In a bid to look professional and promotable, I’m taking my work home… And by ‘taking my work home’ I mean watching Horror movies over Halloween and using work as an excuse…
To make this endeavour work related, I zipped round the Sales Team for movie requests.
(**In case you were not aware, Horror is not suitable for boys and girls of all ages. I have included the current Age Guidance next to the Film Titles below. Follow them or don’t: It’s up to you. Furthermore, enjoyment of this genre is highly subjective. You and I may not like the same things. If you disagree with my opinion I don’t really care: Go moan to your friends, not me. If you click on a link and get spooked, that’s your fault: Don’t come crying to me.**)
With the DVD player locked and loaded, I think I should give you a quick run over the scoring system because, yes this is a competition. No, I’ve made no attempt to be unbiased and Jonty comes automatically last.
Initially we’ll have a quick scan over some of the technical info, who wrote it, instruments used etc.
Then the fun bit.
To measure of the movie’s success:
- How much I personally like the music, simply as music to listen to, without watching the film for context.
- We then move onto a score for how well these sounds merge with the onscreen action.
- Finally, points are available for how much sleep I was deprived of after watching.
Each of the three marks will be out of ten and hold equal value in the overall scare score.
All marks are totally subjective and well, my blog, my view, my rules…
Horror Movie 1
Dan’s Suggestion: The Shining (15)
”…to ruin Heidi’s weekend… Jokes…” Thanks mate.
Music Credit: A small tonne of people
Instrumentation: All sorts. With the sole exception of the electronic music by Wendy Carlos, none of the music used was produced with film in mind. All in all, it’s a real hodgepodge of classical instruments mixed with electronic sounds.
Loosed onto the world: 1980
5/10 – Initially I was highly impressed by the wall of sound most of this soundtrack gives you. However, after about 6 tracks it got a little ‘same old.’ That being said, the song ‘Home’ does a lot to offer contrast and makes the return to hard bass notes and general chaos much more interesting. On top of this there is intelligent use of silence and sudden, dynamic drops to near nothing; great for building tension. Overall, this is fairly horror filled however, I think this music aims at and achieves, a feeling more like panic.
7/10 – Good Stuff. The music and the film coming together creates Classic Horror Royalty. There is a reason this film is on every Halloween.
7/10 – This is some real Classic Horror right here. In fact, I think I may just get back up and have some warm milk, maybe watch some Mighty Boosh to take my mind off this. Yes, that’s what I’m doing… How quickly can I run to the light switch?
Total Heidi Horror Score: 19/30
Horror Movie 2
Jonty’s Suggestion: Some weird YouTube link to some dodgy looking stuff (Who knows)
These *suggestions* were accompanied by the ominous ”A couple for you.” A couple?! How much free time do you think I have? TBH I’m not clicking on those links. #sorrynotsorry
If you would like to risk Jonty’s suspect content, feel free…
Total Heidi Horror Score: 0/30
Horror Movie 3
Jack S’s Suggestion: Jeepers Creepers (15)
”What can’t you like about a guy following you around in a large truck?” Thank God you can’t drive… Yet…
Music Credit: Bennett Salvay (with a few exceptions, isn’t that right Henry?)
Instrumentation: As you’d expect, lots of strings, low, heavy brass and atmospherics percussion.
Loosed onto the world: 2001
3/10 – Most of the music of this film is reminiscent to my GCSE submission, based around ‘Psycho’. That is not a compliment. I found the music very cliché and predictable. Don’t get me wrong – wipes the floor with anything I could do – but again, that is not really a compliment. It has crossed my mind that the epic popularity of this film has worked against it a little. While the use of a piece such as Henry Hall’s ‘Jeepers Creepers’ would usually bring to mind ghosts of the past, haunted hallways and a tragic murder, it now brings to mind cheese. Pure Cheese.
6/10 – Turns out Cheesy music is a good fit with a Cheesy Film. I hate the soundtrack a lot less now I’ve seen Trish and Darry pottering round making all the wrong decision, getting into some typical teenager Spring Break trouble: Being run off the road by aggressive strangers, finding mutilated bodies in a creepy church, finding out said church has been burnt to ashes, watching the murder of two police officers, you know, that old hat…
2/10 – No bother getting off to sleep. Maybe I should have watched this in 2001 (when I was five years old), before anyone had the chance to spoil it for me.
Total Heidi Horror Score: 11/30
Horror Movie 4
Jack P’s Suggestion: The Exorcist (18)
Me: Which one?
Jack: The one
Me: … So, which one?
Jack: There’s more than one? *visible shudder* The stair one.
Apparently, that’s as far as he got through this film before it went off and in the bin.
Music Credit: Not Lalo Schifrin in the end. Which is sad, because the original sounds track is SO GOOD, you should go listen.
Instrumentation: Mostly the National Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Leonard Slatkin to be exact.
Loosed onto the world: 1973
7/10 – Musically this is some sweet Horror. Initially, with the piece Iraq, we are whisked overseas, bringing to mind curses and legends outside of our imagination. From here we have sounds of delicately handled horror and masterfully built fear. The orchestral use of strings is smart and sparing. It is clear atmosphere is the name of the game with this score, as opposed to cheap, and easy shocks. Unlike the cheesy taste left from the Jeepers Creepers music, the well-known track from this, Mike Oldfields Tubular bells, has maintained it frankly unsettling tones. The only thing preventing this soundtrack from a higher score is the massively disjointed way each piece doesn’t fit together. Continuing motifs are few and far between and one piece has very little character relating to the next.
3/10 – For me, this was a major let down. I felt sure the equation: Atmospheric Music + Mess Your Pants Scary Movie = Epic. Unfortunately, this was not the case. The onscreen action is terrifying, but the music seems more of a distraction as it pops in and out with no clear rhyme or rhythm. There are a few glimmers where the two fit together flawlessly but not enough. Very often there is simply silence. However, could this be deliberate? Indeed, the silence adds horrifying flashes of gritty realness and extreme discomfort in a way that our Hollywood conditioned minds are unused to.
8/10 – If you sleep well after this you were not really watching, were you?…
Total Heidi Horror Score: 18/30
Horror Movie 5
Rory’s Suggestion: The Shining Silence of the Lambs (15)
As our newbie Rory was late to the ‘pick a movie that will most ruin Heidi’s weekend’ bonanza. He has had to settle for his second choice. Boo-hoo
Music Credit: Howard Shore
Instrumentation: Gorgeous, akin to melted chocolate. That Bassoon though *swoon*
Loosed onto the world: 1991
9/10 – This is Divine, and a nice break from tremolo strings. It is rich, dark, complex and inviting all mixed in with a healthy dose of underlying creepy. There was a sense of purpose to every piece and the smoothest flow from one to another. Each piece was succinct and clearly had a place within the whole score. In many ways, each piece was simply definition within the score, which is a coherent piece in and of itself. On top of this, we have some really clever hints and moments of foreshadowing. Have you heard the heart beat at the start of ‘Belvedere, Ohio’? Listen out for it.
8/10 – B-E-A-U.tiful! All in all, the music was barely noticeable. A perfect complement to the onscreen action: Like “Chianti served with Liver”. It was neither lack lustre or overpowering, cheesy or mellow, weak or chasing cheap thrills. Also, musically, there is a real build in tension. Mistakenly, you may credit this swell you feel to the smart script or talented acting. I think it’s the music. The music is the perfect condiment to this movie. No argument.
3/10 – I slept like a baby. This is not necessarily a bad thing. In all honesty it makes me more inclined to watch it again. If I was being strict I would classify this movie as more of a Crime Thriller than pure Horror. But I’m not being strict so here it stays. You’re lucky you weren’t disqualified, Rory.
Total Heidi Horror Score: 20/30
Horror Movie 6
My Choice: Repo! The Genetic Opera (18)
This is an obvious winner in the Music Category. It’s an Opera.
Music Credit: The captivating Terrance Zdunich, and some other people who are not Terrance Zdunich
Instrumentation: Heavily Electronic
Loosed onto the world: 2008
9.5/10 – I voluntarily listen to this all day. As far as I’m concerned it doesn’t get better than this. The minus 0.5 falls entirely on the shoulders of a baby Alexa Vega. Talented and beautiful? Obviously. The single best choice for the part of Shilo Wallace based on her vocal performance? Less so. Although, next to the voice of Terrance Zdunich every mere mortal sounds a little… naff. Listen for ‘Be – e- loww’ and you’ll understand.
10/10 – One cannot exist without the other. The music is the movie and the movie is the music. This is an example of perfect symbiosis.
1/10 – This is one of my all-time favorite movies, I spent no time uncomfortably tossing from side to side trying to reach the Land of Nod.
Total Heidi Horror Score: 20.5/30
In conclusion, I won. Would you look at that. Shocker.
As a bonus for you, because you and I are pals now, Anthony Head time. This is the guy who was a Krillitane in Dr Who, Uther Pendragon in Merlin, Rupert Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Prime Minister in Little Britan. You love him, your mother loves him, I.LOVE.HIM. He is a Great British treasure. Indisputably this guy is insanely talented, but I bet you didn’t know he can sing like this: