Two years ago (I seriously thought it was only last year) I ran a short series during Frightfest that looked at the music behind the scares – Scary Soundtracks – and it was actually a very popular little series! I have no clue why I didn’t continue it last year!
Regardless it is back this year and I do have a couple of doozies for you to get into your earholes! Before you dive in there and hit play like some sort of chump; here’s a refresher course on how to achieve maximum brown trouser coverage:
- turn off the lights
- headphones on
- close your eyes and sit back
- be terrified
‘The Evil Within’ was released in 2014 to pretty mixed reviews; what was sold to us as the revival of the survival horror genre (brought to us by the man who popularised the genre, Shinji Mikami) became a prime example of not having a clear vision.
Mikami clearly wanted to marry his two greatest creations; Resident Evil and Resident Evil 4, to create the perfect iteration of the genre – and to some extent this is what he achieved…
…in a more realistic way though he created a greatest hits package that has the best bits of everything before but forgot about context and what made them great in the first place.
One thing he got perfect though is hiring Masafuma Takada (famous for working with Suda51) to compose the music; although the game uses existing classical music (such as Clair De Lune) there are a number of original compositions that are exceptionally good. These compositions exist to set the mood of the game and to create maximum unease with the player; in my opinion there is none more effective than ‘Towering Terror’…
…Towering Terror kickstarts with a ‘Silent Hill’ style ambient, high pitched noise that slowly morphs into a driving, heavy drum line that throws the player into a state of anxiety and terror. This song alone turns the encounters with The Haunted into an absolute nightmare – it infiltrates your subconscious and gets under your skin in a way that more recent horror games just can’t! It will stress you out and make you tense, it will keep your adrenaline pumping and make you totally susceptible to the developers scares and it does an amazing job of elevating the entire experience into one of pure terror!
It’s music choices like this that remind you of what Mikami can achieve when he has a clear objective; and it’s music like this that remind you why you play horror games in the first place! To be terrified.
What did you think of ‘The Evil Within’?
What did you think of this track?
Where you brave enough to follow my instructions?
Tell me the answers (or even ask questions) in the comments!