Music makes the movie…

Movies and television shows use music to affect the viewers, even if the music is subtly in the background hardly noticeable to the viewer, the music score is having an impact on the viewer’s emotions. Whether it’s to denote drama and excitement, increase a thrill, to scare, or express sadness, music has an affect on a movie’s audience. Can you imagine watching a movie without that dramatic music in the background? Often we don’t notice it because it has become such a normal part of the viewing experience; but we would definitely notice if it disappeared and our movies fell silent.

In Horror movies, the music can raise tension and increase fear in the audience. A Haunted House is made scarier with haunting notes of music playing softly in the background; a killer stalking their prey is made creepier with the right soundtrack playing along. Everyone is familiar with those heart pounding notes from Psycho that accompanied every downward stroke of Norman Bates’ knife in the infamous shower scene. What would Halloween be without that famous score by John Carpenter; or Friday the 13th without that terrifying chant that follows Jason?

If you’re an aficionado of Horror Movies, their soundtracks, and music in general, you might be a collector of the old fashioned vinyl records. Perhaps you even have a collection of soundtracks from your own favorite horror movies dating back to the days of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, back when Hollywood knew a thing or two about terrifying an audience, including great sound effects and music scores.

With today’s music being downloaded off the internet and played on MP3 players and Ipods, where would you find the perfect player for your vast vinyl collection? And how would you know which is the best player to purchase? At bestrecordplayer.net, they can help you find the absolute perfect record player for your own personal tastes and needs/ With reviews on many players, including the Crosley Record Player, you’re sure to find just the player for you.

If you’re a fan of Horror Movies, horror movie sound effects or soundtracks, and an avid collector of vinyl records, you’ll want only the very best record player to spin your records on. Any record player you choose should also be aesthetically pleasing and add to the beautification of the room in your home you place it in. As a collector, choose wisely, and take care of your collection for years to come.

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Watery Graves Make Money at the Box Office

What do Jaws, Piranha, Cape Fear, and Captain Phillips all have in common? They will leave you on the edge of your seat, heart racing, and they have all made a splash at the box office. These notable films are set in or around water, and they can be classified under the genres of “horror” or “thriller”. While the setting for these movies may seem idyllic and leave you thinking that you want to break out your best fishing kayak to catch dinner, one might caution you against going in the water.

Why is Water a Scary Setting?

What makes water a popular setting for movies that raise your pulse? It could be the fact that water, without any added dramatics, can pose a serious danger. These dangers include drowning, electrocution, boating accidents, sharks, venomous sea creatures, and the very fact that nobody actually knows What Lies Beneath. Given the inherent risk factor of large bodies of water, it may have
been logical for the film industry to choose water as the setting for some of the most famous movies of our time.

These genres of film have a unique structure. If you were to watch only the first twenty minutes of the film, you may think it is a feel-good movie. Your mind may wonder what type of kayaks you could buy to enjoy the pristine body of water featured in the flick. However, this daydream is smashed as directors introduce storms, oversized murderous fish, serial killers, broken down boats, and Spring Breakers misbehaving.

Examples of Popular Movies

While this seems like it is horribly disturbing, these types of movies are incredibly popular for a reason. One of the most famous and well-loved horror movies, Jaws, is set on the ocean, and it was first a novel written by Peter Benchley in 1974 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaws_(novel)). This specific film shows that water as a setting for horror movies is timeless. On the other hand, the most recent Oscar-nominated film, Captain Phillips, is proof that water is not going out of style anytime soon.

The twist of Captain Philips is that it is based on a true story. Captain Phillips is an actual person. His story can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Phillips_(merchant_mariner). What is more horrifying; is it special effects or the fact that water is the setting of real-life killers? Either way, you can be assured that there will be many more water-based horror and thriller flicks to come!

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Theater vs. Home

Whether to make the effort to go to a theater or enjoy a movie at home is an ongoing debate, especially amidst higher ticket prices and easier online access to films. However, in order to get a broader idea of the options, let’s first look at a very familiar flick. Would YOU rather watch a movie at home on a big projection screen with the best home projector or at the “big screen” at the movies??

Example

I’m sure all horror fans seen the trailer to the first installment of the Paranormal Activity franchise. Unwitting moviegoers file into a theater and the night vision camera picks up their terrified faces at the on-screen frights. This trailer isn’t even really selling a movie, as the actual plot still remains vague and peripheral.

Rather, it’s selling the movie-going experience, with the not so subtle subtext being an appeal to the trailer audience’s desire to be one of those terrified faces in the dark. This ultimately leads to the question: why would hard working people around the world fork over their hard earned money in order to be scared senseless, especially in these tough economic times?

The Audience: Good and Bad

Even some die hard horror fans have bemoaned the fact that watching a horror film in the cinema often ruins the effect due to fellow audience members doing things like laughing at inappropriate times, yelling at the characters who are walking into an obvious trap, etc. In other words, the suspension of disbelief is at such a high level when watching a horror movie in theaters that there is an unspoken etiquette along with many unwritten rules. However, despite these concerns about potential disruptive audience members, there is still not a doubt in my mind that a movie theater experience is the most optimal for viewing a horror film.

Because the theater environment itself is so immersive, featuring state of the art sound and projection technology along with the buttery olfactory pleasure we all know and love, replicating these basic elements in your home is next to impossible.

Also, going to a theater makes various evasion techniques that might be employed by the more timid horror film moviegoer much more difficult to pull off. When I went and saw Paranormal Activity in a theater, one of my friends covered his face out of fear during the entire movie. Needless to say, we don’t let him forget it almost five years later. At home, if a scene becomes too frightening, if the fear of a little girl slithering out of your television set becomes too much to handle, there is always a pause button. When you watch a horror film in a theater you are entering a communal space, which makes avoidance of what’s happening on screen much more conspicuous, but the payoff is much more valuable.

Movies vs home theaterOften replicating the conclusion of the movie you just watched, having the shared experience of surviving a uniquely frightening experience leaves you with a sense of pride, relief and camaraderie with your fellow moviegoers.

And the thirst for the theater experience shows no signs of abating. The twenty seven horror movies shown in mainstream theaters during 2013 raked in just under half a billion dollars, which almost doubled 2012’s earnings.

While watching a movie at home may be slightly more convenient than getting in a car and going down to your local multiplex, it is also more isolating. The thrill of being engrossed in the terrifying spectacle of horror is impossible to resist when in a theater and the best part is that you’re not alone.

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Top 5 Horror Films With Demons

#5: Pumpkinhead

Coming in at number five is Stan Winston’s 1989 cult classic Pumpkinhead. Motivated to avenge the accidental death with a nail gun (really a framing nailer) of his son at any cost, Ed Harley seeks the counsel of an Appalachian witch in an effort to resurrect a mythical monster to torment those responsible for his loss. However, Pumpkinhead’s own monstrosity eventually overtakes Harley himself, leading to his and Pumpkinhead’s demise. Be careful what you wish for.

Appearing in three subsequent sequels, Pumpkinhead is a demonic monster under the spell of evil witchcraft. Pumpkinhead only carries out orders in order to fulfill a vengeful purpose, so just hope you aren’t in his way.

#4: Evil Dead 3

Army of Darkness- Fourth on our list is Evil Dead 3: Army of Darkness. Nothing can take away Ash Williams’ shotgun. Not even being transported hundreds of years into the past and then thrust amidst a ferocious battle in King Arthur’s court. A battle that pits our silver tongued hero against an army of the undead and soul swallowing, demonic Deadites.

This third installment in the Evil Dead franchise plays with the anachronistic fantasy of modernity in the medieval era, a trope that dates back to Mark Twain’s publication of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. And while some might point to Evil Dead 2 as the better overall film, Evil Dead 3 did win the 1993 Saturn Award for Best Horror Film and lead to the legendary Army of Darkness comics. Campy, violent and downright fun, this movie grabs you by the throat and won’t let go. Hail to the king, baby.

#3: It

At number three, playing on a very common fear, this 1990 adaptation of Stephen King’s monstrously long novel, It demonstrates the true versatility and potential horror that a demon can offer. Unlike other movie monsters, like Frankenstein’s Monster or The Wolf Man, who have a clearly defined set of physical characteristics, demons need not inhabit one set physical form, leading to demonic possession.

This demon in clown’s clothing named Pennywise sets his sights on terrorizing a reunited group of friends who have all tried to repress the memory of their collective childhood trauma also inflicted by Pennywise. Originally conceived as a two part miniseries for ABC, It may not be the goriest film on this list due to television censorship restraints, but Tim Curry’s uniquely creepy portrayal of Pennywise isn’t likely to leave your nightmares anytime soon.

#2: The Omen

Taking the runner up position is Richard Donner’s breakthrough effort The Omen. Starring Gregory Peck, this 1976 bone-chilling classic follows the story of an American ambassador whose semi-adopted son Damien brings with him nothing but death. With a name that even sounds like ‘Demon’, Damien undergoes a mysterious birth and is under constant suspicion by Father Brennan of being the antichrist. With a decapitation scene for the ages, Damien, like Pennywise from It, demonstrates the perverse possibilities of whom or what can be demonically possessed. Damien epitomizes the uncanny demon: he looks innocent and human enough on the surface, but there is a lifeless, blind cruelty behind his eyes.

In terms of the film’s credentials, the film ranked 81st in AFI’s ‘100 Most Heart-Pounding American Movies’. And even though it is approaching forty years old, the film has proved, just like Damien, to be quite resilient.

#1: The Exorcist

No surprises here. Taking the top spot is the classic 1973 film that sent shockwaves through audiences and critics alike, with Roger Ebert wondering why the movie didn’t receive an X rating.

Having noticed bizarre behavior from their daughter, two exorcists are brought in to rid Regan of the demon Pazazu. Somehow proving to be more frightening demon-child than Damien, the Pazazu-posessed Regan does everything from projectile vomit to perform the most famous head swivel in cinematic history. Much like the Amityville Horror, The Exorcist was loosely based on true events that no doubt contributed to its shock and longevity. And as the only horror movie to ever be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, The Exorcist is the clear choice for the most influential demonic horror film.

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Top 5 Horror Films With Werewolves

#5: Wolf

Let’s face it. Nobody plays a calmer badass than Jack Nicholson. At number five is Mike Nichols’ 1994 effort Wolf, which throws the werewolf phenomenon into the corporate world. The story follows with Nicholson’s character Will going toe to toe with the young, up and coming hot shot Stewart, played expertly by James Spader with the two battling to be the alpha dogs of the office and ultimately one another.

Punctuated by an amazing scene in which Will literally marks his territory for Stewart, Wolf pits the cutting edge sophistication of a publishing house against the primal, bestial urges brought about by monstrous change and further suggests that the two are not always mutually exclusive. With a cast to die for, this pulse pounding werewolf piece is undoubtedly one of the greats.

#4: Ginger Snaps

At number four is the 2000 Canadian bloodbath Ginger Snaps. This shockingly gory flick tells the story of two troubled sisters, Brigitte and Ginger, who make a pact as children to die together. As the title suggests, Ginger is the one who undergoes the monstrous transformative experience.

Much like its more lighthearted 1985 genre counterpart Teen Wolf, Ginger Snaps looks at the adolescent expression of werewolves. However, instead of the newfound abilities manifesting in an upward climb on the high school social ladder, as in Teen Wolf, Ginger Snaps casts the transformation as a disease that can even be transmitted sexually. Not shying away from the gruesome nature of the female werewolf affliction, it comes as no surprise that this Canadian picture won the 2001 International Horror Guild Award Film of the Year.

#3: The Wolf Man

At number three is a film that many regard as the beginning of our modern cinematic depiction of the werewolf: The Wolf Man. Starring the legendary Lon Chaney Jr. as the tragic titular character, this 1941 classic follows the story of Larry Talbot, who is sent to Wales after his brother’s death, only to be bitten and forever transformed during a vicious struggle.

While the transformation sequences pale in comparison to modern special effect expectations and abilities, the film’s score, tension-filled acting, and haunting set designs give way to a truly creepy aura. Also, with Chaney Jr’s makeup reportedly taking many hours to apply, his herculean performance deserves your time and still taps into the beast within.

#2: Dog Soldiers

Breathing down the neck of our number one pick is Dog Soldiers. Imagine you’re a soldier stuck inside of a house with a handful of other troops, making a furious last stand in the middle of the night against your enemies. Now imagine your enemies are werewolves and the house you all are barricaded in actually belongs to said werewolves. Such is the predicament for the band of ‘protagonists’ in Dog Soldiers, a bullet-ridden thriller that tracks the group’s fight for survival.

This 2002 British effort has all the blood-curdling violence one would expect from a contemporary horror picture, but with one added element that truly sets it apart: paranoia. Because of the claustrophobic confinement experienced by the soldiers, Dog Soldiers exudes more tension than any other werewolf film to date. Hence the quotes around ‘protagonists’; no one ever truly knows who to trust. No one ever truly knows who exactly the monster is.

#1: An American Werewolf in London

In the number one slot is a film widely regarded as the best werewolf movie of all time, and this John Landis classic unsurprisingly maintains its relevance to this day. With movies like Shawn of the Dead and Zombieland toeing the line between horror and comedy, each owe a great debt to An American Werewolf in London. The movie itself follows two Americans, Jack and David, traveling through the appropriately spooky moors of the U.K. until a beast that has obviously terrorized the village for some time attacks them both. Jack immediately dies from the attack, leaving David to realize the more painful and deadly path left to him by turning into a werewolf.

Shot largely on location in London, Landis encountered many strange roadblocks during production. For example, Landis claims that unions didn’t want any “coloured faces” as extras. As any astute viewer of the film realizes, however, that demand did not become realized.

At times hilarious, at times gruesome, this classic continues to have an immense impact on the horror genre, and therefore deserves the top spot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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