Music in the horror films of Val Lewton

Publication Type:



Lee, Michael,


Edinburgh University Press,, Edinburgh, Scotland, p.1 online resource (x, 213 pages.). (2022)

Call Number:


Other Number:




(OCoLC)fst00960370, (OCoLC)fst01027201, bisacsh, fast, History and criticism., Horror films, Horror films., LAW / Jurisprudence, Motion picture music, Motion picture music.


Includes bibliographical references and index.Filmography: pages 205-207.Online resource; title from PDF title page (De Gruyter platform, viewed October 24, 2022).Examines how the music in Val Lewton's horror films enhanced the films' aesthetics and visual styleProvides a fine-grained analysis of each film's original scoreExplores all examples of source music in each filmConsiders film music as a path to film analysisVal Lewton's horror films revolutionized a popular genre through a much-studied and still widely emulated visual style emphasizing shadows and absences. By denying audiences visual confirmation of horror, his reforms placed a fresh burden on the soundtrack of his films. This book offers a fine-grained study of the Lewton unit's transformational sonic style which introduced the first jump scare," liberal use of pre-musique concrète, and an original orchestral score for every film in the series in violation of "B" movie norms. Their orchestral scores often exceed the conventions of film music as we hear the RKO Music Department ignoring instructions thus freeing their contributions to signpost the path toward each films' essential themes. "In English.