Vintage Horror: “The Morgue Party”

Vintage Horror: “The Morgue Party”

Jonathan Hawes of One Door Films wrote and directed this vintage horror film. I’ve worked with Jonathan on a number of his films–he is so creative! His stories are so passionate, always quirky, and the British sense of humor pervades his stories!

I call this film “vintage” for a couple of reasons. The story and atmosphere have the feeling of an old movie, in a period of the 1930’s or 1940’s. The costumes and behavior are definitely from this period. Also, the diegetic music that I composed is in an old-time jazz style. This is emphasized by the use of an old-style phonograph.

The introduction spans the first 50 seconds or so. Then, at time 1:13, a phonograph recording of old-style jazz music is played. This is called “diegetic” music, because it is music that the characters in the story can hear. This diegetic music actually continues at a low volume level until time 8:04, when Larry’s attempt at whistleblowing is discovered. After that, the music is continued in a more contemporary vein.

A plaintive guitar song plays from time 8:30 to 10:30, as Larry learns what punishment is in store for him. Larry rebels, and at time 10:38 to 11:22, a fast-paced cue played by strings emphasizes the intensity of Larry’s attempt to escape. At time 12:08, the guitar song repeats, but this time it is more developed. At time 13:23 a haunting woman’s voice joins the song, becoming more intense as Larry gradually realizes what remains in his future. During the end credits, a soft old-style jazz song is played by a trombone.

The result is a dark, vintage horror story that could send goosebumps down your spine.


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