marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

stupidity in fiction

Much as I hate, hate, hate idiot plots, there are always convolutions.

Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as a stupid action.  There is only an action for which motives have been inadequately delineated.

So the heroine goes out to check out the deserted old house and hears an odd noise --

At which point I interrupt to observe that actually, when I hear an odd noise about the house, I go to investigate what happened.  Usually it's something fell, and I put it back.  I bet most of you do, too.  And why do we expect characters in a movie to know they are in a flick and act according?  Given that they don't have genre awareness. . . . all right, in a sequel they ought to know that something is bad mojo, but people groan about it even when the character is the first victim in the film.

Except that we can't really turn off our knowledge that it's a horror movie and so not be aware that it's dumb.

Especially when young idiots are doing something because they know that being young makes them immortal.  Which happens all the time in real life but still can be very annoying on the page or screen.

--  so, back to our heroine.  Let's suppose she does, for whatever reason, get backup and lights.  And let's suppose that this frightens it away.  And as soon as she's alone, it comes back.  Again and again.  Finally, she goes to check it out before she dies of curiosity.

There are all kinds of reasons one can do something that would be dumb without such reasoning.
Tags: genre, motivations

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