Jump to content

What is John Williams' scariest cue?


Recommended Posts

I mean which track by John Williams would put the most chills up your spine if it suddenly played out of nowhere in the middle of the night with the lights out.

For me it's the opening of The Death Of David Ferrie from JFK. It just gives me goosebumps every time I hear it!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 91
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

A bunch of cues from The Fury.

Although it doesn't give me any trouble listening to it in the dark as The Omen does... ;)

- Marc, who'd also have the sh*t scared out of him if PotC's Walk the Plank would suddenly start blaring out of his headphones. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
- Marc, who'd also have the sh*t scared out of him if PotC's Walk the Plank would suddenly start blaring out of his headphones. :)

Is that because the music is scary or because it sucks so bad?

The one Williams piece that used to scare the hell out of me when I was younger was "Barry's Abduction" from CE3K.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The one Williams piece that used to scare the hell out of me when I was younger was "Barry's Abduction" from CE3K.

When I was 8 that was my favourite film of all time. I was terrified of vacuum cleaners for a few years though thanks to that scene. The big blattery tubas in Williams' score are the perfect accompaniment to the menacing vacuum cleaner!

The unused Death on the Carousel is also a good answer! The creepy carnival music speeding up at the end is very chilling.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Off the top of my head I'd say Barry's Kidnapping from Close Encounters. And maybe the Jaws theme statement as heard when "Charlie" swims for it.

Though I'm not sure if any of them scared me as much as Goldsmith's Poltergeist. The long brooding build up before the clown attacks. Not in the least expecting it, I literally jumped out of my bed with fright. Never a good idea to listen to that score on headphones in bed at the dead of night :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
- Marc, who'd also have the sh*t scared out of him if PotC's Walk the Plank would suddenly start blaring out of his headphones. :)

Is that because the music is scary or because it sucks so bad?

What do you think?

- Marc, who wants to tear off his headphones and throw them out the window when he hears that track.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Barry's Abduction is good, and while The Fury has some great stuff as well, I believe that "The Appearance of Darth Maul" (from the original Phantom Menace album) is easily the most eerie/scary piece of music, that John Williams has ever written.

It ranks up there with stuff from The Omen and Poltergeist.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that even CEO3K 5-note motif would scare me if it was played out of nowhere with the lights off :) but seriously there are some cues that give me chills every time - "Auschwitz-Birkenau" form "SL" is one of those, because of its opressive character and this feel of certain death about to come.

The very beginning of "Invading Elliot's House" always gives me goosebumps (so does the beginning of "Far From Home/ET alone" track when we see the spaceship for the 1st time. Generally I find 'The Keys' motif' one of the scariest JW has ever written).

The eerie opening music from "Jurassic Park" has also this fine unsettling quality.

Link to post
Share on other sites
And maybe the Jaws theme statement as heard when "Charlie" swims for it.

"DON'T LOOK BACK!"

The key change as the pier turns around and heads back to shore is the key to that scene.

No other musical cue scares me as much. Second place would go to the Imperial March theme played as Han Solo is lowered to be tortured.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The Intersection Scene from War of the Worlds. Terrifying music, terrifying scene.

Ted

I can't add anything to that, so I'll just second that. For me this possibly was the most intense scene I've ever seen in the theater.

Edit: "Auschwitz" is a genial track, though it's not so much scary as truly chilling to the bone.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure but the beginning of Invading Elliots House and some parts of Schindler's List do give me the goosebumps. Also its not really a scary cue but it is very...suspensful I'm not sure the name of the cue but where Luke fires the proton torpedoes into the first Death Star.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The one Williams piece that used to scare the hell out of me when I was younger was "Barry's Abduction" from CE3K.

Its still scary. ;)

I'd also like to add Shark Attack from the Jaws CE. Btw I've been wanting to ask tihs for a while, what scene is this cue suppoesd to underscore? Is it Quint's death scene? It does seem to match up pretty well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For me It's always been:

Ben Gardner's Boat

Followed by:

Barry's Abduction - CE3K

Death Of Robert - Black Sunday

The Night Visitor - Dracula

Grace Poole And Mason's Arrival - Jane Eyre

The Face Of Voldemort - H. P. & The Sorceror's Stone

The Temple Of Doom (Original Polydor Release)

Gillian's Power - The Fury

Trapped Lovers - Towering Inferno

The Moon Rising - A.I.

The Microfilm Killing - Eiger Sanction

The Magic Tree - Empire Strikes Back (Original RSO Release)

The Killing Of Marcel - Images

Maleficio - Witches Of Eastwick

Spyders - Minority Report

The Dementors Converge - H.P. & The Prisoner Of Azkaban

The Galley - Poseidon Adventure

Link to post
Share on other sites

The one Williams piece that used to scare the hell out of me when I was younger was "Barry's Abduction" from CE3K.

Its still scary. :D

I'd also like to add Shark Attack from the Jaws CE. Btw I've been wanting to ask tihs for a while, what scene is this cue suppoesd to underscore? Is it Quint's death scene? It does seem to match up pretty well.

I'd rather like to think that Williams had the intuition not to score that scene. Music would have greatly diminished the impact of that very raw death scene. Jaws remains Williams' finest score not because of how he scored certain scenes and moments, but because he knew when not to use music. Jaws is a great example of the score being absolutely perfect in complementing the images as well as when to show up and when not.

Ted

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd rather like to think that Williams had the intuition not to score that scene. Music would have greatly diminished the impact of that very raw death scene. Jaws remains Williams' finest score not because of how he scored certain scenes and moments, but because he knew when not to use music. Jaws is a great example of the score being absolutely perfect in complementing the images as well as when to show up and when not.

Ted

I dunno, I tried matching them up last night and the music matched cuts pretty much perfectly. The cue is even of the right length starting from where Quint turns around to see Bruce leap out to where he is dragged into the water by Bruce.

Burga - whose fav Jaws theme statement is probably Shark Attack

Link to post
Share on other sites

The score cue is good, but I think they made the right decision to cut it. Maybe they should have had the first part, up until the shark attacks the boat, but the death scene itself is very noisy - I don't see how the music could do anything but get in the way.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Rob here. Often the greatest shock moments in movies are emphasized by a lack of music. Especially if it comes immediately after a section where music has been playing. The appearance of the Mother ship in CEOT3K, the transformation scene in An American Werewolf in London, and of course the very "raw" (nice word tpigeon) Quint's Death. That scene really affected me as a child, and I'm sure the lack of music somehow made it more "real" and less cinematically fantastic. That's why the use of music in Alien and Texas Chainsaw Massacre is kept to a minimum, relying more on sound-effect music rather than big themes. The film-makers wanted to take away the cinematic "frame" (the music) and make the audience feel that much more immediately close to the panic onscreen.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Many scenes work better without the music - not just fright or shock scenes - I'm thinking of the car chase from Bullitt. Also the fight in Marion's bar from Raiders - the music builds up and up until the first shot is fired, then it's all done in the sound effects, and it works perfectly.

Incidentally, I'd argue that Quint's death scene from Jaws is the ultimate demonstation of how the original sound track is better than the 5.1 remix. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.