Chills or Thrills? The Effect of Music in Scary Films

As Above, So Below is about the miles of twisting catacombs lie beneath the streets of Paris, the eternal home to countless souls.

When a team of explorers ventures into the uncharted maze of bones, they uncover the secret of what this city of the dead was meant to contain. A journey into madness and terror, As Above, So Below reaches deep into the human psyche to reveal the personal demons that come back to haunt us all.

Ahead of its release on the 29th August, we look back at the impact of music and sound effects in a collection of scary films.

As above so bewow

As Above So Below

As you can hear from the trailer As Above So Below has an eerie track. The fast repetitive taps on the piano link to a particularly creepy moment in the film and create an atmosphere of time ticking away – this is coupled with a melody which increases in pitch creating a feeling of excitement and anticipation – audiences are left completely on edge throughout. Sound effects include crumbling rocks, cracking bones and deathly scream force the audience into the gruesome plotline. However, like many good scary films it also makes excellent use of silence, leaving audiences wondering what’s going to happen next.

Watch the trailer for As Above, So Below here:

The Shining

The Shining makes an incredible use of sound. The theme tune is deep and memorable. It contains haunting traces of the movie’s sound effects such as the dragging of Danny’s tricycle, the fearful giggle of the Grady girls and the famous sound of the axe smashing against the door alongside the famous catchphrase “Here’s Johnny!”

Shining Soundtrack:


Sometimes the oldies are the best and Psycho is definitely an example of that. The Psycho theme is fast-paced and high pitched which fits with the ‘slasher’ genre of the film. It creates an air of anxiety amongst the audience, leaving viewers uncertain and tense. It also has the famous ‘stab scene sound effect’ which has become symbolic of the slasher genre.

Stab Sound Effect:



The theme for Jaws instils pure horror for many as soon as they hear it. The theme tune captures the thrilling plotline and contains the key elements of suspense, thrill and fear. Before you’ve even watched the film you know that it is going to be epic. The shark is the ultimate super-villain and the music in this film really captures its intensity, power and strength.

Jaws Theme:

If you can think of some even more chilling horror sound tracks, share your thoughts below.


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