Sounding the Abject in Contemporary Horror Scoring

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This article explores the use of noise in the scoring and sound design of recent horror soundtracks. Using case studies on Darling (Keating, 2015), Crimson Peak (del Toro, 2015) and the found footage genre, the article argues that the noise is deliberately employed as a signifier of the abject. Drawing on Metz’s ideas of music, sound and speech as three distinct channels of communication, noise’s ability to move fluidly between these channels and to collapse them into a single sonic channel is identified as a key way in which noise transgresses boundaries and operates as both a symbolic and concrete manifestation of horror.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-131
Number of pages15
JournalHorror Studies
Publication statusPublished or Performed - 1 Apr 2022

Author keywords

  • Film music; noise; sound design; diegesis; channels of communication; the abject