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The jump scare

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 01, 2016

Jump scares are the easiest way for hack moviemakers to get the audience’s blood flowing: a quick cut accompanied by a loud noise. But it’s a cheap trick, more or less the same one employed by tweens to scare hiccups out of each other.1 But as this video shows, jump scares can be employed to serve the plot, heighten tension, and to “make the calm moments of the movie scary”.

P.S. Why are trailers for horror/action/sci-fi/drama movies so terrible? Because they’re all jump scares.

  1. Speaking of quick cuts, a slight hiccups interlude. I’ve never placed much stock in hiccup cures — breathing into a paper bag, a sudden scare, drinking from the opposite side of a glass — but my son had the hiccups a few months ago and after 25 minutes, they just weren’t going away. After combing through various cures online, we settled on trying a spoonful of honey. One swallow and the hiccups instantly vanished. Like *snap*.