Tense Music In The Friday The 13th Film Franchise

This will generally apply to the earlier films as the zombie era and beyond offered little in tense moments and scares. However, there are a few good, tense moments later in the series that can still elicit a good scary moment even upon repeat viewing. The question is always asked, is a scene suspenseful on its own or does orchestration play a big role in creating the perfect horror moment. Halloween is a great example of a horror movie becoming a classic with the perfect marriage of smart direction and complimentary music.

Believe it or not, Friday the 13th became a huge success not solely on the merits of directing and gore alone, but the music had a huge part in the success as well. Harry Manfredini’s bass and violin sounds were crucial in creating the atmosphere needed to sell certain scenes. My all time favorite tense scene uses Harry’s music beautifully while Joseph Zito slowly pans the camera to the inevitable discovery of Doug hanging in the bathroom in Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter. You know Doug is dead, you know that Trish is going to find him, but the panning camera shot coupled with the brilliant score creates a level of anticipation that is far more terrifying than the body itself.

I completely lose myself in that moment and from their on out I am on the edge of my seat until the conclusion of the movie. If you can think through the franchise and picture certain scenes that frightened you most, which scenes truly scared you with the use of the musical score? And yes, there are a few of those scenes out there later in the series as well!

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