Communicating Fear in Film Music: A Sociophobic Analysis of Zombie Film Soundtracks
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The horror film soundtrack is a complex web of narratological, ethnographic, and semiological factors all related to the social tensions intimated by a film. This study examines four major periods in the zombie's film career--the Voodoo zombie of the 1930s and 1940s, the invasion narratives of the late 1960s, the post-apocalyptic survivalist fantasies of the 1970s and 1980s, and the modern post-9/11 zombie--to track how certain musical sounds and styles are indexed with the content of zombie films. Two main musical threads link the individual films' characterization of the zombie and the setting: Othering via different types of musical exoticism, and the use of sonic excess to pronounce sociophobic themes.