June 7, 2009

5 Terrifying Horror Movie Soundtracks

Soundtracks are the best complement to a movie, aiding in the creation of the psychological effect that the director wants. Sometimes they are so good that become as famous as the movie itself. In horror movies, music has a fundamental role, as it increases the sensation of uncertainty of the plot. Let’s listen to five of the most terrifying soundtracks I’ve ever heard, in no particular order.

1. Suspiria

Suspiria is a horror film masterpiece, characterized by its art direction with saturated colors and innovative photography. Dario Argento, its director, asked the members of the italian band The goblins to compose and play the music for this movie. They composed a heavy album full of rock sounds in synthesizers and guitars. The following track features frightening breathing sound effects.

Sighs - The Goblins – Suspiria (1977)
2. Tetsuo

Tetsuo, the story of the transformation of two men in iron, is an example of the horror film movement in Japan. With cyberpunk aesthetics, it's one of the first movies on this trend. Its soundtrack is an industrial work with a sound completely generated by electronic means. It features a vibrant and frenetic dub of metallic sound effects with a synthesizer track. This music is the perfect theme for the technological nightmare this movie is.

Magnetron - Chu Ishikawa - Tetsuo (1989)
3. The orphanage

The story of a mother who does everything to save her son from a strange force that inhabits the same house where she grew up, is the plot of The Orphanage, a Spanish movie directed by Juan Antonio Bayona. The music of this film was composed by Fernando Velásquez, who made a fantastic soundtrack played by a symphonic string ensemble. The following song is the background music of one of the crucial parts of the movie.

Sola en casa - Fernando Velásquez - The orphanage (2007)
4. Halloween

The director of Halloween, John Carpenter, made by himself the soundtrack of this movie to reduce costs. As it turned out, it became one of Hollywood's most famous soundtracks ever. The music that accompanies the crimes of Michael Myers, is a simple piano tune in 5/4 meter, which Carpenter showed to an unimpressed Fox executive. The simple progression of notes played in piano and synthesizers in a cyclic way is an effective example of how music makes a movie complete.

Main Title - John Carpenter - Halloween (1978)
5. Rosemary's baby

Rosemary's baby, the movie of Roman Polanski is not creepy enough to scare us today. But the ending theme Lullaby, sung by Mia Farrow, the main character, is delicately terrifying. Although most of the score is a bunch of jazzy and chaotic melodies that made the perfect accompaniment to the pace of the film, this tune, with its simple key, is maybe more disturbing than the whole movie.

Lullaby - Krysztof Komeda - Rosemary's Baby (1968)

1 comment:

  1. Another exceptionally disturbing soundtrack is Michael Nyman and Damon Albarn's score for RAVENOUS. It is equally playful and ominous, combining period instruments with the inevitable onset of foreboding doom.