What if the Best Synth Scores Are For Horror Films That Don’t Really Exist? - Dread Central
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What if the Best Synth Scores Are For Horror Films That Don’t Really Exist?



Some of the best horror soundtracks are for films that don’t even really exist. The composers of these scores draw their influence from the likes of John Carpenter and Goblin, crafting evocative synthesizer-driven pieces that tell suspenseful and horrifying stories despite nothing ever put on film.

These aren’t merely instrumental albums with vaguely connected instrumental tracks. Instead, composers like OGRE & Dallas Campbell, Antoni Maiovvi, and Repeated Viewing craft elaborate stories to go along with their music. What we’re left with is, in many ways, a fully realized film for our ears.

As this year’s Halloween, the most hallowed of holidays, slowly fades from our memory, here are five killer synth scores for horror films that exist only in someone’s imagination.

Slasher Film Festival Strategy – Psychic Shield

What would you expect from an artist called Slasher Film Festival Strategy? If you’re thinking of something supremely creative and evocative, then you’re right. The South Carolina-based project’s album Psychic Shield, which Death Waltz released on vinyl in 2015, is incredible.

The story behind Psychic Shield centers on a cult of flesh-eating witches who use their craftiness to lure unsuspecting victims to their gruesome deaths. Cult survivors tap into a “psychic shield” in a bid to protect people and set forth in a terminal battle to rid the world of the flesh-eaters once and for all.

SFFS draws on an ambient and drone background, paired with a love for ‘70s and ‘80s horror flicks, to create an entrancing experience that’s variously meditative, kinetic, and almost always suspenseful to the point of paralysis. Highlights like synth-woven “The Chant,” the massive “Cold War” and the triumphant “The Somnambulist” are prime examples of the power of SFFS’s preternatural ability to tell a story with music.

OGRE & Dallas Campbell – All Hallows’

The trans-Atlantic pair OGRE and Dallas Campbell have crafted several scores for imaginary films, and rescores for real ones, but All Hallows’ is their true masterpiece. They use their vast analogue synth collections to craft the perfect homage to ‘80s slasher films. An added bonus: they have written a story, which they include with every track on the album’s Bandcamp page. A listener could easily ignore the story and just make up their own with each dynamic score cue (track) that utilizes ethereal nuance to build suspense and terror. Or the listener could follow along with the provided slasher tale.

For those interested in the musicians’ chosen story, the narrative behind the haunting and dissonant minimal synth cut “Rabbit Run” paints the following sample: “The clatter of him was close behind her, closer than she wanted… She was blind, branches swiping at her in the pitch black, cutting her face as she ran. He was still coming, still on her trail.”

Regardless of how one experiences All Hallows’, it’s pretty clear that OGRE and Dallas Campbell have a masterpiece on their hands.

Mega Drive – Sleeper Street (The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Mega Drive is a powerhouse electronic producer, who started out doing more straightforward dark synthwave before expanding his repertoire into more nuanced and complex compositions with diverse instrumentation and arrangements. His latest, Sleeper Street, is a masterclass in how to maximize nostalgia for ‘80s horror film synth scores while injecting something new into the mix.

From the frenetic theme that opens the soundtrack to softer, more contemplative fare like “Memories of the Room” and “Safety In The Dawning Light (A New Day)” and to the bit-crushed sensory overload of “Last Stand,” the Dallas, Texas-based Mega Drive gives the listener plenty of narrative milestones to work with in creating an entire film in their head. Interestingly, unlike some of his contemporaries, Mega Drive doesn’t seem to offer a prescribed narrative. It’s all on you, dear listener. Unfurl what you will.

Repeated Viewing – Street Force

One of the most compelling scores for an imaginary horror film is Scottish producer Repeated Viewing’s Street Force, released on Giallo Disco Records, a label that specializes in soundtracks for faux-films. On Street Force, Repeated Viewing (AKA Alan Sinclair) channels the likes of Goblin, Angelo Badalamenti, and at times even early New Order to tell the story of one man’s rampage across New York City in 1982.

These dark numbers cover an impressive swath of territory. The sweet and slow “Night Loving” has chunky percussive synth stabs you can feel in your bones, topped with delicate, crystalline melodies. “Dance Chat” has a circular drive and a jovial bounce to it that would have made it play well at Factory Records’ famed Manchester nightclub The Haçienda. “Hussein the Killer” is an onslaught of big guitar riffs, drums gated in a prison basement, and minimalist synths. These and other tracks underscore the need for a real Street Force movie. What an incredible film that would be. Even so, with just Sinclair’s work, you can conjure up something pretty intense on your own.

Antoni Maiovvi – Shadow of the Bloodstained Kiss

Nowadays, Antoni Maiovvi mostly scores real films, like Can Evrenol’s latest, Housewife, and Adam Mason’s 2015 picture Hangman. But the Giallo Disco Records co-founder made his name creating brilliant and elaborate scores for nonexistent horror flicks, often faux giallo stories he’d power with impressive soundscapes covering ambient, electro, Italo Disco, and everything in between. Shadow of the Bloodstained Kiss, released by Seed Records in 2009, is one of those.

Maiovvi posits Shadow as a sci-fi giallo released in 1983, and which tells the story of utopia-gone-bad on the Jovian moon of Europa. A sadistic killer is on the loose, killing anyone connected to a brutal crime. Some pretty stark, existential secrets are revealed. He succeeds universally in providing the listener with a compelling space horror story.

“They Return” is a spacey contemplative cut that transforms into a big and triumphant Moroderesque groover. “Nightmoves” is a measured track awash in white noise and suspenseful melodies, foretelling the imminent degradation of galactic colonial social norms. “6000SEX” has the frenetic arpeggiated synthesizers people so enjoy in their horror scores and the banging rhythms that make dystopia the hottest nightclub in town. Over the course of the entire release, it’s hard not to have fun despite a killer being on the loose.

Those are only five of the hundreds of fantastic, non-imaginary synth scores to imaginary horror films that you can find on the internet and in your local record store. I’d recommend starting with these five and going deep down the pitch-black rabbit hole. It’s dark and often deranged, but you’ll never be disappointed.

Aaron Vehling is publisher and editor-in-chief of Vehlinggo, a site dedicated to synth scores, synthpop and synthwave, among other electronic genres. He has written a sprawling feature on the Drive soundtrack that includes the insights of most of the soundtrack artists, and has interviewed horror film composers such as Disasterpeace and Wojciech Golczewski. You can discuss all things synthy with him on Facebook and Twitter.

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Whatever Happened to John Gulager’s Children of the Corn: Runaway?



Sometimes a movie goes into production and then seemingly disappears from the world altogether. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. Usually, Dimension is involved.

Ouch. But true.

Such as Amityville: The Awakening which was filmed in 2014 but didn’t get released until recently this year (3 years). And All the Boys Love Mandy Lane which was completed in 2006 but didn’t see release until September of 2013 – a whopping 7 years!

Another such movie you may not have even heard about – or more specifically – may not remember hearing about is the lost Children of the Corn sequel from Feast-director John Gulager called Children of the Corn: Runaway.

What follows is the history of the film as best as we could piece together, along with a possible update on just when we might expect to see this missing sequel.

It’s worth noting right off the top that this film is closely linked to yet another Dimension film which still has yet to see the light of day, Hellraiser: Judgment. Both films were produced around the same time, in the same area, under producer Michael Leahy.

Anyhow, the first word we heard on the production of Children of the Corn: Runaway came on March 21, 2016, when it was merely rumored that there was a new Children of the Corn movie secretly being filmed in Oklahoma City, OK.

It was thought at the time (and most likely true) that Dimension was rushing out a sequel so they could keep the rights to the franchise, regardless if they had a release plan or not.

That same day we learned that the new film was directed by John Gulager and was going by the title Children of the Corn: Runaway. We also learned the film was currently shooting in Oklahoma City, OK and the surrounding area including Luther and Coyle and that filming would wrap on April 2nd of that year.

Joel Soisson was rumored as the screenwriter for the new film, and Gatlin Returns, Inc. (natch) was producing with Mike Leahy, Joel Soisson, and Sean Patrick Eaton.

At the time, the plot of the movie was rumored to be:
A young pregnant Ruth who escapes a murderous child cult in a small Midwestern town. She spends the next decade living anonymously in an attempt to spare her son the horrors that she experienced as a child. She lands in the small Oklahoma town, but something is following her. Now, she must confront this evil or lose her child.

Then all of this info was confirmed the very next day by press release.

A month later on April 13, 2016, we got a bevy of behind the scenes pics via News OK – all courtesy of Nathan Poppe – and you can check all of those out below.

After that? Nada. Total silence for 19 months. Children of the Corn: Runaway seemed to fall off the edge of the world. Just like Hellraiser: Judgment.

But unlike Judgment, which gets fairly regular updates via new Pinhead Paul T. Taylor and director Gary J. Tunnicliffe, no one seems to be talking about Runaway. At all.

What’s the deal?

Truthfully, we’re still not sure. In the researching of this article, we reached out to director John Gulager, writer Joel Soisson, producer Michael Leahy, and new Malachi actor Blaine Maye. But all of these leads came up fruitless.

That is until I attempted to contact lead actress Marci Miller.

While I was unable to contact her directly, I did take a look at her Instagram, where I was able to confirm that the film is currently doing some ADR and will be shooting for a February/March release date.

Here is her post:

Children of the Corn #ComingSoon

A post shared by Marci Miller (@_marcimiller_) on

And if you look closely, you can see that a fan asked (and I’m paraphrasing):

“When will the movie be released?”

And below you will see Miller’s reply:


For now, that is all the new info we can find on Children of the Corn: Runaway.

That said, with Dimension and the Weinstein Company going under recently, maybe another top horror producer (You listening, Jason Blum?) will snatch up the rights to this and Hellraiser: Judgement and we will finally see the films released.

After all, in the above-mentioned set-visit from NEW OK, producer Michael Leahy said this about Children of the Corn: Runaway and Hellraiser: Judgment:

“We’ve had a lot of fun,” Leahy told the site back in 2016. “Blood has been flowing here in Oklahoma City. These are two horror films that are going to be seen by a core audience.”

Yeah, we’ll see about that…

We’re not trying to be pessimistic here, but really this is getting ridiculous at this point. Will we ever see Children of the Corn: Runaway and/or Hellraiser: Judgment? Your guess is, unfortunately, as good as mine.

Fingers crossed. We’ll let you know when we hear more.

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Synapse’s Suspiria 4K Restoration Gets a Release Date



Earlier this year, we wrote about Synapse Films’ Suspiria 4K restoration and how it was available for pre-order. The weird catch was that there was no release date confirmed and that pre-orders would go out sometime in December 2017. Today that changes as we can confirm that the 3-disc special edition Blu-ray collection will come out December 19th, just in time for Christmas but a little late for Hanukkah. Any chance we can have one extra night this year?

Restored over three years, Synapse has been working tirelessly to create the ultimate version of Dario Argento’s 1977 classic supernatural horror film, which has since gone on to become one of the most recognized and lauded titles in the genre. This cut has been overseen and approved by Luciano Tovoli, the Director of Photography on the film.

Pre-orders are still available via Synapse Films’ website.

Special features:
*Limited edition of only 6000 units produced
*Exclusive Steelbook packaging and collector’s o-card sleeve, featuring artwork from Malleus, Van Orton Design, Juan José Saldarriaga & Chris MacGibbon
*Three disc [Two Blu-rays + One CD] limited collector’s edition (only 6000 units) containing a new 4K restoration of the original uncut, uncensored Italian 35mm camera negative exclusively done by Synapse Films, with color correction supervised and approved by SUSPIRIA Director of Photography, Luciano Tovoli
*Original 4.0 1977 English language LCRS sound mix not heard since the theatrical release in 1977, presented in high-resolution DTS-HD MA 96 Khz/24-bit audio
*Italian 5.1 surround sound mix
*Two audio commentaries by authors and Argento scholars, Derek Botelho, David Del Valle & Troy Howarth
*Do You Know Anything About Witches? – 30 minute SUSPIRIA visual essay written, edited and narrated by Michael Mackenzie
*Suzy in Nazi Germany – Featurette on the German locations from SUSPIRIA
*A Sigh from the Depths: 40 Years of SUSPIRIA – All-new anniversary retrospective on the making of the film and its influence on cinema
*Olga’s Story – Interview with star Barbara Magnolfi
*Original theatrical trailers, TV spots and radio spots
*Special Collector Edition Booklet containing an American Cinematographer interview with Luciano Tovoli, liner notes by Derek Botelho and restoration notes by Vincent Pereira & Don May, Jr. Cover artwork by Matthew Therrien Illustration
*“International Classics” English “Breathing Letters” opening credit sequence from U.S. release version
*Alternate All-English opening and closing credits sequences, playable via seamless branching
*Newly translated, removable English SDH subtitles for the English language version
*Newly translated, removable English subtitles for the Italian language version
*Exclusive CD remaster of Goblin’s SUSPIRIA motion picture soundtrack, containing additional tracks not included on the original 1977 soundtrack release

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Creep 2 Starring Mark Duplass Hits Netflix This December



Just the other day we shared with you guys an exclusive interview with Partick Brice, the director of the Mark Duplass-starring found footage flicks Creep and Creep 2.

Today we have the awesome news that the killer sequel Creep 2 (review) will be hitting Netflix streaming on December 23rd.

The original creeptastic motion picture is already streaming on Netflix so if you need to catch up – or just watch the original again – you can do so tonight and get ready for the sequel which, personally, I found to be superior (if even just slightly) to the original.

What did you think of the original film? Are you excited to check out the sequel? Or have you already seen it? Make sure to let us know in the comments below or on social media!

Creep 2 starring Mark Duplass and Desiree Akhavan hits Netflix December 23rd!


Desiree Akhavan (“Girls”, APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR) stars as Sara, a video artist whose primary focus is creating intimacy with lonely men. After finding an ad online for “video work,” she thinks she may have found the subject of her dreams. She drives to a remote house in the forest and meets a man claiming to be a serial killer (Mark Duplass, reprising his role from the previous film). Unable to resist the chance to create a truly shocking piece of art, she agrees to spend the day with him. However, as the day goes on she discovers she may have dug herself into a hole she can’t escape.

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