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spooky horror film scores

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  • #16
    Nice call, Paul. O Willy Way is one of the creepiest and most intense moments in any horror film. Is that an old English folk song or was it written for the film, do you know? I forget what the credits say. Maybe we're supposed to think it's an old English folk song.


    Originally posted by Ian Jane View Post
    Eric Stanze just listed his top twenty horror scores on his blog at FearNet.

    Some pretty respectable choices there.

    I guess. Popular scores to popular films. All wonderful scores, in fact. I don't disagree with his choices, I just don't find more two or three of them remotely scary. I like horror scores that are unnerving in a subtle way. Like the Gregorian chants in Horror Hotel / City of the Dead, the experimental dissonance of The Haunting (1963), the distorted voices trying to push through the piano concertos in The Mephisto Waltz, the high, tinkling breaking-glass sounds in Ghost Story (1980).

    Since Eric Stanze has posted a list on his blog why doesn't everyone list their favorite horror scores right here.
    "I've been to college, but I can still speak English when business demands it."
    - Raymond Chandler, 1939.

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    • #17


      There are a lot of great horror film scores, but these are the ones that get to me:

      1935 - The Bride of Frankenstein -- Franz Waxman
      1951 - The Thing -- Bernard Herrmann
      1960 - The City of the Dead / Horror Hotel -- Douglas Gamley -- no soundtrack CD
      1960 - Psycho -- Bernard Herrmann
      1959 - The Twilight Zone theme -- Bernard Herrmann
      1961 - The Innocents -- Georges Auric -- no soundtrack CD
      1962 - Night of the Eagle / Burn Witch Burn -- William Alwyn -- no soundtrack CD
      1963 - The Haunting -- Humphrey Searle -- no soundtrack CD
      1968 - Rosemary's Baby -- Krzysztof Komeda
      1970 - Blood On Satan's Claw -- Marc Wilkinson
      1971 - The Mephisto Waltz -- Jerry Goldsmith
      1975 - Jaws -- John Williams
      1976 - The Omen -- Jerry Goldsmith
      1976 - The Tenant -- Philippe Sarde
      1980 - Ghost Story -- Philippe Sarde
      1989 - Warlock -- Jerry Goldsmith
      1998 - Beloved -- Rachel Portman
      1999 - Ravenous -- David Albarn & Michael Nyman

      The City of the Dead remains my all-time favorite horror film score.

      So which horror film scores get under your skin?
      Richard--W
      a straight arrow
      Last edited by Richard--W; 09-25-2012, 02:13 AM.
      "I've been to college, but I can still speak English when business demands it."
      - Raymond Chandler, 1939.

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      • #18
        Some great picks so far. :up:

        I'm not really much of a Jerry Goldsmith fanboy, but his score for POLTERGEIST remains one of the coolest horror scores in my opinion. Check this out (skip to 1:09)


        I love how erratic the horn section gets. It's like they're possessed by the ghosts themselves.
        Robin Bougie
        Senior Member
        Last edited by Robin Bougie; 09-25-2012, 06:21 AM.
        www.cinemasewer.com

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        • #19
          OK, in no particular order and off the top of my head...

          Suspiria
          The Exorcist
          Halloween
          Deep Red
          Cannibal Holocaust
          The Omen
          Psycho (and then, guilty by association, Re-Animator?)
          Rosemary's Baby
          City Of The Living Dead (I like Frizzi's stuff)
          Eraserhead
          Dawn Of The Dead (the Goblin score)
          The Haunting
          Hellraiser/Hellbound (both are great)
          The Thing
          The Haunting
          Rock! Shock! Pop!

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          • #20
            Good call on HELLRAISER, Ian: that's a good score. On the Clive Barker bandwagon, I'll also say that I enjoyed the score for LORD OF ILLUSIONS very much. Some of that score is very creepy too.

            I don't think Carpenter's THE FOG has been mentioned yet, or PRINCE OF DARKNESS. I think both of those have strong scores. THE FOG's is especially 'spooky', in my view.
            Originally posted by Richard--W View Post
            Nice call, Paul. O Willy Way is one of the creepiest and most intense moments in any horror film. Is that an old English folk song or was it written for the film, do you know? I forget what the credits say. Maybe we're supposed to think it's an old English folk song.
            It sounds authentic, but I'm pretty sure I'm right in saying that it was written by Auric, with lyrics by Paul Dehn. Funnily enough, it cropped up on British television a week or two ago, as part of illusionist/mentalist Derren Brown's 'Svengali' show. As a big fan of THE INNOCENTS, I recognised it immediately. Nice to see it get a little more exposure, and hopefully it will have brought a few more new viewers to THE INNOCENTS.
            'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow'

            http://www.paul-a-j-lewis.com (my photography website)
            'All explaining in movies can be thrown out, I think': Elmore Leonard

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            • #21
              The BFI region 2 edition of THE INNOCENTS looks and sounds infinitely better than the USA edition released by Fox. It is supplemented and has an insightful commentary and intro by Christopher Frayling, who knows too damn much about the film. None of this was carried over to the Fox. The cover art is wrong on the Fox, right on the BFI. If only the 4& PAL speed-up didn't raise the pitch. The score is very effective precisely because it's a counterpoint rather than a "horror" score.
              "I've been to college, but I can still speak English when business demands it."
              - Raymond Chandler, 1939.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Richard--W View Post
                The BFI region 2 edition of THE INNOCENTS looks and sounds infinitely better than the USA edition released by Fox. It is supplemented and has an insightful commentary and intro by Christopher Frayling, who knows too damn much about the film. None of this was carried over to the Fox. The cover art is wrong on the Fox, right on the BFI. If only the 4& PAL speed-up didn't raise the pitch. The score is very effective precisely because it's a counterpoint rather than a "horror" score.
                Did you know the BFI have released the film on Blu-ray, Richard? It's region 'B'-locked, however. The disc also includes two short features by Clayton.
                'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow'

                http://www.paul-a-j-lewis.com (my photography website)
                'All explaining in movies can be thrown out, I think': Elmore Leonard

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                • #23
                  Ah, that is news. I have a multi-region player and of course there is no speed-up in Blu-ray. A very special film. Frame by frame it holds its own next to The Haunting. I'll get it in my next go-round.
                  "I've been to college, but I can still speak English when business demands it."
                  - Raymond Chandler, 1939.

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                  • #24
                    An audio sample of two classic horror scores by avant-garde experimentalist Humphrey Searle:

                    http://www.epdlp.com/compbso.php?id=5677
                    "I've been to college, but I can still speak English when business demands it."
                    - Raymond Chandler, 1939.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNixStGxIGU
                      "Ah! By god's balls what licentiousness!"

                      Marquis de Sade, The 120 Days of Sodom.

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                      • #26
                        Sounds like Eyes Wide Shut. Kubrick liked Ligetti.
                        "I've been to college, but I can still speak English when business demands it."
                        - Raymond Chandler, 1939.

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                        • #27
                          Jerry Goldsmith's score for the remake of The Haunting (1999) is very potent, I think, and the only thing worthwhile about that film.

                          The film is garbage.

                          The score is fine. Buy the CD.
                          "I've been to college, but I can still speak English when business demands it."
                          - Raymond Chandler, 1939.

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