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Light-Flicker Teleportation

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The lights flicker on and off. In the less-than-a-second of darkness, the character the camera was previously focused on has disappeared. After another flicker, he will reappear, closer to the POV camera/ other characters. Can be done repeatedly to great effect if the camera doesn't move. Usually done by villains, though it can be done by an Anti-Hero wishing to scare some mooks. Sometimes the "flicker" effect is achieved by the POV character's eyes closing, usually involuntarily.


Related to Offscreen Teleportation. Compare Stop Motion Lighting, where a character stays in focus as the lights turn on and off.


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    Comic Books 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Ju-Rei, a ghost appears and disappears with the flickering of an out-of-order light in a school stairwell.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) has Freddy doing this, except it's actually an inversion, as he appears when the eyes of the one watching him close, since they are drifting in and out of consciousness, and Freddy attacks in dreams.
  • The Collector: In the second film, Arkin is exploring a room in the hotel where the lights keep flickering. The Collector enters the room, and slowly sneaks up on him. Arkin turns around just as the Collector lunges at him. Then when the lights flicker again, we see that Arkin managed to slip out of the room before the Collector could get him.
  • Lights Out (2016) uses this to great visual effect in its opening sequence.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: This trope is used to good effect for the Weeping Angels, angelic statues that animate when no one's looking at them (or in darkness). So when the lights are flickering, you see their slow transformation into horrific monsters getting closer... and closer... and closer...
  • One episode of Primeval features this, as Lester catches glimpses of a future predator bearing down on him in a hallway, under flickering ceiling lights.
  • Used to great effect in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "Repairs".
  • Teen Wolf: Episode "Anchors". The flicker of killer Allison with ring daggers in the elevator.
  • Sherlock: Episode "The Great Game". During the planetarium when the Golem sneaks up behind Sherlock.


    Pro Wrestling 

    Video Games 
  • Part of Alma's box of tricks in the F.E.A.R. videogames.
  • In Spec Ops: The Line, Walker fights a Heavy Trooper in a room full of statues. During the fight, both the trooper and the statues move around with each light flicker, though the game's ending implies this was likely due to Through the Eyes of Madness.
  • Pokémon Reborn: Shade does this randomly if you wait in the center of his gym.
  • The Secret World: The Rabbit Killer leaves the Morninglight clubhouse basement this way during "My Bloody Valentine." As it's already been established that she's capable of super-speed, this isn't too improbable.
  • In Undertale, Sans is well known for using this. Specifically on a genocide run, when he warns you not to kill his brother, and during the fight with him.
  • SCP – Containment Breach does it with SCP-173, which moves when you're not looking at it.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Kirby on episode 7 of There Will Be Brawl.
  • There's a Youtube video which involves a kitten doing this, approaching while the person filming looks away and being unmoving when the camera comes back.
    • Here's a fixed-camera version of the cat in action.
  • Sculpture, a fan tribute to SCP-173.
  • There is a creepypasta involving the POV character seeing a figure far away, that gets closer when he blinks. The story ends with the figure just five feet away, with a big nasty grin on its face, and the POV character's eyes watering, trying desperately not to blink...
  • A video on YouTube involves a boy playing a terrified game of peekaboo after bedtime with a clown doll...
  • The Review Team: "The Drums Of Jeopardy". When the lights come back on during one scene, there's a strange eyeball monster in the room.

    Western Animation 
  • The Sylvester the Cat and Tweety Bird cartoon "Greedy For Tweety" did this: Sylvester is in a hospital bed and can't move, having been given sleeping pills. Every time he opens and closes his eyes, the dog appears closer and closer, wielding a club. It's prime Nightmare Fuel.
  • One particularly Nightmare Fuel-laden episode of The Powerpuff Girls had Bubbles having a nightmare in which her soft toys went from Uncanny Valley to Slasher Smiles and started to come closer every time she closed her eyes and whispered to herself "It's not real", only to open them and see them approaching and looming over her.
  • Played for Laughs in The Simpsons episode "Homerpalooza" in a flashback to when Homer was a teenager. As some cool kids party to a strobe light, Homer stands some distance away, coming closer with each flicker. When he's rejected, the next flicker has him instantly back where he started.

Alternative Title(s): Blackout Blink