Shyamalanathon 2009: The Music

This week I looked at the films of one of my favorite writer/directors, M. Night Shyamalan: The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs, The Village, Lady in the Water, and The Happening. Thanks for bearing with me. I hope people rewatch some of Shyamalan's films. He's a fantastic filmmaker who, in my mind, has had only one real misstep with The Happening. The rest of his films accomplish their goals well, and I enjoy going along for the ride with him.

To finish off a good week in movie watching, I want to feature one of my favorite things about Night's films: the music.

James Newton Howard composed the music for all the films I watched for Shyamalanathon 2009. He's a brilliant composer who creates a sense of genre, time, and mood without being overbearing. So, have a listen to some beautiful and oftentimes frightening music.

The Sixth Sense "Main Theme"

The score is so gorgeous and sad with a hint of haunting. It just sounds like it should go with a ghost story: the piano playing a repeating melody of a few notes on top of an orchestra playing in a minor key. The resolving chords at :40 are my favorite.

Unbreakable "The Wreck"

Probably the most epic and cinematic of the work Howard's done for Shyamalan. It builds up to a heroic theme, but with plenty of melancholy dissonant chords. This is goosebumps and tears in the eyes music.

Signs "Main Titles"

This is the music that you hear at the beginning of the movie during the titles. Absolutely creepy. The driving pace of the music adds urgency to the film, making it much more suspenseful. The slides and on-edge violins just add to the creepy level.

The Village "Those We Don't Speak Of"

This is a suprisingly earthy soundtrack that features tribal-like percussion and a melee of insturments to create tension. I mostly love the soundtrack for the gorgeous 19th century-sounding theme and expert violin solos by Hilary Hahn (which is in the second half of this track), but the scary stuff on the soundtrack is uniquely frightening.

Lady in the Water "The Great Eatlon/End Titles"

This is a bit of a dramatic track toward the beginning, but the payoff is gorgeous. Never fails to make me cry. Have I mentioned I'm a huge instrumental music crier? The whole score for the film is just magical. And this ending music brings in the theme we hear from the beginning to full force and then resolves it to a calm end.

The Happening "Main Theme"

The music is by far the scariest part of the film. The ominous low horns, the strained solo cello, and the building tempo and volume. Perfect, except the movie didn't meet the greatness of the music.

Bonus scene from The Village:

Those We Don't Speak Of come into the village one night. Here's the music I featured earlier in the post, but with visuals is even more stunning:

Can we talk about the hand holding here? The multiple shots, the slow motion. It's basically a Korean drama. This is just to say I love it.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I totally just recovered from a mini panic attack. I read the title of this post and thought to myself, "He made ANOTHER film?! How did I not know about this?! Did 'The Happening' really bomb that bad??"

    I'm happy to know I was simply mistaken. Happy Blogging!