Anywhere from 24 hours to 24 years later, a bunch of people are brutally hunted down in their home town by a mess of varmints for no apparent reason. Evil local government officials, despite warnings from the stalwart cop, ignore the peril until its too late. They may have accidentally created it along with an Evil scientist. If an Evil Corporation is involved, then the scientist is downgraded from Evil to Stupid. Local government may also be bought off by Evil Big Government.
Various people get killed right after, or during sex until the varmints are whittled down to one that escapes in time for the next sequel. One girl survives, saving no one. If a lone guy survives, then the story is labeled misogynistic.*
HORROR THRILLER Scenario 1c:
The Immortal Maniac Killer - Supernatural
In the first 5 minutes of this tale, a girl is brutalized and murdered. Period.
Anywhere from 24 hours to 24 years later, a bunch of teens are brutally hunted down in their town, then tortured and killed because the Killer was a bad kid growing up; or accidentally saw his parents having sex; or knew his sister was having sex; or saw two dogs having sex; or is unable to have sex, or someone stole his skate board. Various teens get killed immediately after sex or merely appearing sexual. The killer is hit, clubbed, beat with a bat (the baseball bat kind) poked, whacked, shot, stabbed, set on fire, blown up, decapitated twice, melted in acid or hot liquid, burned to ash, ash is vaporized, vapor is atomized, atoms are poured in molten iron, all to no avail: he keeps coming until he disappears in time for the next sequel.*
HORROR THRILLER Scenario 1d:
The Immortal Maniac Killer - Science
In the first 5 minutes of this tale, a member of someone's staff is snuck up upon and murdered. Period. Once the killer is revealed, it will seem extraordinarily unlikely that the maniac could possibly sneak up on anyone.
Anywhere from 24 hours to 24 years later, a bunch of twenty some things are brutally hunted down in their town / place of work / or the haunted house down the street which is really a secret lab run by
a: Evil / Stupid U.S. Scientists
c: Evil U.S. Government
d: Evil / Stupid Scientists working for an Evil Corporation that makes its money from an Evil Government.
The Killer is a victim him/her self because of the machinations of the Evil something or others. The killer is hit, clubbed, beat with a bat (the baseball bat kind) poked, whacked, shot, stabbed, set on fire, blown up, decapitated twice, Broken into pieces, melted in acid or hot liquid, burned to ash, ash is vaporized, vapor is atomized, atoms are poured in molten iron, all to no avail: he keeps coming until there is only one female survivor left. If it's a male survivor, critics will deem the story misogynistic. At least one Stupid Scientist will want to study it - not destroy it. At least one representative of the Evil U.S. Government or Corporation will want to destroy it before the press finds out. Monster will be destroyed but Evil entities will remain for the next sequel where they will do the same thing again.*
HORROR THRILLER Scenario 2: Supernatural
In the first 5 minutes of this tale, someone will die or at least be spooked for no apparent reason. Anywhere from 24 hours to 24 years later, a new person or group of people will buy or rent or involve them self (selves) with a cursed something. The something is immaterial. It can be a new apartment, house, car, ring, lock of hair, or even a person. But the person(s) is/are isolated by their circumstances. Inconvenient things will happen ranging from electrical appliances that fail to work properly, cell phones that don't get a signal, buggy computer operating systems, to doors and cabinets that fail to open or close properly. If this is a movie, loud crashing music "stings" that the person in the movie can't possibly hear, will substitute for scares. Sounds of echo-ye bricks hitting the floor will occur every time an out of focus someone passes by, even if that someone turns out to be friend, family, or pet. If this is a story you are writing, you'll have to work harder for the scares: No sound effects for you! The Father or Father figure will die or be rendered unhelpful in the act of saving the child/children. The Mother or Mother figure will save at least one of her children, but if one, then only the one that deserves it. If both are already dead, then she'll stay with them.
HORROR THRILLER Scenario 3: Science
In the first 5 minutes of this tale, someone will die or at least see something explode for no apparent reason. Amazingly, Science Fiction Horror Thriller stories are the simplest because nearly all Hollywood Horror Thriller writers know as much about science as the 2004 Kansas Board of Education. On those rare occasions when a Science Fiction writer decides to write a Horror Thriller story, you get a much richer and more complex story. Also, because most Horror Thriller writers are so blithely ignorant of the most basic, fundamental science (i.e. reality), they invariably look upon it as evil and add a supernatural element. They can't help themselves, they are clueless. So here are the Horror Thriller Science stories as written by Horror Thriller authors.
Science 3a: An alien life form enters a human environment and is very friendly - at first. Unfortunately, some kindly folks must save it from an Evil U.S. Corporation that may be working with the Evil U.S. Government - or the Evil U.S. Military! The alien must go to its galaxy hopping rescue ship, which will appear only for a Ronco Moment (for a limited time only) at a place anywhere from one to 1,000 miles from where the alien is - but never appear exactly where the alien is. The alien helps the humans save it by using Supernatural Powers! There will be the introduction of an Evil Colonel or one star General who is inexplicably koo koo berries. Humanity will be saved by a supernaturally huge plot hole. Said Supernatural plot hole will reveal the alien powers are SO damn powerful that you will wonder why the varmint needed saving in the first place.
Science 3b: An alien life form enters a human environment and is very UNfriendly. Unfortunately, it kills some kindly folks while the EVIL U.S. Government tries to cover it up so an EVIL corporation can use the alien to make Evil Capitalist money. Said money usually involves a weapons program or a line of action figures or both. The alien thwarts the Evil U.S. whatevers by using Supernatural Powers!
The good guys defeat the alien by using it's Supernatural Powers against it (the Bram Stoker ploy), often involving a mirror or something shiny.
Science 3c: An alien life form enters a human environment and is very UNfriendly.
Unfortunately, it kills some kindly folks while the EVIL U.S. Government tries to cover it up and destroy the unfriendly alien before it can kill more people. The alien may or may not have a misunderstood reason (though never a good reason) for being homicidal (that overworked "twist" may be considered creative, so tread lightly). But representatives of the Evil U.S. Government will attempt to destroy the alien by racing the varmint to see who can kill the most people first. This is done because the cover-up is more important than human lives, even though the cover-up exists to save human lives. This ridiculous plot device on the part of the writer is glossed over with the introduction of a Colonel or one star General who gets involved and is inexplicably koo koo berries. Humanity will be saved by a supernaturally huge plot hole.
Science 3d: Evil / Stupid Scientists, working with an Evil Government will bring about a world wide holocaust, making way for Supernatural aliens to try and dominate the earth. Local Yokels who are not scientists but have liberal art degrees will save the day or die trying. Noble high school graduates, old folks, and minorities will heroically throw their bodies into harm's way so that the coffee shop crowd can get away. High school drop-outs and trailer trash will join the remaining Evil Scientists and Evil Government Representatives in welcoming our Evil Supernatural Masters.
HORROR THRILLER Scenario 4: The Usual Suspects
Vampire: Blood sucker enjoys being a vampire but is or was deeply, sexually, in love with an item on the buffet table.
Werewolf/Wolfman: Guy/gal is all messed up about being a werewolf and not fitting in with humans.
Subcategory A -
Mummy: Zombie doesn't enjoy being dead and is morose over a curse related broken heart.
Subcategory B -
Reanimated: Reanimated human is looking for friends and love.
Subcategory C - Just Plain Zombie: Uhhh. Uhhh. Uhhh.
And remember above all else: While most writers are substance abusers, substance abusers are never heroes in these stories and are often an accomplice of the bad guys. And if your story has the writer as your hero, then your name damn well better end in King or Koontz!
To name a few
If this is a Hollywood movie, then only white survivors. The monster can be a minority, though.
A few Horror Thriller stories that made the mold and broke it:
THE MODERN PROMETHEUS,
AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS,
Nearly everything Horror Thriller by
Robert Louis Stevenson,
Daphne Du Maurier,
William F. Nolan,
George Clayton Johnson,
THE STEPFORD WIVES,
INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE,
THE ORGAN DONOR.
A few Horror Thriller movies that made the mold and broke it:
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA,
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD,
THE FLY (remake),
(the team effort that made)
THE 13TH FLOOR,
and a few - but not many - more.