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Acoustic Startles in Horror Films

A Neurofilmological Approach

Valerio Sbravatti

The acoustic blast is one of the most recurrent sound devices in horror cinema. It is designed to elicit the startle response from the audience, and thus gives them a “jump scare.” It can occur both in the form of a diegetic bang and in the form of a nondiegetic stinger (i.e., a musical blare provided by the score). In this article, I will advance the hypothesis that silence plays a crucial role in contemporary horror films, both perceptually, since it leaves the sound field free for the acoustic blast, and cognitively, since it posits the audience in an aversive anticipatory state that makes the startle more intense. I will analyze the acoustic startle using a neurofilmological approach, which takes into account findings from experimental sciences in order to better understand the relationship between physiological and psychological factors that make such an effect possible during the filmic experience.

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Ted Nannicelli

. 2010 ). Monaural, Stereophonic, and “Surround Sound” There is an issue with sound that parallels, in a rough way, that of an instance of the work being a screening in 2-D or 3-D. To wit, there is significant variation in the way instances of a cinematic

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Singularity and Uncertainty

Counter-Ethics of Gender and Sexuality in an Indian Dream Analysis

Sarah Pinto

:// (accessed 30 June 2016 ). Sikander , S. 2003 . SpiNN . Digital animation with sound, 6 min 38 sec. Music by David Abir . Sikander , S. 2013 . Parallax . Sharjah Biennial 11, 3-channel HD digital animation with 5.1 surround sound, 15 min 26 sec