Halloween film music just as scary as the movie

With Halloween just around the corner, many people will begin the traditional viewing of their favorite horror movies to get into the scary, festive spirit of the holiday. But what’s important to remember is that even with the latest special effects and best acting in the world, these films could not leave nearly as much of a lasting impact as they do without the help of the soundtrack.
From the shocking, iconic string symphony of “Psycho” to the simple, terrifying two notes of “Jaws,” music has always played a quintessential role in adding to the suspense of horror movies.
In “Psycho,” the most infamous scene begins with the protagonist taking a seemingly peaceful shower, only to have the door open and the killer striking mere moments later. As the killer comes onto the screen, unbeknownst to the protagonist, the music begins to swell, with it climaxing at the point as his face is revealed and she realizes her doom. Even if the viewers had not been aware of the intruder, the music would clue them in to something that was going on, and fill them with a suspicious, gnawing feeling of horror similar to that of the protagonist’s, as even when the supposed antagonist is not on screen, the music playing indicates to the audience that something important is about to happen. The movie “Jaws” is a prime example of this, as the audience does not see the shark for most of the movie, but rather have to rely on just hearing the music when an attack is imminent to figure out what’s going on. Being virtually blind to the situation, the audience’s sense of dread is amplified.
Though the list could go on and on, these two examples arguably are the most well known in the history of horror films. While not every movie has the privilege of such sophisticated musicality to forward their stories, the general majority require such to keep their story moving. Whatever the motive for musical inclusion, one thing remains: without it, these cinematic spooktaculars would be nowhere near as iconic as they are today.