FILM SC♀RES – Celebrating Female Composers

The Shining 15

The Shining

American electronic musician Wendy Carlos penned the opening title sequence for Stanley Kubrick’s horror masterpiece and in doing so laid claim to concocting perhaps the most terrifying arrangement of music that has ever been put to film.

Seeking solitude in order to write a novel, Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) takes a job as an off-season caretaker at the remote Overlook Hotel in Colorado. Eager to get started, Jack disregards warnings that the isolation drove a former caretaker mad, and moves into the massive resort with his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and son Danny (Danny Lloyd). But Danny has a supernatural gift which makes him aware of an evil lurking in the hotel, and sure enough, as winter storms cut the hotel off from civilisation, Jack gradually becomes murderously insane.

Beginning with one of the most beautifully disturbing opening credit sequences ever, the racing cinematography contrasted with Carlos’ otherworldly and menacing electronic score sets the tone perfectly for the horrors that lie ahead, slowly sucking you into the dreadful atmosphere that Kubrick’s masterpiece inhabits. As film scores go, it’s a jewel of beautiful rarity and a high water mark for the use of music in the horror genre - one that has arguably still yet to be surpassed.

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