The Music Found Through Movies

Let’s look back on movie soundtracks.

Those “Various Artists” falling under the category of “Music From and Inspired by” movies can become some of our randomly favorite songs and even become chart-topping hits. Dirty Dancing, Space Jam, Purple Rain, and The Bodyguard all became top-selling albums their respective release years. 

Take it back to walking through a Sam Goody or Circuit City and looking for soundtracks on CDs hoping that the one song you heard in the movie and really liked would actually be on there.

Soundtracks from the 1990s and 2000s can have a special spot for their nostalgia factors. Romeo + Juliet made great use of The Cardigans’ “Lovefool”,  The soundtrack for American Pie featured Blink-182 (who cameoed in the movie), and lest we forget the soundtrack for Batman Forever

Horror movie soundtracks from this era had a very particular niche by consisting mostly of alternative rock and nu-metal. 

The soundtracks for the Scream franchise contained songs by Less Than Jake, Slipknot, and multiple songs from Creed. The soundtrack for 1998’s Bride of Chucky was particularly stacked with Rob Zombie, Blondie, Powerman 5000, Static-X, and Judas Priest. My personal favorite from the era was the Freddy Vs. Jason soundtrack which had Killswitch Engage, Spineshank, and a Slipknot demo track.

Let’s jump ahead in time a little. 

So, count me tardy to the party, but I didn’t see 2014’s The Guest until last year. Much thanks to the LGBTQ+ horror fans on Twitter for posting about it and piquing my interest. I found it on Netflix and was floored in the best way possible. You could tell that director Adam Wingard (You’re Next) is a fan of 80’s action and 80’s horror so it became added to my Halloween must-watch list. 

Avoiding any spoilers for those of you who might still want to watch it, during the suspenseful climax, “Anthonio – Berlin Breakdown Version” by Norwegian singer/DJ Annie is playing. 

The entirety of the soundtrack for The Guest is a mix of electro and synth pop, featuring artists such as Love and Rockets and Clan of Xymox, but Annie’s featured song sticks out given its placement. 

Looking up more of her music, I came across a happy coincidence- Annie just released a new album in October 2020 entitled Dark Hearts. It’s her third studio album and the first in 11 years. 

The 2019 thriller from South Korea Parasite hit the States like a storm and took home the Best Picture Oscar at the 2020 award ceremony (as well as the Oscars for Best Director for Bong Joon Ho, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature). Surprisingly, the film was not even nominated for Best Original Score (the award went to Joker). 

The original score for Ho’s Parasite was composed by Jung Jae Il, who had worked with Ho before on his 2017 film, Okja. Through his Spotify profile, I discovered Jung Jae Il’s original compositions and was immediately engrossed by them. His signature sound blends traditional Korean music with instruments and progressions familiar to Western music so I highly recommend diving deeper than the Parasite soundtrack (which is brilliant on its own). 


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