That Sound

I just turned on my TV and heard “that” sound. A sound hauntingly familiar to anyone who saw Alien or Aliens in the theater. That particular beeping of the locator device they use to track the monster(s) that are about to kill them. It’s a sound spiked with desperation and panic and defeat.

My first thought on hearing it was to wonder which scene I was about to be subjected to, the one in the ventilator shafts on the ship or the one when they come through the ceiling in the station.

Turns out it was the opening scene of Alien vs. Predator: Requiem.  I’ve never seen this movie and, with a Rotten Tomatoes freshness rating of 12 percent, I’m not ever likely to, but it was a good instinct on the director’s part to open with that sound.  It certainly had me hooked for a minute.

It made me wonder what other sounds have bled over from popular culture to haunt our waking hours. The “Deet! Deet! Deet!” from Psycho.  The Halloween theme song.  The whispered voices from Friday the 13th.

I would add the gothic chorus from The Omen but that bit has been so overused by other movies that the teeth have been removed from its bite.

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