Lalo Schifrin – The Exorcist (Rejected Score)
March 30, 2016
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Lalo Schifrin’s score for the Exorcist was rejected by William Friedkin. This is baffling when you first start listening to Schifrin’s score, especially when the director ended up using music by the likes of Anton Webern and Krzysztof Penderecki that sounded exactly like the music Schifrin had put forward for th trailer. One of the issues was that Shcifrin’s music was used in an insane trailer for the film that was banned due to making people violently ill. The trailer was akin to a strobe effect; coupled with the terrifying music it was on of the most unique trailers ever made. However, due to the fact that it could bring on epilepsy, or at least a violent case of chundering, the trailer was banned; and along with this Schifrin’s score was a casualty. The music used in the trailer perfectly matched the atonal work of Penderecki et al; however, when Schifrin handed Friedkin more of the score, it was clear that it owed more to Bernard Hermann’s work for films like Psycho, whereas Friedkin had asked for a score that “did not sound like music” and which was “tonal and moody.” In the end, maybe Schifrin was too traditional for what Friedkin had enisged; a new score for a new kind of Horror.