Perfect Songs in Horror Movie Credit Crawls
A good sound track can make and break a film, but one of the more overlooked choices is the credit or end film song. We look at a series of perfectly selected songs, that played as their films came to a close. (Warning Horror Fans, there are spoilers ahead. )
Scream – SoHo – Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream)
Taking a classic song that deals with angst and disenchantment is the perfect way to finish of a film that showed a bunch of teens hunted and murder in quiet suburbia. Scream deals with a serial killer hunting down local teens in the town of Woodsboro. As the film comes to a close, Birds Fly plays over the credits. Whilst not all the lyrics make much sense, a few lines really resonate with the films story. But most importantly, its one of the few films that had it’s title in the song, without having to write an original track.
Lost Boys – Echo & The Bunnymen – People are Strange
Lost Boys is one of the most loved vampire films of all time, and a lot of its charm comes from it’s amazing soundtrack. Closing the film is a song that deals with social outcasts and societal stigma, which perfectly describes the vampires in the film. The teen vampires of the film are outcasts in every sense of the word, and even when they break out from the chosen destiny, such as Star, Laddie and Michael, they are met with fear and hate.
Halloween II (1981) – The Chordettes – Mr Sandman
Whilst this cheery track from the 1950’s might be bright and upbeat, it’s appearance on the credit crawl to Halloween II repurpose the track into a much darker meaning. Those four fine ladies are no longer singing about hopes and dreams of finding love, but about the ultimate dream that comes at the end of all our lives. Yes Mr Sandman (Mr Boogieman), can you bring me a dream?
An American Werewolf in London (1981) – The Marcels – Blue Moon
Very few films find a way of answering films plot holes with a single track, but John Landis did just that when he threw in a lunar based tune on the credit role of his werewolf hit. On first glance, it might just be a good track that has a moon reference, but the songs references are extraordinarily clever. David transforms into a werewolf twice in the movie, one night after the other. With a full moon only appearing once per month, David’s debauched lunar activities starts to unravel. Until you hear the track. A blue moon is a rare occurrence that happens every two to three years, where an “Extra” full moon appears, meaning two in a row. The song explains exactly how it’s possible for David to wolf it up twice concurrently.
Frightners – Blue Oyster Cult: Don’t Fear the Reaper
Blue Oyster Cult’s classic hit Don’t Fear the Reaper is a popular choice for TV and film with at least two dozen credits, including a slow cover version in Scream, a chilling opening sequence in the TV mini series of The Stand and even an a cappella version on an episode of Scrubs. It’s best use can be found as the credits roll of Peter Jacksons Frightners. Not only is the film literally about the grim reaper attacking and killing people, but it’s underlying message is very similar to that of the song, when you embrace death, there is nothing to fear anymore. Yep, it’s up beat, solemn and a wonderful dichotomy of a song. Yep, we all love it!
Donnie Darko – Gary Jules – Mad World
Donnie Darko is a strangely addictive film that deals with mental health and time travel (we think). Whilst the films deeper meanings are purely subjective, one thing we can all agree on, is the stunning use of Gary Jules’ cover version of Mad World by Tears for Fears. Recorded especially for the film, the darker stripped down version of the song mirrors perfectly Donnie Darko’s inner turmoil. The troubled teenager, finds himself struggling in a world of madness he just does not fit in. The song plays out as the films wraps up, showing a short montage of other characters the film had introduced us too, and how they too are struggling to comprehend the their own existence within this “mad world”.
The Devil’s Rejects – Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird
It’s a testament to Rob Zombies film making skills, that he manages to leave the audiances feeling kinda sorry for his brutall serial killing Firefly Family, as The Devil’s Rejects comes to a close. Using the song Free Bird, the lyrcis resonates strongly with the chracters of the film, whilst also being the swong song for their terrible tale.
Zodiac – Hurdy Gurdy Man – Donovan
Recounting the tale of a man who is visited by a mysterious “hurdy gurdy man”, this quirky song plays out over the credits to David Fincher’s true-life story of the Zodiac Killer. Juxtaposing the dark nature of the film, the cheery Hurdy Gurdy man song actually perfectly encapsulates the imagery of the famed serial killer that dressed up in strange outfits and was never caught.
Stand by Me – Stand By Me – Ben E. King
Stand by Me is a 1986 American coming-of-age film directed by Rob Reiner, based on a short story by Stephen King, called The Body. The film follows Gordie Lachance, his best friend Chris Chambers and two other friends, as they journey to find the body of a missing boy near the town of Castle Rock, Oregon. The film original was titles after kings short story, but distributers Columbia Pictures became concerned that the original title might turn people off. Reiner suggested the title of the song that closed the film, Stand By Me. The song captures the characters journey, and more importantly, the close friendship they build during it. Ben E. King’s Stand By Me plays after an emotional sequence that reveals his friends fate.
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“Hey Horror Fans – Whilst I HATE to see a good Horror Film end, a great track is like icing on a cake. Let us know your favorite song choices for films in the comments below.