History of Music in Horror Films

2079 words 9 pages
A history of the sound in horror films
Horror films are known for their ability to scare audiences, to get the audience’s hearts racing, their blood rushing. A good horror film will cause viewers to be on the edge of their seats and having their perception of reality distorted as they attempt to understand the unraveling plot of the horror film. The tone of the film aides in the amount of suspense that a horror film produces, since a much darker film will create a more suspenseful atmosphere than one that is more focused on campy monster makeup. But the tone of a film is determined by the sound of the film, or in other words, the score. Sound or music in a horror film, or the lack thereof, make the intense scenes and without the addition
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These stalker songs are characterized by soft repeating patterns, almost always patterns of the same note, as if to play off of William’s famous alternating E and F notes, the original stalker anthem.
Some creative filmmakers have challenged composers and the likes of themselves to attempt to have stories driven by a score and bare acting of its cast. While a different medium than film, Joss Whedon’s “silent” episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer stands out as one of the most innovative primetime televisions episodes in the last thirty years and a great example of having a score be almost solely responsible for the advancement of a story’s plot.
The episode begins with Buffy having a prophetic dream with a singing child warning of the “Gentlemen”. These monsters from a child’s fairy tale then invade Sunnydale and in the night steal the voices of everyone in town. Each night the Gentlemen invade the city and steal a beating heart out of a citizen since without anyone to hear them scream, no one would hear them having open heart surgery being done without being put under.
Without being able to talk, the entire burden of the advancement of the plot is placed on a combination of the sole acting of the cast and the dramatic score that accompanies the episode. With the climax of the episode coming when one of the main characters is being chased by the Gentlemen through her college dorm building, the sharp beat is heard and the


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