Music, Sound, and the Moving Image

The Sound of Fear in Recent Spanish Films

Music, Sound, and the Moving Image (2010), 4, (2), 197–211.

Abstract

What kind of sound provokes fear in recent Spanish films? New Spanish film directors have found innovatory ways to create fear and make sounds that manipulate spectators or help them to resolve the questions asked by the characters. In this article I analyse the sound of Alex de la Iglesia's The day of the beast (El día de la bestia, 1995), Mateo Gil's Nobody knows anybody (Nadie conoce a nadie, 1999), Alejandro Amenábar's Thesis (Tesis, 1995), and Montxo Armendáriz's Secrets of the heart (Secretos del corazón, 1997). Using examples from these films, I argue that acousmatic sounds, linked to radio, television, telephones or computers are frightening mainly because they create 'mental sounds'. I also address Benicio del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth (El laberinto del fauno, 2006), where sound creates a magical world in which nature tries to help the young protagonist.

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Details

Author details

Barnier, Martin