Hooray for Halloween! A huge element that has such emphasis on the tone and mood of a film is the score. It’s the silent voice speaking when no words are spoken, the prelude to a moment of terror or heart break. It is what ties everything together. In the spirit of this spooky month I’ve decided to focus on the eerie, the spooky, and the scariest scores in film. In no particular order, here is a compilation of my personal favorites. Enjoy, dispute, add, or chest burst an alien baby……either way: discuss!
Probably my favorite movie score ever, The Omen’s haunting simplistic tone by Jerry Goldsmith creates an imminent sense of doom throughout the movie, elevating the already terrifying story.
John Williams created possibly the most recognizable score for this flick about a man eating shark. There can’t possibly be a person in existence who doesn’t know what that sound makes before the shark reveals itself. It’s so well known people don’t even have needed to see the movie. Dun nun, dun nun………………
Pino Donaggio writes the score for this film, one of Stephen King’s best adapted films about a bullied school girl with telekinetic powers. Carrie isn’t terrifying as much as eerie but Donaggio’s score adds the extra moment of scary to make all us viewers uncomfortable.
Not only is John Carpenter a master director, specifically noted for his work in the horror genre, he even wrote this diabolical score for this slasher flick about a masked madman named Michael Myers. (whom I still lust after even though Freddy is my horror flick boyfriend)
This flick about boys gone crazy is a staple of the horror genre and one of Alfred Hitchcocks most notable films. The entire film is blanketed by at magnificent score by Bernard Herrmann’s that really comes to truth in the famous “shower scene”.
The score composed by Krzysztof Komeda isn’t overly obvious, more or less a subtle and eerie tone that is masked in sweetness, but underneath is a creepy and sinister malevolence that makes for an unnerving mood.
HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES
Rob Zombie’s score pummels this film giving no question about the horrific intentions this film has. It’s name speaks for itself and while the movies visuals doesn’t lack a sense of terror, the score exemplifies the mood Zombie sought to create.
Howard Shore’s score falls more into the quality of eerie rather than scary, but matched with Cronenberg’s strange sense of story telling, Goldblum’s manic performance, and the explorative quality of science gone wrong, it’s a perfectly ominous match.
BRAM STOKERS DRACULA
This film is more acknowledged for it’s strong visual force but equally powerful is the superb score by Wojciech Kilar. The darkness the film exudes is directly exploited through the score and it’s impressive visuals.
Danny Elfman is well known in the Burton world of film making which is best known for it’s eerie and fantastical creations. However, in Sleepy Hollow he simply outdid himself with a score that was not only haunting, darkly taunting, but captured the essence of exactly what I feel like a scary Halloween movie should evoke.
There is much diversity in Goblin’s score for Romero in this scary flick. From the quirkiness of polka music to real ominous tones, each piece of music are implemented perfectly allowing for the chaos that the situation would undoubtedly emote.
THERE WILL BE BLOOD
Johnny Greenwoods score for this film that isn’t quite scary though insanely eerie captures the spooky undertones of Daniel Plainview the very unlikeable main character, whose behavior is completely unpredictable and without remorse.
The synthesizer by Vangelis takes an already dark mood and undertones and buries it even further making you feel the claustrophobia of Roy Batty, and pressure of Deckard. It’s dark, moody, and creepy.
Michael Andrews score left you with the feeling that something else was going to happen, that some turn of epic violence would occur, and even though it never happened, the intensity of the music, the doomed sense it gave, made you feel like the world would end at any given moment. Not slasher scary, but spooky on a very cognitive level.
A film when advertised in the United States appeared to be much more “magical” than real, it turned out real life was far more terrifying than the imaginary horrors of Ofelia. Javier Navarette created a horrific lullaby that captured Ofelia’s terrifying dream world and her even scarier reality.