This week I watched “The Night of the Hunter” made in 1955 directed by Charles Laughton. I thought it was a great film with an unusual story line, but what I loved most about it was the way it used one song to communicate both terror and hope. The song is a Hymn called “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” written by Anthony J. Showalter and Elisha Hoffman. Listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrJ3WKNeeRA&noredirect=1 or here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91IAwfdRX6A. In the scene in the second link it shows the antagonist and the hero singing together, one calling on the lord for help and the other trying to strike fear into the hearts of the children he hunts. I loved the way the film used the song to tell a key piece of the story without shoving it in your face. I’ve seen this done before in the video game “Life is Strange: episode 1”. It uses a song called “Santa Monica Dream” (listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrfVaPNMCM8 ) to describe the emotions the character “Chloe” is going through after the disappearance of her best friend and possible lover. The song speaks of a woman’s dream of a future with a man that is now gone, Chloe dreamt of running away to L.A with her lost friend and now is stuck in a dying town with no escape. I absolutely love when a story can be told with a song, this is because of the way sound can bring forward emotion much quicker and simpler than words can and often without people even being aware that they are being told a story. That’s the beauty of songs in film and video games, it really immerses the player/viewer. I would love to one day be able to find songs that will perfectly describe an emotion I am trying to put across in a video game, because I am in awe of how well other people can.