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Best 25 Horror Oscar Winners, Ranked

  • Indiewire
Best 25 Horror Oscar Winners, Ranked
Most people think that snobby Oscar voters through the decades have turned their backs on the horror genre. Not so. True, far more horror flicks have been nominated for Oscars — including many Alfred Hitchcock movies — than have won. Hitch was nominated six times for Best Director and never took home a gold statue, which is why he was awarded an Honorary Oscar in 1968. “Thank you,” he said, and walked offstage.

We scoured the record books to find 25 Oscar-winning horror movies, and herewith rank them for you.

After heated arguments among the IndieWire staff, we threw out a dozen or so monster movies (“King Kong,” “Mighty Joe Young,” “Jurassic Park”), ghost films (“Ghost”) and scary psychological thrillers like Hitchcock’s “Spellbound” that just didn’t feel like horror flicks to us.

Defining a horror movie is subjective. Is it about gore and guts and supernatural beings, or how it makes you feel?
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Waxwork Records’ 2018 Subscription to Include Vinyl Scores of Dawn Of The Dead, Night Of The Living Dead, Get Out, and More

  • DailyDead
For years they've given new life to the most memorable sounds and songs of horror cinema, but in 2018, Waxwork Records looks to outdo even their own scary high standards with an upcoming vinyl score release slate that honors George A. Romero and celebrates one of the most exciting new voices in horror.

Waxwork Records announced that their 2018 vinyl releases will include the scores for Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, The ’Burbs, Drag Me to Hell, and Get Out. Artwork and specific release details have yet to be revealed, but all five vinyl releases are included in the 2018 Waxwork Records Subscription, which can be purchased for $250 in the Us (and $285 internationally) beginning Friday, November 24th. Read on for more details on Waxwork Records' essential and exciting 2018 releases, and keep an eye on their website for more updates.

From Waxwork Records: "Here’s what we have in store
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Halloween 2017: Devil’s Night Double Feature – The Crow and House Of 1000 Corpses

  • DailyDead
[To get you into the spooky spirit, the Daily Dead team is spotlighting double features that we think would be fun to watch this Halloween season. Check here for more double feature recommendations and other Halloween 2017 coverage.]

In horror movies, things usually go so very wrong on October 31st when it comes to the Halloween-themed offerings of the genre. But what about the night before? October 30th, or “Devil’s Night”, can also bring about its own horrific consequences, which is the theme I went with when it came time to put together my double feature of Alex ProyasThe Crow and Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses. Both are coincidentally feature film debuts for each director, they feature killer soundtracks, and this pair of films is also centered around a storyline where the characters will never be the same after their experiences on the night before Halloween.

Based on the comic by James O'Barr, The Crow finds aspiring rock star Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) rising from the grave a year after his death to take revenge on the four thugs (David Patrick Kelly, Angel David,
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16 essential Halloween horror soundtracks

Sean Wilson presents a selection of spooky film scores that make for the ideal 31st October playlist…

The scariest night of the year, Halloween, is upon us once again and, in addition to all the cosplay and trick or treating, a playlist of horror hits is also essential to the big night. Horror allows film composers off the leash like few other genres do, often unleashing an onslaught of symphonic and choral mayhem guaranteed to pull a chill down the spine. This then is a curated selection of fabulously frightening horror music that you need to complete your Halloween.

Psycho (1960) – Bernard Herrmann

Alfred Hitchcock’s seminal horror practically birthed the modern-day slasher movie, throwing audiences for a loop with its terrifying dispatch of Janet Leigh in the shower. The director would later credit “33%” of Psycho‘s impact to regular collaborator Bernard Herrmann’s chilling score, one as starkly monochrome and
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Blu-ray Review – War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

War for the Planet of the Apes, 2017.

Directed by Matt Reeves.

Starring Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller, Judy Greer, Karin Konoval, Terry Notary, Michael Adamthwaite, Gabriel Chavarria, Max Lloyd-Jones, Sara Canning, Aleks Paunovic, and Chad Rook.


The new Planet of the Apes reboot or prequel series, whatever you want to call it, comes to a conclusion with War for the Planet of the Apes, now out on a Blu-ray + DVD + digital copy set. While the film fell a bit short for me, I found the supplements worth a spin, and I appreciated director Matt Reeves’ thoughtful discussion of his approach to the movie.

Before Star Wars came along, the two primary franchises that captured my little-kid imagination in the early 70s were Star Trek and Planet of the Apes. However, being born in 1970 meant that I had to experience the former through reruns and the latter
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Blu-ray Review – L.A. Confidential: 20th Anniversary Edition

L.A. Confidential, 1997.

Directed by Curtis Hanson.

Starring Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, James Cromwell, David Strathairn, Kim Basinger, and Danny DeVito.


L.A. Confidential has been reissued on DVD and Blu-ray for its 20th anniversary. Unfortunately, nothing new was created for this release, so owners of the 2008 Blu-ray can skip this one, although those who have the earlier two-disc DVD Special Edition may want to upgrade to a high-def copy of the movie. A code for a digital copy is included too.

L.A. Confidential is one of those movies that bears repeat viewings. While its story of three La police officers gradually uncovering deep-rooted corruption may seem simple on its surface, the plot adds the complexities of Hollywood’s seedy underside to the proceedings. Set in any other city, it might be a more straightforward narrative, but La’s mystique gives the story another layer for viewers to navigate.
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Q&A: Composer Kevin Blumenfeld on Making Music for go90’s In The Vault and The Walking Dead Webisodes

  • DailyDead
Composer Kevin Blumenfeld has enhanced scares through his music on The Walking Dead webisodes, and now he's bringing horror to the halls of higher education with his electronic score for go90's new murder mystery series, In the Vault. For our latest Q&A feature, we caught up with Blumenfeld to discuss his new project, working within the world of The Walking Dead, and the horror films that have inspired and influenced him over the years.

Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us, Kevin. When did you initially become interested in music and what did you listen to in your formative years?

Kevin Blumenfeld: I’d say I became interested in music when I was about four or five years old. My father started taking piano lessons. Which, in retrospect, is very hard to imagine. I’d sit at the bottom of the stairs and would just listen.
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Poltergeist (1982) Midnights at The Tivoli This Weekend

“This house is clean.”

Poltergeist (1982) plays midnights this weekend (October 6th and 7th) at the Tivoli as part of their Reel Late at the Tivoli Midnight series. Tickets are $8.

Poltergeist had all the hallmarks of the Spielberg blockbuster production – a small-town suburban family setting, fantastic special effects, fast-paced action and a liberal smattering of Spielberg’s own brand of natural humor. Rumors have persisted for decades that he wrested the direction away from credited director Tobe Hooper, but the influence and style of Hooper are also evident and, rather than detracting from the considerable input of Spielberg, they complement it in a way which results in a movie of subtle originality.

Poltergeist is fun, extremely well-made, and is packed full of terrific scares. It took the opposite approach from normal; there’s no big old spooky house or gruesome back-story of some patriarch walling people up in the tower. By contrast,
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Exclusive Interview: Composer Jason Graves talks video game soundtracks

Sean Wilson chats to the Tomb Raider and Far Cry composer about what makes a truly great score…

Video game music has come on extraordinary leaps and bounds since the early days of 8-bit synths. Orchestral sophistication and symphonic power is now the order of the day, and at the forefront is acclaimed, award-winning artist Jason Graves.

We caught up with Jason to discuss his work on the rebooted Tomb Raider series and other hit video game franchises, discussing his musical process and what it means to honour the musical legacy of console gaming.

What you and your fellow soundtrack composers do is truly remarkable, adding further layers of emotion to our favourite games and films. How did you get into the industry to begin with?

I started working in La when I was still in school for a degree in Film and Television Music. That job gave me a
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Hour of the Gun

It’s the one saga of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral that puts Western legend into proper perspective as to the nature of money, power and the law: Edward Anhalt’s vision is of a gangland turf war with sagebrush and whiskey bottles. James Garner is a humorless Wyatt Earp, matched by Jason Robards’ excellent Doc Holliday. It’s one of John Sturges’ best movies.

Hour of the Gun


Twilight Time

1967 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 101 min. / Street Date September 19, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95

Starring: James Garner, Jason Robards, Robert Ryan, Albert Salmi, Charles Aidman, Steve Ihnat, Michael Tolan, William Windom, Lonny Chapman, Larry Gates, William Schallert, Jon Voight.

Cinematography: Lucien Ballard

Art Direction: Alfred C. Ybarra

Film Editor: Ferris Webster

Original Music: Jerry Goldsmith

Written by Edward Anhalt

Produced and Directed by John Sturges

Producer-director John SturgesHour of the Gun was a dismal non-performer in
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The Illustrated Man

Ray Bradbury adapted to the screen is always something to check out; this Jack Smight- directed trio of stories bound together by a mystery man wearing the graffiti of the title at least works up a little ethereal-cereal excitement. Husband and wife Rod Steiger and Claire Bloom spout ominous dialogue as they face various futuristic threats.

The Illustrated Man


Warner Archive Collection

1969 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 103 min. / Street Date September 19, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99

Starring: Rod Steiger, Claire Bloom, Robert Drivas, Don Dubbins, Jason Evers, Tim Weldon, Christine Matchett

Cinematography: Philip H. Lathrop

Art Direction: Joel Schiller

Film Editor: Archie Marshek

Original Music: Jerry Goldsmith

Written by Howard B. Kreitsek from the book by Ray Bradbury

Produced by Howard B. Kreitsek, Ted Mann

Directed by Jack Smight

Ray Bradbury must have had some frustrating times as a screenwriter, although the three times I saw him in person he never
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The Sound of Fear: 17 Creepy Choral Horror Soundtracks

Benjamin Wallfisch’s brilliantly sinister It score turns the human voice inside out – and it’s not the only one…

The world’s most terrifying clown Pennywise is back to stalk our nightmares in the new adaptation of It, on release now. Bill Skarsgard takes over from Tim Curry as the dreaded Stephen King creation and director Andy Muschietti’s movie has been praised for mixing genuine terror with Stand By Me levels of pathos.

It also marks the latest in a series of increasingly impressive chiller scores by British composer Benjamin Wallfisch. Having charged the likes of Lights Out, A Cure for Wellness and the recent Annabelle: Creation with a potent sense of musical fear, Wallfisch now scares the pants off us with his impressively creepy It soundtrack.

Sitting alongside some truly beautiful and tender material for our pre-teen heroes the Losers’ Club is an ear-shattering array of discordant horror techniques.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

‘The Crown,’ ‘Feud,’ and ‘Victoria’ Battle for Best Score Emmys — Listen

  • Indiewire
‘The Crown,’ ‘Feud,’ and ‘Victoria’ Battle for Best Score Emmys — Listen
Ascending queens Elizabeth (“The Crown”) and Victoria (“Victoria”) face off in the Emmy race for Series Original Dramatic Score, while old Hollywood (“Feud: Bette and Joan”) counters Russian classicism (“Fargo”) for Limited Series, Movie, or Special Dramatic Score.

Meanwhile, political (“House of Cards,” Taboo”) and survival overtones (“Planet Earth II” and “A Series of Unfortunate Events”) clash in the Series category, as well as war (“Five Came Back,” “The White Helmets,” “Suite Française”) and culture (“O.J.: Made in America”) in the other category.

Not surprisingly, the odds are with Rupert Gregson-Williams (“The Crown”) and last year’s “Mr. Robot” winner, Mac Quayle (“Feud”), for their respective retro scores. While Williams reached for orchestral nobility, Quayle went for more orchestral glam.

The Crown” — “Hyde Park Corner” (Rupert Gregson-Williams)

The score for showrunner Peter Morgan’s drama about the rise of Elizabeth II (nominated Claire Foy) was all about restraint, given her sense of calm.
See full article at Indiewire »

The Beautiful and the Damned Dirty Apes: A History of The Planet of The Apes

  • HeyUGuys
Author: Cai Ross

The original Planet of The Apes movies occupied a curious netherworld of critical opinion. With each film, the budget was sawn in half, leading to a successive pattern of diminishing returns that led to a cheapening of its esteem. The spin-off TV show was quickly cancelled, further dulling the lustre and few people even remember the animated series that finally put the Apes to bed until a rude awakening in 2001.

However, for all their child-pleasing capers (the family-friendly G rating was a mandatory stipulation from the studios), the Apes movies deftly juggled important themes and arguments about slavery, free-will, nuclear war, vivisection, racism and oppression, and man’s innate capacity for cruelty. In pure storytelling terms, the circuitous plot links the first five movies (and the new post-Rise cycle) into a pleasing, if relentlessly pessimistic, self-perpetuating full-circle.

Enormous box office successes in their early stages, they spawned
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For Composer Michael Giacchino, It’s ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ vs. ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’

  • Indiewire
For Composer Michael Giacchino, It’s ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ vs. ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’
With this month’s one-two punch of “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “War for the Planet of the Apes,” it’s clear why Michael Giacchino has become Hollywood’s go-to composer. He once again delivers both the loud and quiet musical passages with force and grace, making him the master of superhero and animated movies.

“You need the quiet time in order for the louder times to mean something,” Giacchino said. “This is good for the audience, too. It pulls them in.”

Indeed, ever since Pixar’s “The Incredibles,” the 49-year-old composer has moved freely between animation, sci-fi, and superhero movies, winning the Oscar for Pixar’s “Up.” Along the way, Giacchino has also conquered the Disney (“Zootopia”), Marvel (“Doctor Strange”), and “Star Wars” (“Rogue One”) universes, working four times with J.J. Abrams (“Star Trek”), Bird (“The Incredibles”), and “Apes” director Matt Reeves.

With “Homecoming” and “War,” however, Giacchino experimented outside the
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‘Planet of the Apes’ Filmmakers Worried 1968 Original Wouldn’t Be Taken Seriously

‘Planet of the Apes’ Filmmakers Worried 1968 Original Wouldn’t Be Taken Seriously
Fox’s “War for the Planet of the Apes” is generating strong buzz before its July 14 launch. When the film series began 50 years ago, nobody imagined it would last this long. In fact, they weren’t even sure the first one could get off the ground.

Early tests for makeup, costumes, and art direction were so challenging that the film’s production was delayed two years.

The premise of the book (and the first film) was so radical — as Variety termed it back then, “an ape-human switcheroo” — that the filmmakers knew they needed to create a world that looked realistic and dangerous: Their biggest concern was that audiences would giggle at the idea of monkeys ordering around humans.

Pierre Boulle’s French-language novel “La Planete des Singes” was published in 1963; British author Xan Fielding translated it into English the following year. In January 1965, producer Arthur P. Jacobs told Variety’s Army Archerd that he would film the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

John Powell interview: scoring Bourne, Hans Zimmer, Face/Off and more

Sean Wilson Jul 6, 2017

Composer John Powell chats to us about scoring Jason Bourne, working with John Woo, his upcoming work and more.

Few contemporary film composers have made an impact quite like John Powell. From animation to drama to his immediately influential, propulsive Bourne soundtracks, Powell's energetic, emotional and heartfelt blend of symphony orchestra, electronics and percussion make him a singular voice.

See related  Jurassic World review Looking back at Jurassic Park

Ahead of his BAFTA Screen Talks event at the Royal Albert Hall on 10th July, we were delighted to catch up with John to discuss his remarkable career and the secret to a truly great film score.

So 10 years after I saw The Bourne Ultimatum on the big screen and being electrified by your score I'm sat here talking to you, which is a real privilege. I wondered was there a particular film score that inspired you to become a film composer?
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Exclusive Interview: Anne with an E composers Amin Bhatia & Ari Posner discuss creating a score perfect for Green Gables

Anne with an E, based on the popular Lucy Maud Montgomery novel Anne of Green Gables, recently premiered on Netflix with some initial hesitation from critics, which stemmed from the uncertainness of how the famous tale was going to be reimagined. Once critics and fans had a chance to indulge in the entire season of Moira Walley-Beckett’s version, now with a rating of 86% on Rotten Tomatoes, they understood that she was just trying to tell her version from the subtext of the novel, more in between the lines. Vanity Fair went on to say, “The interplay between Anne’s dark and light sides makes for a fascinating update.” Assisting Moira in successfully bringing this adaptation to life were Toronto based composers Amin Bhatia and Ari Posner, whom describe their score for the show as Maritime/Celtic on one hand but classical and dramatic on the other. We decided to speak with Bhatia and Posner about musically bringing this beloved Canadian tale to the small screen and what their process was like.

Did you end up with a specific sonic palette to continually draw from for Anne with an E, or did the sound of the show simply keep evolving and expanding as you continued working on it?

We started with a particular sonic palette but as each episode completed editing, everyone in post-production would refine and develop styles and ideas that would extend that palette in all areas: music, sound design, dialogue and mixing.

Did you all work with the Anne with an E sound designers at all? If so, what was your relationship/interaction like?

The show is very intimate and organic. It takes a lot of care and coordination of music, sound effects, dialogue and mixing to support the story without getting in the way of it or of each other. So yes, we were all in constant communication and we all worked together deciding who covers what and when. The famed team Sound Dogs handled the sound design aspects and they were literally down the hall from our studios. Between them and Technicolor’s re-recording mixers Alan DeGraaf and Tom Murray, we all worked together in “building the barn.”

What was the most challenging scene in season 1 for you all to score and why?

Amin – It’s never the one you expect. Some cues you feel will be a challenge and they come together easier than you thought. But others prove to need several rewrites till it works. A scene where Matthew goes to town to buy Anne a dress inspired me to write a waltz for piano and fiddle but repeated tries were just not “masculine” enough for the scene. I had written the cue for Anne when it should have been for Matthew. Finally I had to abandon it and go with French Horn using flute as a small counter-melody. Even then I had too many layers going and we were running out of time. Huge thanks to mixer Alan DeGraaf for helping simplify it by carving out the basic elements and muting others in the final mix. Again proving the old adage that “less is more”.

Ari – I did many rewrites on a sequence where Matthew brings back a new dress for Anne and she walks into her room and sees it for the first time. The showrunner described it to me as if Anne were seeing the sun for the first time in her life…she has never received a gift even remotely as beautiful as this. It was quite a long sequence and I kept taking it to a more touching emotive place rather than joyous…I’m not quite sure why…it was just instinctual. In the end I pulled it all apart and improvised a piano sketch that covered most of the scene. Then with some tweaking and the addition of strings and tin whistle, the cue finally took shape…and just in time too!

What is great about your score is sometimes it is very minimal, yet powerful. Like in episode 2 when Anne arrives back to the house and walking upstairs looking at everything. Was your initial strategy that less is more or did it just end up working out this way?

This was definitely the kind of show where less is more. In many cues the rewrite would be to take out the countermelody or simplify the number of instruments playing at the same time. That particular scene for Anne arriving has motifs and textures from both of us. As Anne walks back into the house music is very solemn with some Celtic overtones, then when she goes upstairs and sees her room we change the music to a more magical ephemeral texture for her sense of wonder.

What would you say the main benefit is to having two composers scoring Anne with an E?

First there’s a practical benefit in that there are two of us to handle the show’s deadlines. We divide up the music workload by storyline and we each handle different parts of the organizational aspects, like meetings, scheduling and emails. When one is deep in writing cues, the other deals with emails and organizing things with production.

Secondly there’s a musical benefit in that each of us have a different style of writing but we overlap in our love for orchestral music and melody. So we’re constantly challenging each other with new themes and progressions that can be passed back and forth for development and variation. It keeps the bar high!

What’s the most important element of your studio? What’s your favorite instrument (real or virtual) to reach for?

It’s not any particular instrument. The most important element is the organization. You have to sort out the palette of instruments to use (and not use) in your computer and you have to ensure you have the right players for the real instruments. Then it all needs to be clear in your mind so that as you are composing and playing all the parts, you know every sound or player needed to write and can orchestrate the cues quickly.

Can you remember the first tv show you saw or the first moment where you actually recognized a show’s score?

Ari – As a kid I was quite captured by the songs and score to Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz. Of course, it was the songs I noticed first, but because the melodies were also woven into the fabric of the underscore, I started to take notice of the less obvious music as well.

Amin – When I was eleven years old I snuck downstairs to watch the TV premiere of Planet of the Apes while my parents were asleep. They we concerned it was too scary for me and they were right. I had nightmares for weeks about apes invading our house…but I was also banging away on the family piano trying to figure out all the motifs from Jerry Goldsmith’s amazing score.

Learn more about the composers here:

Photo credit: Scott Murdoch
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Event Review – The Best of Elmer Bernstein at the Royal Albert Hall

Tony Black reviews The Best of Elmer Bernstein at the Royal Albert Hall…

Over the last few years, the Royal Albert Hall has become the go-to venue for a remarkable array of film music concerts, be they live orchestra alongside viewings of a movie (such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, which I was lucky enough to catch last year), blending orchestral pieces with film related music concerts for franchises such as James Bond, or in this case a bevy of classic film score suites composed by the late, great Elmer Bernstein.

One of the signature film music composers of the 20th century, arguably able to stand on a podium with the John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith’s and James Horner’s of this world, Bernstein scored some of the most legendary pictures in Hollywood history, from The Ten Commandments through to Ghostbusters and beyond. Royal Albert Hall, in presenting a
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‘The Mummy’ Composer Brian Tyler Gets Deep About Film’s Score: Hear an Exclusive Clip

‘The Mummy’ Composer Brian Tyler Gets Deep About Film’s Score: Hear an Exclusive Clip
Brian Tyler wrote half an hour’s worth of music for “The Mummy” before director Alex Kurtzman even started shooting. The “Fate of the Furious” composer was on the film for a year and a half, ultimately recording well over two hours of music (for a film that only runs 107 minutes) with an 84-piece orchestra and 32-voice choir at London’s Abbey Road.

“There was more music than they could actually put in the theatrical version,” Tyler told Variety from Paris, where he attended the premiere of the Tom Cruise film. “I scored extra themes, backstory, mythology, all sorts of things.” And in an era when so many directors demand scores that avoid memorable melody, Tyler created a score with at least half a dozen identifable themes that intertwine and develop in the classic sense of scores past. Here is an excerpt from Tyler’s exotic-sounding main theme, complete with
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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