Playing With: Scare Chord
Basic Trope: A crescendo of noise or music is used to startle the audience when a sudden movement occurs.
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- Straight: Bob and Alice peer into a dark cave. Suddenly, a swarm of bats flies out, accompanied by a sharp chord in the soundtrack.
- Exaggerated: A sharp chord accompanies every sudden movement in the movie.
- Downplayed: The music suddenly builds in tension as things happen, but more gradually.
- Justified: The director felt that a visually subtle moment needed to be more striking.
- Pleasing, melodic chords are used to soothe the audience during uneventful scenes.
- Alternately: When something unexpected happens, all noise suddenly stops.
- Subverted: Bob and Alice peer into a dark cave, with subtle "spooky music" orchestration. Suddenly, as a swarm of bats flies out, the music stops.
- Double Subverted: ...until Fred unexpectedly taps Alice on the shoulder, and a sharp note plays.
- Bob and Alice peer into a dark cave. Suddenly, a swarm of bats flies out, and Bob creates his own soundtrack by yelling "Dun DUH dun!"
- The chord is what alerts Alice and Bob to danger.
- Zig Zagged: A movie at times features scare chords and at other times does not use them.
- Averted: Bob and Alice peer into a dark cave. Suddenly, a swarm of bats flies out, but no unusual sounds are placed in the soundtrack.
- Enforced: The scene was originally filmed with no scare chord, but executive meddling caused one to be added.
- Lampshaded: An overly long, dramatic scare chord is played for a mild scare moment
- Invoked: ???
- Exploited: ???
- Defied: Before approaching the cave, Alice says that her head hurts and she doesn't want to risk having to hear any sudden loud noises, so she and Bob leave.
- Discussed: "What a spooky cave. It's like some bats are about to fly out as some horrible noise gets played."
- Conversed: After the bats fly out, Alice says "That's what I expected," to which Bob replies, "Well, if they had made more noise, I bet you'd have been scared."
- Deconstructed: The audience becomes so used to every scene containing a scare chord that additional scare chords cause no reaction.
- Reconstructed: ...however, at times when no scare chord is used, those audience members who pick up on the subtle visual cues feel more fulfilled for having noticed them.
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