In dramas, it often drowns out dialogues and announces the violent content to follow. In pseudo-documentaries, it often accompanies ominous disclaimers such as “although nobody knows for certain” and “the viewer is free to draw his own conclusions”. It is often satirized in comedy shows making fun of bad movies such as the “Scary Movie” series or The Onion.
Critics see it as “the new soundtrack of America” and indicative of the present anxious mood of the US. It is also criticized as hack work using lazy musical clichés, cheap electronic or percussive effects and low-frequency vibrations designed to give the listener the creeps while rattling his dental fillings, without ever resorting to true musical invention. Its use and development have been variously credited to James Horner and other second rate film composers.
I’m surprised “Film Score Monthly” didn’t do a cover story on fear music yet.