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Top 10 Things Horror Movies Ruined For You

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Written by George Pacheco Good horror movies have the ability to take ordinary everyday objects and make them scary to the point that we can't even look at them the same way again! WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Normal Things That Were Made Terrifying by Movies! What will take top spot on our list? Will be swimming in the ocean, dolls, or basements? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: WatchMojo.com Big thanks to MikeyP for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted check out the suggest page here: WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%2010%20Things%20Horror%20Movies%20Ruined%20For%20Everyone
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Just when you thought it was safe to… well, do anything, really… YOU CAN’T! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things Horror Movies Ruined for Us.

For this list, we’re ranking the normal activities, places, or things that are now commonly associated with horror movies or tropes. We’ll be omitting sex from this list, however, as the human species continues to have lots of intercourse, despite the fact that it leads to death in the world of horror cinema. Also, a spoiler alert is in order.

#10: Showers & Tubs

Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 shocker “Psycho” managed to singlehandedly change how many viewers felt about the most vulnerable of places: the shower. The now famous scene where Janet Leigh is slashed to death while bathing at the Bates Motel possesses fantastic power even today, a fear that director Wes Craven channeled over 20 years later in an equally classic scene from “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking Norman Bates in a wig or a creepy Freddy Krueger glove in the tub: sometimes getting clean just isn’t worth the hassle.

#9: Phone Calls

Oh, come ON! Now the home phone’s the cause of our misery, too? Actually, it could be that the call is coming from inside the house, or that the person on the other line wants to play a game. Or, it could be a missed call from your smartphone that’s trying to kill you. Whatever the case, we’re totally cool with the idea of never, ever picking up a phone call again from a number we don’t recognize. Maybe we’ll communicate solely via text for the foreseeable future? Yeah, that sounds about right.

#8: The Dark

We all have vivid memories of our parents tucking us in at night as children, assuring us there weren’t monsters in our closets or under the bed… but what about when the lights go out? If we’ve learned anything from watching horror movies, it’s that something’s always lurking in the shadows, waiting in the dark to get us. It could be at home or abroad, but when we least expect it, the darkness seems to come alive and there isn’t a flashlight strong enough to keep us from screaming our heads off about it.

#7: Being Home Alone

Actually, maybe staying inside ISN’T such a good idea. While it’s nice to imagine a night in as a time to rest, relax, and recharge, characters in horror movies never seem to have it that easy; instead, they have to deal with a variety of terrifying tropes that make being home alone anything BUT relaxing. Be it a home invasion, a paranormal entity, or another one of those escaped lunatics from the asylum, house sitting has never been so tense. Maybe it’s time to practice some Macaulay Culkin style defense?

#6: The Woods

It isn’t wise to go into the woods alone. This is especially true given the multitude of horror tropes about any sort of wooded area being haunted by a crazed psychopath. Think you’ll be safe at summer camp, sleepaway camp, or any other weekend excursion with your friends? Think again, because we all know that it’s just a matter of time before the bodies start piling up and those tall trees start looking more like prison bars than a pleasant part of nature. Geez, we’re really running out of places to hide at this point…

#5: Mirrors

Have you ever stared deep into a mirror’s reflection and wondered if something was staring back at you? Perhaps this is why so many evil and possessed mirrors make their way onto the big screen. Characters frequently come into contact with distorted, fiendish reflections of themselves, while the scenes are often utilized by directors to grab an audience’s attention with jump scares. Of course, this could all be circumvented by just smashing every mirror you come across, but who really wants that much bad luck?

#4: Clowns

A word of WatchMojo Advice™: if you possess an irrational fear of clowns, don’t ever, EVER watch Stephen King’s “It.” Actually, it turns out that quite a few horror fans are terrified of these masked merrymakers, to the point that they cause panic attacks and anxiety. We get it: clowns are the LAST thing that’s going to make you laugh; instead they appear unhinged, bizarre, and downright creepy. While not everyone’s afraid that clowns might eat them in their sleep, these circus workers have been totally ruined by their frequent inclusion in horror movies.

#3: Basements

Here are some other words of wisdom: if there’s a creaky, unsettling noise coming from the basement in your home, resist the urge to investigate. Don’t go in the basement. Don’t look in the basement. Don’t even think about the basement because it’s not going to end well. Maybe there’s a portal to hell down there, or maybe there’s a bloodthirsty creature waiting at the bottom of the steps with some seriously bad intentions, but either way it’s best you don’t go down there. Or better yet, consider moving into a place with an attic instead.

#2: Swimming in the Ocean

If “Psycho” made movie audiences afraid of showers, then it was Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” that made them avoid water altogether. This 1975 blockbuster made the most of out of its temperamental special effects by holding back on the big reveal of its giant shark, relying instead on tension and storytelling to deliver the scares. Of course, it’s not only sharks that have scared off horror fans from taking a dip in the sea, skinny or otherwise, as both piranhas and giant octopi have also done their fair share of terrorizing the ocean depths.

Before we name our top pick, here are few honorable mentions!
- Little Children
- Hotels / Motels
- Old Photographs


#1: Dolls

Chucky, anyone? The murderous doll possessed by the spirit of serial killer Charles Lee Ray is arguably the most famous toy to ever star in its own horror franchise, but this hasn’t stopped others from trying to capitalize on its success. The horror world is littered with its fair share of frightening dolls, including creatures from the “Puppet Master” franchise, as well as the more modern example of Annabelle from “The Conjuring” series. There’s just something about that balance of innocence and terror that gets us every time.
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