It’s All Hallow’s Eve and though we are now more likely to dress up as reality TV stars, pop culture characters, or (for the adults) something slutty, there was once a time when Halloween was about the creatures of the night.
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So, in a tip of the hat from the headless horseman and a smile from a spectral visitor, I give you three movie scores to play at your front door tonight. Yes, I know I’m normally the Top Five guy but it’s Halloween and, in its related spookiness, the number 3 is figures far more importantly when it comes to the fanged, the fey, and the phantasmal.
Sleepy Hollow, Danny Elfman
Speaking of Headless Horsemen, Danny Elfman’s score proves that very few can ever top the master of the macabre and thrilling bombast (just ask Paul Haslinger and Joe Johnston). It also boast one of his sweetest odes to imperiled love but it’s the galloping romp which buoys this score and, if you close your eyes and let your mind wander, gets your blood racing.
Constantine, Brian Tyler and Klaus Badelt
I was thinking of The Devil’s Advocate when I first envisioned this post but in searching for YouTube for the Devil’s Advocate score I realized my grave error. I like the score for that movie (which is why I own it) but Sleepy Hollow beats it in terms of their tone. And, if I had only one Keanu Reeves spirit world movie score to pick, it would be Constantine. It is far more moody and more befitting Mr. Reeves in general. Plus, it is less recognizable than both The Devil’s Advocate and Sleepy Hollow, thus bolstering its spooky effect on your darkened, festooned porch.
As for the movie, it’s not great but it’s not terrible. Plus, it has Rachel Weisz and I’ll watch her in anything. Well, except that weird movie she made by her ex-hubby. I still convincing of that one. Also, Daniel Craig, I hate you.
The Monster Squad, Bruce Broughton
This one is more kid-oriented, as is the movie. Yet, much like Super 8, it’s also aimed at the kid in us. So, this is definitely more appropriate for the trick or treat scenario and less appropriate for your themed costume party. Two things of note, though. First, I’m always pulling for Bruce Broughton. He’s toiled in the shadow of John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, Jerry Goldsmith, Michael Giacchino, and the other big name composers of our time but, though despite producing some of the music we love (Rescuers Down Under, Tombstone, Silverado), he doesn’t get his deserved recognition in related pop culture. He did the music for Ice Pirates, for cryin’ out loud. Plus he’s half the reason anyone ever cried during Harry and the Hendersons.
And second thing is: What do you mean you haven’t seen The Monster Squad? Really? I mean, really? It’s only the best movie to recapture the wonder of the old movie monsters, ever. None of what’s been produced since then — not The Mummy, not The Wolfman, and especially not Van Helsing — has ever come as close to the pitch-perfect manifestations of the creatures in The Monster Squad. Hell, there’s a scene in it that’s so super scary/sweet that even hacktard maestro Michael Bay and other directors have been trying to replicate it for decades. Seriously, if you have not seen it and consider yourself even remotely an impresario of pop culture then you need to get your butt in a chair and watch the damn movie, lest we find out and have you tarred and feathered. For a comparison: I love The Goonies but The Monster Squad is better. Yes, I said that.
Thank you, Fred Dekker, for stirring my imagination at an early age.
Well, Happy Halloween, folks. Whatever you do on Halloween, just do it safely. And watch out for kids tonight, even if they’re not your own. As an adult, if you’re remotely human, that’s your job tonight.
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Please note: There is a new movie called The Monster Squad coming out in the near future. It has nothing to do with the creators of the original, Fred Drekker and Shane Black. So, quite frankly, that movie can go eff itself.