Have you ever been watching a film, and a song kicks in that is so perfect for that moment in the story, that it sends a shiver down your spine? I was considering this phenomenon recently, and these were the three examples that instantly popped into my head, defining that special instant when what you hear and what you see couldn't be more faultlessly aligned.
"Omen" by Prodigy, featured in Kick-ass (2010)
As Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), dressed as his green-suited alter-ego 'Kick-ass', watches three gang members lay into an unlucky rival, the eerie synth loop starts to play. Lizewski tries to stop the fight but is pushed back. "It's none of your business," shouts one of the men. "Yes it is," replies the youth, loosing his iconic green batons from their holsters on his back. He joins the fray, the song's main electronic riff screaming into life, the bass-heavy drum track resounding as Kick-ass lashes out wildly, taking hit after hit. This Prodigy track works fantastically with this episode in the movie, drawing you into the action as the have-a-go hero tries to do something right.
"Sabotage" by Beastie Boys, featured in Star Trek (2009)
What band's music would best suit a young rebel without a cause, set adrift in the twenty-third century? A frustrated youth who doesn't play by the rules, but has the potential within him to save the citizens of entire planets - what song would define him best? The answer blasts out of the speakers as a young James Tiberius Kirk (Jimmy Bennett), joy-riding in his step-father's classic sportscar, thunders along an empty desert road. His adolencent roar mixes with the screaming vocal of the song's intro, the distorted guitars, pounding drum beat and dj-scratches spewing anarchy into the viewers ears; the only aural accompaniment fit for this scene.
[SPOILER ALERT! PLOT REVEALED!]
Although this track features in each episode of the Bourne trilogy, it is definitely used most effectively in the last installment of the series. In the final minutes of the film a news reporter's voice reveals that the body of the story's possibly deceased hero has not yet been discovered. As a smile creeps over the face of Bourne's companion Nicky Parsons, played by Julia Stiles, the siren-like strings of the song pierce the tranquility. Cut to Bourne's body as it continues to sink under the water, the keys and electric guitar joining the fray. Suddenly he moves, still alive against all odds. As Bourne swims away into the darkness, disappearing from view, a snare-drum fill cracks like a machinegun, ushering in the song's verse as the credits roll. Absolute perfection.
These are only a few of many examples that I could have chosen, so let me know what movie music gets your spine tingling!