October 31st is looming. That means it is once again time for me to be the top employee and the most professional professional by taking my work*  home to create an interesting and in-depth musical analysis for you, our valued customer and reader.

halloween

 

Quick recap of the what on earth this is and scoring system…

Rules: I watch Horror films. I rate them musically… got to keep it work related somehow. FYI this will be very bias. I make no attempt to be objective. My word is law. No re-marks.

Scoring Categories:

  1. How much I like the music, without watching the film for context.
  2. We then move onto a score for how well these sounds merge with the onscreen action.
  3. Finally, points are available for how much deprivation I suffer as a result of watching.

Each of the three marks will be out of 10 and hold equal value in the overall scare score.

Still Confused?

Take yourself for a quick refresher with last years extravaganza.

 

Horror Movie 1

Nicks Suggestion: A Nightmare on Elm Street – 1984 version (18)

”Suspense, Gore & Shock throughout… but admittedly now I’m older, I just think Freddy Krueger is Where’s-Wallys Grandad!”

Music Credit: Charles Bernstein

Instrumentation: Electronic keyboard created sounds and pretty Synth-y. Is that a word? Nvm, is now. The music is synth-y.

Loosed onto the world: 1984

 

Scores

4/10 – All in all it was pretty puny: Less than an hour of music. Now and again there would be glimmers of something exciting but the overall sound was jarring and ear ache inducing. Not one to listen to for the lols.

7/10 – I was… conflicted with this. Some moments were just down right strange with the music sounding like the beginning of a Gunship track. I spent at least a 5th of the move waiting for the bass to drop… That being said, in the nightmare scenes – right in the moments of horror – the music really worked. The result of this was some strong nightmare vibes. How appropriate.

2/10 – Honestly? This film made me laugh more than jump. It was a great story, with very dated visual effects. As such, I slept like a baby.

Total Heidi Horror Score: 13/30 

 

Horror Movie 2

halloween

Jess’s Suggestion: The Ring (15)

”The moment where the hand comes out of the Well and grabs Rachel is the worst.” SPOILERS JESS, SPOILERS.

Music Credit: Hans Zimmer

Instrumentation: Strings, creepy bells, percussion, even the odd few bits on piano

Loosed onto the world: 2002

 

Scores

5/10 – This was muuuuch better. There was clear melodies, dynamics and contrast. This was a fantastic soundtrack to my r/nosleep binge. Although, I was bored by the end. While very atmospheric it’s also very repetitive.

8/10 – The music is clever in this film. Some of the most uncomfortable moments are accompanied by silence.  Throughout it is, generally, so understated you don’t notice it creeping in, building tension slowly, slowly, slowly then KA-BAM!

5/10 – Sleep wasn’t as evasive as I feared it would be… although I think that may be mostly due to watching the Scary Movie parody of this film beforehand. Literally right beforehand.

Total Heidi Horror Score: 18/30 

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Horror Movie 3

halloween

Sam’s Suggestion: The Orphanage (15)

”This is the scariest movie I have seen… It is in Spanish, so reading the subtitles means it is impossible to hide behind your hands.”

Music Credit: Fernando Velázquez

Instrumentation: Strings and percussion, again. Although, for variation, we also have a sprinkling of woodwind, some beefy brass, a harp and something that sounds like a Celeste.

Loosed onto the world: 2007

 

Scores

7/10 – Soothing and enjoyable. There was nothing not to like here. Some moments were a little on the creepy side of the spectrum but overall the sound was more melancholy. I did have to take a break, from this soundtrack. I was getting too sad.

7/10 – The music came together with the film beautifully. It really takes the film from scary/sad to downright devastating. WHY SAM, DO YOU WANT TO SEE ME CRY?

7/10 – I was too sad to sleep! This was a tragedy rather than a horror… the ultimate bitter-sweet ending. Although, it probably would have been scarier if I could have found a subtitled version. In the interest of honesty, I don’t speak Spanish and had to make up my own script for this.

Total Heidi Horror Score: 21/30 

 

Horror Movie 4 🎪

halloween

MINE: The Devils Carnival

It’s the Devils Carnival. Come one, Come two, Come all to the Devils Carnival!

Music Credit: Saar Hendelman and Terrance Zdunich

Instrumentation: All sorts. Think of a old-timey Circus / Speakeasy band with some extra strings and percussion. Thinking of it? There, you have the musical line up.

Loosed onto the world: 2012

 

Scores

10/10 – I can – and do – listen to this all day. One reason for this is the GREAT choice of instrumentation. Yet, even better than the instrumentation is the juxtaposition between the merry-go-round music and the incredibly dark themes in the lyrics. It is incredibly humorous, albeit a little macabre. Also, I consider it an honour to listen to Mr Zdunich.  *swoon*

10/10 – This film and music have a symbiotic relationship. Each needs the other to thrive. All of this is a delight… I’m so glad there was a squeal.

4/10 – This film has the power to unsettle and keep you awake pondering some deep philosophy. The whole thing is a powerful metaphor looking at religion and – in particular – the after life and who deserves heaven. It’s also a good refresher course on a few of Aesop’s Fables. Johns story gets me every time 😢

Total Heidi Horror Score: 24/30 

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*Work = watching Halloween movies. ALL. DAY. LONG.

About the author

Heidi has been working for a number of years at Normans progressing from the Saturday Sales Assistant to a Brass Specialist. A grade 8 player she loves to play all genres of music spanning Classical to Jazz. With over ten years of playing both the Trumpet and Cornet this is, of course, what she loves to write blogs about.

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