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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 a Terror Hero wishing to scare some mooks. Sometimes the "flicker" effect is achieved by the POV character's eyes closing, usually involuntarily.

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


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Zombie Land Saga: Done unintentionally in episode 4, when the company president is terrorized by seeing the girls of Franchouchou out of their make-up, and the lights in the hotel's hallways just happen to flicker in a way that makes the girls look even more unsettling.

    Comic Books 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): The Big G himself does this early on, slowly approaching the underwater window of an offshore platform deep enough that the only source of light is the intermittent flashing of his dorsal plates.
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    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: This trope is used to good effect with 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.
  • Sherlock: Episode "The Great Game". During the planetarium when the Golem sneaks up behind Sherlock.
  • Teen Wolf: Episode "Anchors". The flicker of killer Allison with ring daggers in the elevator.

    Music 

    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 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.
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    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing Worldof Gumball: In the flashback episode "The Rival", baby Anais (who had demonic powers back then) repeatedly tries to kill Gumball and Darwin. In one scene, Gumball tries to play "peek-a-boo" with her, leading to such a moment where he opens his eyes and they're suddenly to the middle of a busy highway.
  • Looney Tunes: In Greedy for Tweety, Sylvester and a bulldog repeatedly abuse each other while recovering from injuries in a hospital. In one scene, Sylvester is given sleeping pills, leading to a scene where he lapses in and out of consciousness while the dog comes to beat him with a club, appearing closer each time he opens his eyes, with the last blink being followed by a Hit Flash.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: In "Power-Noia", Bubbles has a nightmare in which her stuffed toys appear to come to life and gain slasher smiles. As she repeats to herself "It's not real", the dolls come closer to her bed each time she opens her eyes until they're looming over her.
  • The Simpsons: A flashback from "Homerpalooza" shows a teenage Homer trying to socialize at a party. As some cool kids dance 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.

 
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Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Blackout Blink

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