It’s hard to improve on a classic but if can be done and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross seem to have done it with the Halloween theme. Do you recall just how terrifying that theme was to begin with when you first heard it? It meant that something was about to happen and you likely didn’t want to know what it might be. Micheal Meyers wasn’t the most terrifying villain the history of horror movies but he was definitely one of the most relentless which made him terrifying enough. The fact that these two men, both noted legends in the music industry, have created something that’s potentially even more scary than the original theme is pretty impressive.
If you listen to the original you’ll see that it still has the ability to send chills down people’s spines, you might even feel one race down your vertebrae for a moment. The original is still creepy as heck, but this new one is a new level of horror that makes you wonder if the darkness and the demons within it are real and are just waiting for the right sound to come across to take their swipe at the real world.
The danger it seems to denote with its haunting, hollow sounds is intense, and the level of terror that seems to flow through the piece is just awesome. It hearkens back to a time when mankind was actually terrified of the dark because they quite literally did not know what resided within the shadows and within the dark corners of the world. That might sound kind of cheesy but consider the truth that rests within the words. At one time our kind had little to no knowledge of what lurked in the darkness, and it terrified us to no end. It still does with some people if we’re being completely honest.
You know that there are times when you feel uncertain and are almost afraid to close your eyes. It’s an instinctual fear that humanity harbors at a fundamental level and that music seems able to touch with only minimal effort at times. The Halloween theme on its own, unaltered in its original form, is able to tap dance its way across people’s more primitive fears and tease them to life, while the altered version is able to reach deep down and trap a person inside their own psychosis, or so it seems.
The feeling of haunted, empty halls through which something, or someone, is stalking you is an easy visual to get from the altered theme. It is a much more visceral fear than the original theme, something that is so much worse than what came before but so masterful in the way that it creates a lasting impression upon the mind. What these two musicians have done is create an even more dangerous sound by taking something that was already unique and quite terrifying and given it a new life and verve of its very own so as to further horrify those that can remember why it’s supposed to be so scary in the first place.