What do they call it when a horror movie shows you "teaser" scary things?

I have noticed a device used in a lot of horror or otherwise frightening movies and I was wondering if it has a name.

An example would be Jurassic Park III. A boy and his dad are parachute-sailing and end up getting untied from the boat and land on the island. Then in the next scene you see what you think is a huge dinosaur until you realize it is just a close-up of a toy dinosaur that a little little kid in the USA is playing with.

Or, in The Boys from Brazil, one of the litle Hitlers pushes a Punch puppet out at his mother in a way that momentarily startles the audience.

Or perhaps in a horror movie about aliens you see a horrible face pop up that scares you until you realize it is a close-up of a kid playing with a Halloween mask.

Does this device have a name?

Well, there is one device we usually call ‘The cliched jumping cat’ which involves a cat jumping out at a tense moment. Perhaps you’ve seen it used a time or two?

Or three or five hundred and fifty. Or the young couple in the creepy house who split up to search and then unexpectedly come upon each other in the dark and scare themselves.

I love it when they back into each other.

Who moves like that?!?

Cheap thrills is what i usually call it!

Ahhh the old bait and Switch… The Switcheroo, the Red Herring shot… The false startle shot… the Faker… Falsarooney, Mind twist… El Cheapo shot… ETC ETC

It’s the ‘set up’ - its so you’ll relax until the real GOTCHAYA happens.

As far as I knew, such shots were known as “teasers” plain & simple.

You mean “The spring-loaded cat.”

James Macdonald called it a “false gotcha.” A “gotcha” is when the monster jumps out at you (a very cheap trick); a “false gotcha” is when something jumps out, but it turns out to be harmless.