Horror Movie Fear - How Your Hearing Adds to the Scare Factor

October 20, 2014

When you think of Halloween and being spooked out, your hearing probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But when it comes to being frightened, by a scary movie for instance, your hearing ( more specifically the music that you hear) does have a significant role to play.

The high-pitched violin squeals of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic Psycho represent one of the most recognizable and imitated musical scores in cinematic history. The violins perfectly compliment the on-screen action and the use of that particular music was no accident. In fact, it was very deliberate indeed.

Listen to “The Murder” cinematic score from Psycho below:

When done right, the music in a horror film increases fear, adds to the tension, and can help develop a deeper sense of suspense. In other words, it adds a whole other element or sense to the fear factor. So how does the music that we hear add to our fear?

Scientists believe that the music in good horror movies, Psycho for instance, can add to our fear as the sounds mimic those of distressed or threatened animals (or at least that is how our brains interpret the sounds). Naturally, this stirs subconscious fears -  if animals are in danger, then surely we may be in danger too!

So, there you have it! Whatever you get up to this Halloween, have a frighteningly fun time!

If you have any questions about your hearing, or you’d like to schedule an appointment, please contact us!


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