A jump scare is a technique often used in horror films and video games, intended to scare the audience by surprising them with an abrupt change in image or event, usually co-occurring with a loud, frightening sound. The jump scare has been described as "one of the most basic building blocks of horror movies". Jump scares can surprise the viewer by appearing at a point in the film where the soundtrack is quiet and the viewer is not expecting anything alarming to happen, or can be the sudden payoff to a long period of suspense. Some critics have described jump scares as a lazy way to frighten viewers, and believe that the horror genre has undergone a decline in recent years following an over-reliance on the trope, establishing it as a cliché of modern horror films.
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