Film buffs discuss best use of music in TV and cinema after ‘Stranger Things’

stranger things kate bush movie tv
Image via Netflix

Kate Bush has sent the internet into a flurry after her iconic and haunting ’80s pop anthem “Running Up That Hill” was featured in Stranger Things, and now film buffs are discussing the best ever use of music on the silver screen.

Stranger Things, like anything set in the ’80s, is able to use a plethora of music to help convey its aesthetic and set its era. “Running Up That Hill” has taken the cake for now, but it’s opened up Pandora’s box of the usage of music across entertainment. Journalist Ben Allen posed the big question to Twitter about scenes that rival that of the ominous Stranger Things one, and the internet has responded in force.

Allen called back to probably the most notorious trope of 2000s TV, setting a dramatic scene to Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek”. Possibly done best though by the famous Saturday Night Live “Dear Sister” sketch though, and not The OC.

Radiohead fans will fight you till the death on many things, but everyone agrees that “Exit Music for a Film” has supplied an absolutely stellar moment in Person of Interest.

There’s another Kate Bush classic that people aren’t over yet either, with a harrowing scene from She’s Having A Baby set to “This Woman’s Work”. I’m not crying, I’m just really heavily appreciating the music right now, ok?

Stephen King adaptations can often struggle with adapting pages to the screen, especially in his more dense work. But the intro to The Stand set to Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper” perfectly sets up the film while covering a big portion of the original work. Shame the movie is mostly not great.

Hanging up in young men’s university dorm rooms everywhere is the poster to 2001’s seminal psychological thriller Donnie Darko. Punctuated by one of the greatest covers of all time, with Gary Jules delivering a version of Tears for Fears’ “Mad World” so good you’ll never need the original.

On the much lighter, more joyful side of town is Shaun of the Dead’s emphatic usage of Queen’s high octane “Don’t Stop Me Now” as the gang eviscerates zombies like there’s no tomorrow.

You can’t go too far on the internet without seeing The Simpsons brought up, so the fan-favorite episode “I Love Lisa” sees “The Monster Mash” gets its royalties in a very Simpsons way.

Shoutout to Joy Division and Ian Curtis biopic Control for turning an already hugely harrowing song like “Atmosphere” into an even more tormenting song.

What have we learned today? Well, the idea of setting scenes to music is officially called a “needle drop”, and many harrowing solo vocalists are making big bucks with sad covers in very sad scenes in movies and TV. Good for her.