I’ve been thinking about the most memorable songs from horror films lately. The one that keeps running through my mind is the one from 28 Days Later. If you’ve ever watched the film, you know which one I’m talking about. The song is called In the House, In a Heartbeat, by John Murphy. What I love about the song is how it builds. It starts off with a simple piano riff, accentuated by a bass guitar. About thirty seconds in an acoustic guitar joins in, followed closely by an electric guitar and some reverb. Mr. Murphy adds a driving drum beat at about the one minute mark which fuels the song’s intensity. Once the distortion on the electric guitar kicks in, the song explodes with force. Two minutes later things come full circle as the track winds down with an eerie riff that eventually brings the song to a close.
What makes this song special is how it adds tension to the film. The film makers use the track several times throughout the first and second films to highlight key scenes. You can’t think about 28 Days Later without thinking about Mr. Murphy’s song too, which, I think, is testament to how great it is. In the House, In a Heartbeat is featured brilliantly in the climax of the film.
The entire soundtrack enhances, and mirrors, much of the tone of the film. All-in-all, the film makers did an excellent job matching music to certain key scenes.
There are, of course, other iconic songs from horror films. John Carpenter’s Halloween is probably one of the best, and most memorable, possibly of all-time. The Tubular Bells theme from the Exorcist also comes to mind. You can’t think of one without the other.
What are some of your favorite horror songs?