Screeching, hissing, and clicking sounds… must be a Hollywood monster nearby.

spider

It is a well known fact that across the galaxies, worlds and dimensions, all predatory life-forms invariably evolve to make the same sounds when attacking. These include very loud screeching, hissing, and or clicking noises. While at rest, alien life will make a deep, rumbling growl. These are the traits of all alien life, and are unbreakable natural laws of biology.

This endless prevalence of the screeching and hissing monster is another of my peevs. Even silent creatures, such as spiders, must hiss or screech when in Hollywood. This, ironically removes one of the creepiest parts of a spider. Utter silence coupled with stealthy speed is creepy. Much creepier than something that shrieks warning of its presence to you from across the road.

In the age of the jump-scare, though, silence is a lost art, drowned along with subtlety in the swamp of ever bigger action scenes and ever further over-the-top gore. Everything must slap you in the face with how terrifying it is, bellowing its approach with discordant violin music and ten-times-the-volume-of-the-rest-of-the-film howls. Horror in films is now all ‘tell’. We are told to be scared by the blaring music and the loud sounds that make us jump in our seat.

Is it the fault of lazy film makers? Or lazy viewers who can’t be bothered to pay attention long enough to be scared by something subtle? Either way, the silent, creeping creature is a lost art.

Or maybe it never existed.

All I know is, most the time when the alien or other creature appears, all I can think is ‘wow, that might be pretty scary if it wasn’t screeching and hissing so much.’

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