Ten years ago, we talked about jump scares on the podcast. I don’t recall what I said, but I probably would have been starting from the opinion that there are no good jump scares in movies…but here are a few possible exceptions.
I still feel there are almost no good jump scares. I’m in constant dread of the stupid things, especially from younger or inexperienced filmmakers. I feel like they’re cheap and almost never earned fairly. A cheat, a gimmick relying on framing or sound effects, the last resort of a creatively bankrupt director. I’m stoked to see Black Phone in the theaters, but I’m already dreading the inevitable jump scares.
As someone who’s been doing what you caution your students against, I’d love to hear your opinion on how jump scares can manage fear. Because to my mind, they artificially amplify it and they serve as cover for long stretches of nothing happening. They seem to me a crutch that accomplishes little more than padding the running time. And as a horror fan, I would love to hear your counterpoint!