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In drama and narratives, an event or revelation that either does not live up to expectations, or diminishes the impact of what has gone before. The shift in tone signalled by an anticlimax can be used deliberately: for comic or ironic effect, as is the case when Indiana Jones nonchalantly shoots a sword-wielding adversary in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), or to heighten the shock value of a scare in a horror film: for example, in the final scene in Carrie (1976). Sometimes this effect is termed bathetic.

Subjects: Literature — Media Studies.

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