Friday, October 3, 2014

Orchestral arrangements of great horror themes

Well, time and a dearth of horror films I've felt strongly enough to comment on over the past couple of years have pretty much put this blog out to pasture. But, given that it's the horror month of Halloween, I feel like posting SOMETHING here. So here's a some commentary horror movie theme arrangements by Mac Styran.

Mac Styran is a German composer who's been writing scores for a range of media projects for more than 15 years. He is a classically trained pianist who has several works available through More samples of his work can be found on his personal website.

Mac Styran at work

The videos featured here were all edited by his wife Doro Styran. They are all very well done and compliment the music perfectly.

First, here's my favorite of Styran's arrangements -- appropriately enough John Carpenter's "Halloween Theme." Styran adds a number of his own musical elements here, but he keeps what made the original tune great.

Next is Styran's take on "Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds." This version is highlighted by its perfectly timed flourishes and a nice instrumental version of "Forever Autumn"--a tune that most people butcher when they try to cover or rearrange it. I would have liked a stronger callback to the "Eve of War Theme" at the end, but otherwise this is a perfect track.

Finally, Styran has also tackled Fred Myrow & Malcolm Seagrave's "Theme from Phantasm." The original piece is a favorite of mine, and the "Phantasm" movie holds a special place in my heart. It was one of the works that prompted me to be a writer, because I wanted to tell stories like that.

Styran's bombastic arrangement of the "Theme from Phantasm" captures the killer dwarfs and flying silver balls of death perfectly--and the balls are also the focus of the video--but I think it needed more quiet moments. It should either have built up to the powerfully noisy elements, or it should have had a quieter bridge. For me, the quiet stretches contribute even more strongly than the savage scenes to what makes "Phantasm" such a unique and creepy movie. Still, if this is any indication, Styran would be a great choice to score another entry in the "Phantasm" series if one was ever made.

No comments:

Post a Comment