A Brief History of the Horror Movie Jump Scare

History of the Jump Scare

The jump scare. Few film tropes are so notorious among movie fans, but have proven so effective. If you’re watching a modern horror movie, you know that at any moment something can spring into view with a jarring sound. Mirrors, closets, beds – any patch of darkness can hide the next scream-inducing moment of your life.

While they have been used masterfully, countless forgettable horror movies have leaned on them for cheap thrills, utilized as a crutch when a filmmaker didn’t know how how to use atmosphere and mood to achieve the same emotions from an audience. But like any other technique, when in the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing, you’ll find a scene that will stick with you forever.

With Annabelle: Creation pulling in major bucks at the box office, the jump scare is alive and well and still packing theaters. Let’s take a look at the ways the jump scare, the most hated and possibly most powerful horror movie tactic in a filmmaker’s toolbox, has evolved over time.

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preacher-episode-209-jesse-cooper-935

(Each week, we’re going to discussion Preacher’s season 2 by examining the differences between the original comics and AMC’s television adaptation.)

At first, it seemed like this season was when Preacher would get back on the comic book track, but by now it’s very obvious that the show is very much its own thing. This has turned out to be a very big plus. This second season has transformed a middling-if-strangely-watchable TV show into a can’t miss experience, with nearly each episode showing off different genres, filmmaking styles, and badass action scenes. This is a hodgepodge of ideas and nutty characters that somehow works, and does things that no one on TV is even attempting.

Case in point this week’s episode, “Puzzle Pieces,” which casts a new light on our heroes.

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Preacher Holes review

(Each week, we’re going to discussion Preacher’s season 2 by examining the differences between the original comics and AMC’s television adaptation.)

Preacher’s second season has been all about the peaks and valleys, and this is a valley episode. After all the chaos and action of the last few hours, they needed a breather, and “Holes” lets all the characters take stock of where they are and what to do next…even if they’re not sure what that is.

What we do have is the appearance of some fan-favorite characters from the comic and the return of surprisingly jacked Arseface, who is doing his best Robert De Niro while working out in his prison cell to the music from Cape Fear. What more could we need?

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Preacher Pig Review

(Each week, we’re going to discussion Preacher’s season 2 by examining the differences between the original comics and AMC’s television adaptation.)

Herr Starr! Everyone’s favorite sexually deviant German villain finally made his proper debut in this episode of Preacher after we were given just a small glimpse of his gloriously scarred face earlier this season.

Newcomers could tell that the white-suited operative for The Grail was going to be a big player in the show, and hoo boy, is he ever. You thought the Saint was persistent? Just wait.

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Jim Henson and Kermit

Jim Henson fans in New York City, take note. Your next journey should be to the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens.

/Film was able to catch a sneak preview of The Jim Henson Exhibition, a new permanent exhibition devoted to the life and work of the most famous puppeteer that has ever lived. While the museum has featured muppets and art from Henson before, this time it’s going to stay there forever, a fitting tribute to a man who continues to touch people’s lives.

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Lowlife El Monstruo

Rarely does a film live up to its title as well as Lowlife. Equal parts absurd comedy and surrealist bloodbath, it’s a shocking and often-hilarious story of a bunch of derelicts told over a few days in Los Angeles.

You know you’re in for a rough time when the film starts with an apparent ICE agent bursting into a motel room in the dead of night and grabbing all the undocumented immigrants inside. The owner, Crystal (Nicki Micheaux) tries to stop them and almost gets shot for her efforts. The ICE agent takes them to the basement of one Teddy ‘Bear’ Haynes (Mark Burnham having a lot of fun with the role), the owner of a taco shop who has a far more nefarious business going on downstairs. A good-looking woman is separated from the men and you immediately know that something worse than deportation is about to happen. It does, although a survivor is happy when Teddy mentions El Monstruo (Ricardo Adam Zarate), and believes that he’s someone who will save them.

But it turns out El Monstruo works for Teddy.

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Preacher Sokosha Review

(Each week, we’re going to discussion Preacher’s season 2 by examining the differences between the original comics and AMC’s television adaptation.)

This week’s review is going to be a little different, because for once, the Preacher comics are directly represented in the TV show. In fact, they’re shown on screen!

See, when Jesse, Cassidy, and Tulip want to bone up on their knowledge of just what the Saint of Killers is all about, they head on over to the graphic novel section of their local library. There, they pull down what turns out to be Preacher: Saint of Killers, a real four-issue limited series that reveals the killer cowboy’s backstory.

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Preacher review Dallas

(Each week, we’re going to discussion Preacher’s season 2 by examining the differences between the original comics and AMC’s television adaptation.)

As we hoped, Preacher once again takes things on the road again, in a manner of speaking. The fifth episode takes us briefly out of New Orleans on a road trip of the mind as we ride a flashback to Jesse and Tulip’s relationship back in Dallas. Here we finally find out what happened after that fateful day when Carlos betrayed them, a moment that still haunts them even now when they have way bigger problems in their lives.

But viewers finally meet a version of Jesse comic readers know that we haven’t seen a lot on the show – the asshole psychopath. He’s so incensed at finding out that Tulip’s married to some low-rent mob boss that he’s going to torture him to death, and he even uses the Voice on Tulip to force her out of the room and away from whatever he’s going to do. Tulip is terrified of Jesse at this moment, and we can see that his anger is not just a little problem.

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War For the Planet of the Apes sequel

You made it! Welcome to your new life!

Not only did you survive the bombs and calamitous climate change, you’ve taken the most important step in your post-apocalyptic life by picking up this guide. This shows that you have the STRENGTH and DETERMINATION to make it in this new world.

“But why go on?” you may question. “Why live when my mother/father/brother/sister/daughter/son/cousin/dog/cat/ferret is/are already dead?”

No. You can do this. Do you really want to let the mutants/marauders/hyper-intelligent apes win? Aren’t you the least bit curious about who you could be in this brave new world?

See this as an incredible opportunity and you can have a life just as enriched and enlightened as it was when you still had electricity and running water!

Just commit these seven simple truths to memory and you’ll be enjoying your new life to the best of your ability.

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Preacher Viktor Review

(Each week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Preacher season 2 by examining the differences between the original comics and AMC’s television adaptation.)

When Preacher’s second season started, longtime fans of the comic were really excited. Here was the road trip story we were waiting for, the one that started in the very first issue of the Preacher comic but somehow got ignored as the first season was an extended stay in one town. Most of the comic book run sees our heroes getting into adventures on their journey across America. They’d have brief stops in cities, but they kept moving and kicking ass. Nothing could stop them from finding God.

The first few episodes of the show certainly felt like that, but it wasn’t meant to last. “Viktor” slows down the proceedings and the show feels seems doomed to repeat itself, as if it were trapped in a hell of its own creation.

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