Nigel Tufnel famously said D minor is the saddest of all keys; it can also be the scariest. Most horror movie themes are performed in a minor key to provide creepy tone and a sense of dread. Dangerous Minds reports on a YouTube video of musician, writer, and filmmaker Ian Gordon, who re-recorded versions of some very well-known (and creepy) minor-key horror themes, only he transposed them to a major key.
The X-Files now comes off as elevator music that would be heard over the old Prevue Guide channel, John Carpenter’s iconic Halloween theme has a triumphant Vangelis style to it that wouldn’t sound out of place in a marketing VHS for Windows 3.1, and the Saw score from Charlie Clouser recalls Ennio Morricone’s overlooked score for 1994’s Disclosure. Nightmare On Elm Street in a major key would work very well on the Macy’s overhead around the holiday season; The Exorcist theme, “Tubular Bells,” is still just a little bit creepy.
While not necessarily useful in building the suspense of a horror flick, these major-key versions of classic themes are more memorable than most superhero scores of the past 15 years. Perhaps the Hellraiser score could be reworked for the next Guardians Of The Galaxy.