By Lindsay Wigo
I love to watch movies. Whether they are animated, suspense, comedy or drama, it doesn’t take much convincing from someone to get me to watch a movie. I recently watched the movie “Happy Death Day,” which has similarity to “Groundhog Day,” where a girl relives the same day over and over again. I tend to pass on the thriller and horror movies, but this one really sparked my interest. Overall, the movie was good, and despite it being a thriller, was even funny at times. I found myself getting nervous every time there was a scene where I just knew someone was going to do a jump scare. Though I expected it, the music in the background would creep me out and I would still jump, even though I knew what was going to happen. Why was it that the music made the movie scarier?
The old film major side of me started wondering how I would feel if I muted the movie, and just watched the creepy baby clown guy jump out from behind the wall to scare the main character. I did not, but I would probably be a lot less nervous. I might not get the full effect that was intended for the audience, though. This got me thinking of how many movies would not be as good if it were not for the music. Whether that be scary background music, intense slow-motion walking music or just happy music when people are living life. This does not go for just instrumental background music, though. We love movies because the characters are funny, the plot is engaging and the conflict escalates. But have you ever watched a movie and thought that it had a great soundtrack? Think about your favorite movie and I bet a certain song comes to mind. Movies like “Star Wars,” “Harry Potter” and “Up” are recognizable just by a snippet of a song from the movie. Those are only three examples of movies with iconic instrumental music that people of any age would recognize. It is just as common to associate a lyrical song with a movie, like “Don’t You Forget About Me” from “The Breakfast Club.” Everyone knows that those two go together.
According to The Video Creators from A Medium Corporation, “The score should reflect the underlying reality of what’s appearing on screen.” Film music not only impacts the audience, but also sets the scene. It subconsciously lets the reader know even more about the movie without character dialogue. Music has the potential to truly make or break a movie and decide whether it is a memorable film.
In my opinion, the right music easily makes a movie stronger. I find myself much more engaged if there is a great song on in the background that seamlessly flows into the scene that is going on. Try watching a movie, whether it be for the first time or the hundredth and think about the way the music affects you and the role it has in whether or not you think it is an excellent movie. You might be surprised with how much the music makes the movie.