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((Henry Spencer continued from A Trout Tussle))

It was a great day!

Sure, it was pouring outside and Henry's jacket was currently with his dad getting washed, leaving him in a plain white t-shirt that clashed with everything Henry held dear from a fashion point of view, but he was in a great mood. For one, his attitude towards attitude-holding gave him the advantage of keeping himself optimistic when things seemed bad, so he was sure he'd get a ride home from one of his friends should he ask, thus negating the primary negative of the day.

Plus, today was horror day in film class!

Henry, as you might have noticed, was a bit of an enthusiast when it came to horror. The thrill! The suspense! The brutal deaths! It was so...invigorating? Eh, debatable. Perhaps a word like 'enthusing' or 'exciting' would be more apt. Then again, 'energizing' worked too...Hmm. Henry needed to think on this. But not now, because now was movie time!

Bounding into class, Henry grinned at Mrs. Webber, who did not return the affection. He quickly rushed to his seat as the bell rang. Mrs. Webber started up a clip on the projector. For some reason, it wasn't especially scary; it was just a car driving along a winding-

Henry blinked as the screaming zombie appeared. He hadn't expected the jump scare, so it had caught him a bit off guard, but his fear response was so tamped down that he barely twitched. Still, his heart was beating a bit faster, so it was overall a remarkably successful fright. Four stars, would not watch clip again because he'd already seen it so it wouldn't have much effect but at that point the metaphor was somewhat forgotten so it was probably best to get to the point. Good show!

"Who can tell me what just happened?" Mrs. Webber asked as Henry's hand jumped into the air as soon as she started speaking. "Henry?"

Henry took a deep breath. "Jump scares are a technique used in games and films to trigger the startle response in the human brain, a defensive reflex evolved to avoid danger. Specifically in horror films, a jump scare is most often used to elicit a surprised or frightened reaction as a culmination of the tension built leading up to that point. Subverting that expectation, such as by having a tense door-opening scene open to nothing, can be a bigger payoff, such as if the door scene aforementioned then leads to a jump scare moments after, once the tension is initially relieved. Personally, I think jump scares function best in small doses at unexpected times, as abuse of them leads to a trite tale lacking in genuine terror and triggering only a base instinct rather than afflicting real, lasting fear."

Silence. Then, applause. Not really of course, mostly just an awkward silence after Henry finished talking (at an impressive velocity, no less), but he could dream!
V5: Cut Short

V6: Broken Down

V7: Unprepared
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