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Earth-Angel

Scary, creepy and skin-crawling horror music

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I was watching a horror flick on tv yesterday, and the most stand-out horror tune that I can think of was played: The theme from a Summer Place. (hear the clip here)

It's been used in countless horror movies and thrillers and even used at theme parks for their Halloween atmosphere music:

Last year?s moment was at the scream maze called Psychoscrareapy, where the inmates at an insane asylum run amuck trying to feast on the visitors. It was set apart from all those other horror houses by one simple, but highly effective device by the maze?s designers: the non-stop playing of ?The theme from A Summer Place.?

The music, which was supposed to be piped in to soothe the asylum?s inhabitants, had the complete opposite effect for paying guests wandering through the maze as the house of Michael Myers clones tried to ?get? the hospital visitors.

Max Steiner (1888-1971) composed this piece and the Songfacts are here.

So what about this really simple and beautiful piece makes it so darn creepy? ::

Just hearing it makes me imagine some deranged psycho doing his deranged psycho things with this playing in the background, a maniacal grin on his face, swaying to the rhythm. ::

It's this piece and also the Sleepwalkers version of Sleepwalk. :: I love this song, but this version makes me want to sleep with the light on!

What other music is just plain scary? No matter how nice it is, it just makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and your skin break out in gooseflesh. Imagine the shower scene from Psycho without the screeching violins. Would it have been the same with any other music? Or Jaws approaching the shore without the "Jaws" music playing?

Or what is your favourite horror score/soundtrack? It looks like alot of films use classical music or music composed especially for the film, it seems to be alot scarier than someone singing. It adds more suspense to the movie and really intensifies the scenes for me.

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The music ( unsure of composer) to the movie "Halloween" was very effective ... almost became a second villian itself ! :: ::

EA, your post reminded me of that "Simpsons" episode where one of the 'old man' charachters ( the one with the cane and the long white beard) 'sings' the "theme to A Summer's Place". He just goes on singing " It's the theme to a Summer's Place, Yes, it's the theme to A Summer's Place ". :laughing: :laughing:

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Bernard Herrman, sometimes known as Alfred Hitchcock's movie music composer has composed enough scary music to creep out anyone. (Yes, that includes "Psycho" and the infamous screeching violins of the shower scene!) When Rod Serling and "The Twilight Zone" invaded evening TV, Bernard supplied some dramatic themes in keeping with the storylines. I had/have an LP of some of Bernard Herrman's more dramatic scores from such movies as "Mysterious Island" and "Journey to the Center of the Earth," but I don't recall seeing much on CD lately. However, "The Day the Earth Stood Still" can be popped into the DVD player at any time. :headphones:

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the music in "The Shining" when the blood is bursting out the elevator down the hall is scary. It's neat because the image of the blood looks like the blood is bursting down the hall like a rapid river, while the music sounds more like dripping blood to me.

Also, it hasn't been in a movie (that I've seen at least) but "Horse Latitudes" by the Doors is kind of scary.

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the music in "The Shining" when the blood is bursting out the elevator down the hall is scary. It's neat because the image of the blood looks like the blood is bursting down the hall like a rapid river, while the music sounds more like dripping blood to me.

Also, it hasn't been in a movie (that I've seen at least) but "Horse Latitudes" by the Doors is kind of scary.

Some interesting trivia on this scene...

Stanley Kubrick, known for his compulsiveness and numerous retakes, got the difficult shot of blood pouring from the elevators in only three takes. This would be remarkable if it weren't for the fact that the shot took nine days to set up; every time the doors opened and the blood poured out, Kubrick would say, "It doesn't look like blood." They had tried shooting that scene for an entire year.

At the time of release, it was the policy of the MPAA to not allow the portrayal of blood in trailers that would be approved for all audiences. In order to overcome this, Kubrick convinced the board that was approving the trailer that the blood flooding out of the elevator was actually rusty water.

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Bernard Herrman, sometimes known as Alfred Hitchcock's movie music composer has composed enough scary music to creep out anyone. (Yes, that includes "Psycho" and the infamous screeching violins of the shower scene!) When Rod Serling and "The Twilight Zone" invaded evening TV, Bernard supplied some dramatic themes in keeping with the storylines. I had/have an LP of some of Bernard Herrman's more dramatic scores from such movies as "Mysterious Island" and "Journey to the Center of the Earth," but I don't recall seeing much on CD lately. However, "The Day the Earth Stood Still" can be popped into the DVD player at any time. :headphones:

Whoa. Another Bernard Herrmann fan :beatnik:

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Music that really scares me, is when it is dramatic and growing in intensity, and then suddenly - something happens! A knife through a shower curtain, a corpse/zombie pops out of a closet, a hand grabs an ankle through the gap in the staircase, you see the flash of an evil looking eye through the shadows!

That is when I am on the edge of my seat, and trying to calm myself down! I never used to get scared with older horror stories (except for Hitchcock, he was one creepy thinking dude). Nowadays, the horror is so close to real life and done so well, it's just plain terrifying when coupled with that kind of music! :shocked:

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