Let’s talk about what makes horror movies scary! This is a topic that I spend a lot of time thinking about. With horror novels, the fear comes from one (not so) simple place – your imagination. Regardless of what the author spells out for you, chances are, you’re terrified based on images you conjure up on your own. Stories that don’t describe the boogeyman specifically lead to readers injecting their own personal demons. In that sense, reading horror almost feels more personal than watching.
In movies, the director’s got a hell of a job trying to make scares happen. One of my favorite aspects of horror involves sound design and music direction. Music really sets the tone for the movie for me, and some of my favorite horror films have the best themes.
Ave Satani, composed by Jerry Goldsmith for The Omen, was nominated for an Oscar. (The movie’s original score actually WON the Oscar!) The title translates to “Hail Satan,” which is perfectly fitting for obvious reasons. This theme set the tone for so many horror films to come. Creepy Satanic Gregorian chants are now basically their own trope among demon/possession movies, but this is still the best. The slow build to the enthusiastic ending works incredibly well to follow the same tone of the film.
Another horror film to win an Oscar in the sound category (this time, for Best Sound)? The Exorcist! The mixing in The Exorcist is ridiculous, but let’s talk about the theme. The theme, by Mike Oldfield, wasn’t written specifically for the movie, which means Oldfield is just creepy on his own. I’ve never been scared by this film–probably because I didn’t watch it until I was a junior in high school because it was one of two horror films I was forbidden from seeing. The bells, though, messed with my head greatly. The theme has this weird tension to it and I think fits the film so perfectly that it’s hard to accept that this wasn’t written for the film.
This is one of a very small number of movies that still has the ability to creep me out. Carol-Anne’s Theme was composed by Jerry Goldsmith (we meet again!). He was nominated for yet another Oscar for the music, but ultimately lost out to E.T. If The Omen‘s theme kicked off the Satanic chant craze, Poltergeist helped user in the trend of creepy kid choirs. Seriously, why would anyone want little kids singing to them? It’s always bad news. I dislike listening to this theme because it’s so unnerving to me.
A Tale of Two Sisters
This movie will likely come up a lot in posts throughout the month. I love every single aspect of it. The music, composed by Lee Byung-woo, is so deceptively calming that it’s kind of brilliant. The juxtaposition between such tranquil music and such terrifying visuals is amazingly effective. The theme is called “Cold Hands,” and that feels a bit misleading compared to the music, as well. Despite how calm the music seems, there’s a thread of sadness running through it.
Music can make or break any movie, but horror especially seems vulnerable to this. There are tons of other themes from movies that I love but don’t really feel like getting into. And yes, I know, Halloween is missing. But come on, who doesn’t already know that that score is flawless?
I’m not a religious woman. I have spiritual beliefs that I really only discuss with less than a handful of people, but they don’t drive my daily life. Sometimes, though, I do think that something otherworldly feels the need to bubble forth and give us all a small wink and a nod to let us know that we’re all going to be alright. This song, from one of my favorite artists, was released on my mother’s birthday. “It’s always darkest before the dawn.”
There was this dog on Animal Planet’s It’s Me or the Dog named Stains. I don’t know why his name is Stains, but let’s roll with it. Stains became a meme basically as soon as this episode airs because of one short clip:
He’s absolutely transfixed by those cupcakes to the point where nothing else matters at all. Sometimes, I know that feeling. I touched on it a bit in the last post, but as I sit here after having spent a solid hour going through SNSD YouTube videos and Wiki pages and sharing my findings with a rather uninterested Kat, it dawned on me that from time to time, I become Stains.
If I’m on the hunt for something, I drop conversations. I forgo eating. I won’t even get up to go to the bathroom until it’s near-emergency point. I absolutely have to find what it is I’m looking for in order to feel fulfilled. If I’m following links, I have to click them all. Leave no stone unturned. It’s all-consuming. It’s exhausting.
It’s part of why I’m a font of useless trivia. I amass knowledge from these random moments of feverish searching. I’m fairly certain by now, this knowledge has pushed out important facts like my phone number. Still, I’d make a hell of a Jeopardy! contestant.
In conclusion, I just lost about three days immersing myself in all things SHINee. I’m not even sure how that happened.