Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Movie Music Mania: HALLOWEEN (1978)

Welcome to MOVIE MUSIC MANIA, where we talk about some of the amazing music that shapes the films we love. This week we take a look at the ominous musical score behind John Carpenter's masterpiece, HALLOWEEN.

chose Halloween's musical score because it's such an integral part of this classic horror movie. The main theme still sends chills up my spine to this very day. It's recognizable to fans still, even after almost 40 years from the film's debut. John Carpenter who directed the film, was also the composer and created the main theme. It's very menacing every time I hear it.

The Halloween theme, which plays during the opening and closing credits, sets the mood for the film. It perfectly gives the audience a sense that something ominous is going to happen. "Laurie's Theme" is exactly what it sounds like, the music that plays whenever the main character, Laurie Strode, is in danger in the film, and plays whenever Michael is right around the corner. Seeing as Laurie is the reason Michael came home in the first place, this theme serves as an important piece, conveying the tone for their relationship to one another. It is also, probably, the second most recognizable piece in the film.

In the film, Michael is almost never referred to by name, even so far as to be credited as "The Shape" in the end credits. The "Shape Escapes" track is one that plays whenever anyone is close to catching him, but he always, inevitably, escapes, as the track alludes to. It's as if he is not human and will always come to life even when it looks like he is dead, and this track fits that tone perfectly.

If you are an avid fan of John Carpenter's movies, then you know that music is a fundamental cornerstone of his films. He's actually scored many of his own movies himself, including the first three Halloween films, The Fog (1980), and Big Trouble In Little China. Carpenter is not only a talented director, but also a great composer.

There have been many Halloween film since 1978, including the Rob Zombie reboot back in 2007. But, I recently read an article on Deadline that excited the inner monster fan in me. John Carpenter will serve as executive producer on a new production in the Halloween franchise. Miramax and Blumhouse Productions will help out with the financing of the project, and director Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Hush) is in talks to helm the film. It remains to be seen if Carpenter will score this upcoming film, but he has stated that he'd like to.

If you're a fan of Halloween, or of film scores in general, be sure to check this one out.  You won't regret it.

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