Shivering Songs Part 3

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This is the third part of the shivering songs, those themes in horror films that were inevitably stuck in our head terrorizing us for days. The magic of music is to set the mood, whether it’s a romantic scene or an unnerving sequence, it manages to move your emotions according with the plot.

Let’s continue with our list of shivering songs.

Psycho – Bernard Herrmannn

It’s ranked the 4th Greatest American Movie Score of all time by the AFI and it was composed by the great Bernard Herrmann.  The film revolves around the story of a disturbed man with severe mother issues which is in charge of an isolated motel. For the most part of the movie, the scenes are silent, just in few occasions we can hear the main title theme. However, the most famous part of the score occurs in the shower scene.

In this sequence we see the leading lady being killed with a knife by what it’s seems to be an old woman. The music features only string instruments which makes the music powerful and gives a sensation of tension and distress. It’s unbelievable that Hitchcock opposed to having music in the scene, but after watching the result he couldn’t refuse.

The Grudge – Christopher Young

It’s a Japanese supernatural film by Takashi Shimizu, it was released in 2002 by the name Ju-on: The Grudge. Two years later, Shimizu was able to direct a remake of his own movie but now with an alliance with the United States.

The premise is that a curse is set every time someone dies under extreme conditions, when a person has an attack of fury or rage or even sorrow. An entity emerges when this situation occurs, and it kills everyone who encounters this force. The curse is reborn with every death it provokes.

The music has the characteristic Japanese piano which gives an eerie sensation. We can find this feature in both films. Compared to the last themes this might not be as memorable, but still is a chilling melody that can make you feel shivers.

The Exorcist – Mike Oldfield

Considered one of the most terrifying horror movies of all time, it was so shocking when it was released that people fainted, cried or even threw up. And of course the theme song for the movie became very popular and people can’t help to feel startled when they hear the tune. However, this song actually replaced the original.

The director of the movie, William Friedkin, disliked the original score by Lalo Schiffrin and started looking for a new theme.  Friedkin was in the Atlantic Record offices when he stumbled upon Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield. Even though the theme doesn’t appear for long time in the film, it became very famous and it became a direct reference for it.

This was the last part of the series of shivering songs. What do you think about the themes? Do they make you shiver? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.

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