Best Horror Movie Needle Drops of All Time - VRGyani News and Media

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Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Best Horror Movie Needle Drops of All Time

Horror films can produce more than just scares. In looking back on the genre, music has always been used to elicit a strong response from the audience. The Halloween theme by John Carpenter is a classic but what about music you can actually sing along to? The following are some of the best needle-drops heard in horror cinema, past and present, from Ryan Gosling’s band popping up in The Conjuring to the Blondie song used in a certain killer doll flick and so much more.

RELATED: The 20 Best Horror Movie Soundtracks: From 'Psycho' to 'It Follows'

‘Anthonio (Berlin Breakdown)’ - The Guest

The Guest is set during the Halloween season, with great synth songs and a ton of homages to 70’s/80’s cinema. What more could one want? While two teens attempt to survive the final act, the unstoppable killer soldier played by Dan Stevens, corners them in a haunted house setup in their local high school. Like a mix of Michael Myers and the Terminator, once David assigns himself a target, he will not slow down until he succeeds. That’s when “Anthonio” by Annie plays, echoing across a room with fog and laser lights. It’s dream-like and haunting.

‘Your Lucky Day in Hell’ - Scream 2

How realistic is the opening theater sequence of this sequel? Unfortunately, more than we probably realized at the time. And once the title card pops up, audiences are reunited with Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), now in college with a no-bullshit attitude. If someone calls using Ghostface’s raspy voice, she’s already eyeing the Caller ID and shutting them up. But with two years passed since the murders of the first film, all that optimism shown in Sidney early on in the film comes with the fact audiences know she isn’t safe. Having “Your Lucky Day In Hell” by the rock band Eels playing at the same time is equal parts cruel and darkly funny.

‘In the Room Where You Sleep’ - The Conjuring

Starting in 2007, the band Dead Man’s Bones involved Zach Shields and Ryan Gosling, the latter going by the name, “Baby Goose.” The band only released one album but that was enough for James Wan to grab a song for The Conjuring. Despite not being a song from the 1970s when the film is set, it just about sounds like it could be. You’ll hear it during the montage when the Perron family home is being fitted with cameras, bells, and sensors to capture the dark presence terrorizing them.

‘Prom Night’ - Prom Night

Made with a very low budget, this slasher film could not afford the pricey disco songs that director Paul Lynch wanted to secure, so he did the next best thing. Paul Zaza and Carl Zittrer were hired to compose original music that closely resembled the iconic disco music Lynch was looking for. The end result is a soundtrack that is rare to purchase and a film that is unique in its insistence on disco dancing while a killer is hacking away in the background. It’s also the only slasher flick to star Jamie Lee Curtis where she gets to show off her dancing skills.

RELATED: The Best Slasher Movies of the 21st Century So Far

‘Cambodia’ - The Strangers: Prey At Night

In a film that was absolutely different from its much grittier predecessor, the 1980s pop songs in The Strangers: Prey at Night helped establish the mood. And while “Total Eclipse of the Heart” was a joy to hear during a life-or-death ax-swinging struggle, it’s this one from Kim Wilde that truly unsettles, played over the hopeless pleas from actor Martin Henderson as he’s stuck in a crashed car with the Man in the Mask calmly sitting in the passenger seat. The kill is mere moments away but the silent Man makes sure to find the right song on the radio to fit the mood before blood is spilled.

‘How Soon is Now?’ - The Craft

While Charmed used this in its iconic opening credits, The Craft used it first. Not to be confused with the original by The Smiths, this cover by Love Spit Love packs its own punch and became forever beloved as a song dedicated to ‘90s witches and fellow outsiders. When it’s heard, the film’s key group of teen witches are introduced to their fourth member, for better or worse.

‘The Man Who Sold the World’ - Fear Street: 1978

This song plays twice in Fear Street: 1978, the first being Nirvana’s cover, but it’s the one heard towards the end that holds much more power. Two sisters fought for their lives but one was always going to die. Audiences knew it, but what they didn’t know was which one it would be. David Bowie’s original is paired extremely well with the visuals as it actually lets audiences in on the big twist that occurs in the third film of the Shadyside trilogy. There was, indeed, a “man who sold the world.”

‘Bloodlet’ - What Keeps You Alive

There may not have been a bigger foreshadowing moment in psychological horror What Keeps You Alive than when actress Hannah Anderson pulls out a guitar and sings this tune to her onscreen wife. The scene set in a cabin is quiet. A fire crackles, its flames glowing on Anderson’s face. She is practically warning her lover by letting internal thoughts escape her mouth. But her character’s wife sees it as an intimate moment. By the end of the film, audiences can look back to see just how revealing the acoustic moment was.

‘Mr. Sandman’ - Halloween 2

Played in the opening as the last moments of the original Halloween are recanted and then heard again at the end of this sequel, The Chordettes’ lullaby was perfectly ingrained into horror cinema. Michael Myers, a completely twisted take on the “Sandman,” will invade Laurie’s nightmares for decades to come. The 1980s saw another use of the song, played during a comedy scene in the sitcom, The Golden Girls. But not even those four ladies living in Miami could bring back all the innocence to this oldie once Halloween 2 corrupted it.

‘Where Is My Mind?’ - Malignant

In Malignant, James Wan’s violent passion project, the director expresses his love of Giallo films, the Italian horror subgenre where jarring tonal shifts are right at home. That includes the cheeky inclusion of Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind,” layered over some of the most shocking and dramatic scenes.

RELATED: James Wan Explains How 'Malignant's Wildest Scene Came to Life (Backward)

‘Call Me’ - Bride of Chucky

While this is very much Chucky’s film, audiences were in for a treat when Jennifer Tilly’s Tiffany was brought in to spice things up. After not so surprisingly dying at the hands of Chucky, Tiffany is resurrected into the plastic body of a bridal doll. But Tiffany acclimates rather well to her predicament, so much so she gives herself a full makeover right away. Black lipstick and black nail polish should always be associated with Blondie's get-up-and-dance single. Barbie, eat your heart out.

‘Redbone’ - Get Out

Two music pieces play right before Childish Gambino’s song is heard. The previous two explicitly let the audience know the danger Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) will be in. And when this plays, audiences are placed into Chris’ safe space. Or so we think. Chris nicks himself with his razor and his “girlfriend” Rose (Allison Williams) slowly gets closer and closer until she’s inside his apartment. Even without the most obvious of spooky music cues, director Jordan Peele manages to use “Redbone” in evocative fashion.

‘Cry Little Sister’ & ‘People are Strange’ - The Lost Boys

This film drops music bliss more than once. After Michael (Jason Patric) becomes a vampire and enjoys its early pleasures, “Cry Little Sister” by Gerard McMahon and Michael Mainieri starts. The camera flies through the skies, passing clouds, clearly showing off the inspiration of Peter Pan on the film. Listen to the full length theme and you’ll notice another inspiration. Organs are played, bringing it back to the gothic days of Nosferatu. Then in the end, when the Echo & The Bunnymen cover of “People are Strange” plays, it truly encapsulates the darkness of the young vampires, fitting in very well with the punk aesthetic of The Lost Boys.

‘Free Bird’ - The Devil’s Rejects

At the tail end of Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects, the Firefly family have butchered nearly everyone in their path and just barely survived some vigilante violence. As the last three of the family drive down a desert road, they spot a long line of police waiting in the distance. Beaten and bloody, they make a decision. With nothing but Lynyrd Skynyrd’s signature song heard in the scene, the Firefly clan drive forward. They use all the gun power they have as the guitar solo goes wild and the film suitably ends with these violent fiends meeting a violent end.

‘There Will Be Blood’ - Into the Dark: Crawlers

Part of Blumhouse’s feature film anthology on Hulu, Crawlers went for fun thrills rather than spooky chills. A campy, alien invasion flick, the mood is set right away after a tease at the space invaders. Kim Petras’ pop song “There Will Be Blood” plays over the opening credits and it was about time a song from her horror album was used in the film genre. This is a violent one to watch but you’ll have a blast while doing so.

‘Pet Sematary’ - Pet Sematary (1989) & (2019)

The remake of the Stephen King novel followed in the footsteps of the previous film version by showcasing a musical talent during the end credits. The Ramones recorded the single first, heard at the end of the 1989 classic. Starcrawler then had their chance to get audiences dancing in their theater seats, right after the very grim climax of the film. After all, why have them leave bummed out?

KEEP READING: Why a ‘Pet Sematary’ Prequel About Jud Is Worth Making



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