Simple Horror Plots, Part 4: The Suckers

There’s always some sucker willing to bumble into the wrong part of town…or some small town willing to host something it shouldn’t.

  • Something’s looking for trouble.
  • Surprise, surprise, our characters are just the suckers needed–wrong place, wrong time, and distracted.
  • Technically, the characters didn’t ask for it, although maaaaybe they tried to get a little something for nothing.  Or they’re the kids of the people who actually deserve this crap.
  • Trapped, the characters decide to make some trouble for the something that made trouble for them.
  • The characters win–but they’re changed.  Or the characters lose–and are changed.  Or the characters die and someone else watches the tragic ending–and is changed.

I think this is the one for things like Cabin in the Woods and Stepford Wives and Rosemary’s Baby, that kind of thing.  ‘Salem’s Lot.  Stephen King practically has an industry based on this plot.

An interesting twist that Bentley Little sometimes does is to make it look like he’s doing The Suckers, and really it turns out that the characters deserved this shit all along (The Ignored).

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