Note: In preparation for the following text and to learn in the most effective way, I would recommend you watch The Shining (1980) if you haven't done so already as it will be frequently referred to in the article.
(This article is intended to teach and therefore, if you want to get the most out of the experience I would suggest reading some of the works of H.P. Lovecraft in preparation for what follows. Most importantly, I suggest The Beast in the Cave and The Alchemist as they will feature prominently as examples.)
(This article is intended to teach and advise. If you would like to get the most out of this reading, please watch the films The Exorcist (1973) and The Woman in Black (2012) in order to get the best experience. They will feature as examples prominently throughout the article.
A monster is always scarier when they look human. This is the main point underlying films such as: Psycho, Interview with the Vampire, Dorian Gray and Red Eye. There's something about familiarity that disassociates us from guessing that they'd do any harm. But has this become overused? Have we forgotten the basic notion of being a monster is to look scary? Or are we moving away from Freddy vs. Jason and into The People vs. OJ Simpson?
(This article is intended to teach. Before reading, make sure you have seen the film The Woman in Black as it will feature as a prominent part of the article).
I'm going to show you that pretty much any song can fit into a horror film if used properly. Experimental horror is becoming more popular now and with the rise of this genre, I want to have a look at some oddly chosen but workable soundtracks you could use for your next project. Hopefully, these will inspire you and give you a sense of direction if you're struggling. In my last article entitled "Horror Film: Soundtracks for the Modern Age" we looked at some of these new and experimental horror film tracks that were shifting away from our usual high-pitched strings and moving towards more rock, dance and folk tunes. I want to explore how you can use these sounds to your advantage and how normal songs and music can actually have a bigger effect as it normalises the situation in question — making it subconsciously familiar to the audience and therefore, more frightening. So here comes song choices and how they could be used in your next experimental horror film: