"BRAWK. YOU'RE SECRETLY RELATED TO AN INVINCIBLE SERIAL KILLER. THAT'S THE BIG TWIST. BRAAAAAAWWWWWK."
Misdirect scares will occasionally make use of things other than cats -- another person in the house, a phone, etc. Hell, the first Gremlins used a toy robot in a Christmas stocking. But each one is like jerking off to a porno and halfway through, discovering one of the people in it is your dad. You're immediately taken out of the moment with nothing good to show for it. You didn't get what you wanted, all that buildup was a bullshit lie, and the end result is you're breathing heavily and scared and not for any reason you enjoyed.
Fuck you, mirror scare. This bit should join ska jazz and children pushing hoops with sticks as old-timey things that we absolutely don't want to revisit. We've all seen the mirror scare. There are a solid half-dozen movies I can think of that are literally just about scary mirrors. Two of them are actually called Mirrors 1 and Mirrors 2. To clarify, the mirror scare is when you look in a mirror expecting to just see yourself, and then OH MY GOD THERE'S A SCARY THING IN THE MIRROR! This scare can be fancied up like a steak with sauteed mushrooms by making it so that when the character turns, the scary thing is no longer behind them. Oh, the bathroom of terror. Oh, the loo of suspense.
Oh, the latrine of general anxiety.
The most egregious of all mirror scares is the useless mirror scare, and I hate it. It makes me seethe. Should I get angry at movies? No, it's an issue I'm working on by ensuring I only watch movies while petting a stuffed bunny to keep me cool. But this one is just dicktastical. The useless mirror scare occurs when the OH MY GOD etc appears in a mirror that the character in the film doesn't even see -- they're just passing the mirror or looking the other way or whatever. This happens in movies like Stir Of Echoes, which you knew sucked because Kevin Bacon never dances in it or even attempts to start dancing in it. In this case, the scare is solely for you, as a viewer. But who the fuck are you? I'm not actually in Kevin Bacon's house eating Skittles and drinking a gallon of Mr. Pibb; I'm doing that shit at home in my underwear. Don't stop the flow of the movie just to scare my ass, as I'll turn this hogwash off and watch funny dog videos on YouTube. I don't give a shit.
Lions Gate Entertainment
Just two-step for a second so that we can get this shit over with, Kevin.
Again, this kind of scare is effective. If the scrotum-faced nun with bleeding gums shows up in a mirror all of a sudden, you'll jump, but you'd jump if someone woke you up by farting directly in your ear, too. It's not an actual part of the story, and it seems entirely pointless if you even consider it for a moment. If the ghost is here to torment the hero, why show up in a mirror that no one in the confines of that fictional universe is looking at? That's like baking a cake in the hopes someone whose birthday it is pops by for a visit. Unless the filmmakers in these instances are suggesting that the ghost really was trying to scare the hero but the hero just missed it and the ghost has shitty timing or aim or some such. If that's the case, let me know, Hollywood, so that I don't accidentally by a ticket to Mirrors 3: Inept Poltergeists.
It's Spring Break! You know what that means! Hot coeds getting loose on the beaches of Cancun and becoming imperiled in all classic beach slasher ways: Man-eating shark, school of piranhas, James Franco with dreadlocks. There are so many films about vacations gone wrong, it's a chore to wonder if there's even such a thing as a movie vacation gone right. Amity Island and Camp Crystal Lake are out. So what does that leave? The ship from Wall-E? Hawaii with the Brady Bunch? A road trip with famous curmudgeon Chevy Chase? On this month's live podcast Jack O'Brien and the Cracked staff are joined by some special guest comedians to figure out what would be the best vacation to take in a fictional universe.
Get your tickets here:
For more check out 5 Things Movie Trailers Need to Stop Doing and 5 Unwritten Rules Hollywood Needs to Stop Following.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out 5 Dumb Movie Tropes They Need To Bring Back, and watch other videos you won't see on the site!
Also follow us on Facebook. Come on, just click it.