It’s part of the job that one has to watch a variety of films and television to keep up on current trends, for research, and for projects. Not that you will hear any complaints from me! I get introduced to some amazing films and tv shows through my work and network of people I work with. But when I’m sneaking in some me time, and I’m unplugging over the weekend, I’m curling up with some take out and a heart-pumping, sweaty palmed, psychological thriller film.
Some of my favorite ones have not only had intriguing music but have had interesting and complicated women characters. Here are some of my favorites:
About an American nanny name Greta who takes a job working for a family (the Heelshires) in a remote English village, who discovers that the 8-year-old that she is meant to look after is actually a life-sized doll that the parents treat like a real boy. You learn that the parent’s real son actually died 20 years prior. But that’s not the only surprise in store for you. Through a series of troubling events Greta is led to believe that the doll is actually alive, and it’s either play along, or suffer the consequences.
The film’s soundtrack is filled with classical selections that capture the audience and pull them through the bizarre and seemingly supernatural experience right along with our lead character Greta. Music supervisors Eric Craig and Biran McNelis filled the films soundtrack with classical pieces like ‘The Magic Flute’ (K.260, Act II: Der Hölle Rache) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, ‘Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op.85: IV. Allegro’ by Edward Elgar, and Johanne Brahms ‘Brahms’ Lullaby’ (Opus 49 No.4). The bold and minor tones of the music selection also help create an isolated and controlling environment that Greta experiences while working for the English family.
Greta Evans is a young American looking for a fresh start after trouble with her abusive ex-boyfriend. It’s intriguing how Greta ends up developing a relationship with the doll and even becomes its protector.
Hush is about Maddie Young, a deaf-mute writer living a solitary life in the woods, where she becomes the unfortunate target of a masked, crossbow wielding killer.
The films soundtrack was done by Andy and Taylor Newton. They created a score to the film that filled in the gaps with the enthralling sound design. As you can imagine, the music in a film like this had to be as much of a living, breathing character as the actors are. The combination of both helps the audience immerse themselves into Maddie’s silent world and her other heightened senses. This is definitely one of my favorite thrillers of all time.
Maddie Young is an incredible bad ass in this film! Smart, resourceful, and doesn’t play the usual bumbling victim that we often see for women characters in thriller movies. Throughout the film she proves herself as a worthy opponent of the masked killer and ends up beating him at his own game. She even keeps it together when she discovers her friend and next door neighbor has been murdered by the killer. At one point in the film she even writes “do it, coward” in her own blood.
An intriguing thriller about a couple who attends a dinner party at the man’s ex-wife’s house. Will and Eden, once a loving couple, experience the tragic death of their son. Eden disappears and returns out of the blue, with a new husband in tow, after two years. Over the course of the dinner party Will becomes convinced that Eden and her new friends have a deadly agenda.
The most intriguing part of the film is its score and the sinister tones that were provided by brilliant composer Theodore Shapiro. The score keeps the audience in constant discomfort and suspicion of the party’s hosts Eden and David. My favorite piece is in the opening credits of the film where you hear high pitched plucking from violins and curt bass notes that play over blurry images of a Los Angeles neighborhood. This is right after our main character Will runs over a coyote and ends up having to kill it to put it out of its misery. Creepy from beginning to end!
Affectionately known as Edie to her friend and ex-husband, you notice right away that there is something off about the beautiful and ethereal Edie. What interests me about her character is the transformation she seemingly experienced after the death of her son and also learning what exactly has made her come to terms / peace with his death. It turns out that her induction into a murderous cult is what really brought her tranquility.