Bonnie Tyler and Air Supply aren’t usually artists you think about when it comes to gritty horror. However, The Strangers: Prey at Night features a track from each. The connection is songwriter Jim Steinman, who also wrote Meat Loaf’s most famous songs. Director Johannes Roberts is such a Steinman fan, he almost made the entire soundtrack Steinman penned songs, in early cuts.
“At one point we even discussed having the whole movie, every song a Steinman track,” Roberts told Bloody-Disgusting. “We tried various different things, some of his own stuff [Steinman released a solo album on which he sang too]. I tried ‘Rock n’ Roll Dreams’ and ‘Good Girls Go To Heaven.’ It was cool. It was a fun idea but I think I would’ve loved it but I might’ve been in the minority. It felt a bit like you were going to see an Andrew Lloyd Weber musical. I love his stuff. I think he’s an amazing composer.”
Steinman wrote several of Tyler’s hits too, including “Total Eclipse of the Heart” which is featured in The Strangers: Prey at Night. He also wrote “Making Love Out of Nothing At All” for Air Supply.
“‘Total Eclipse’ was the first song that I used and that was over the pool sequence,” Roberts said. “It was the only song we ever used over the pool sequence. It was like, ‘This is amazing.’ It just worked. The scene cut together and then it kind of influenced the rest of the soundtrack to be an ‘80s vibe.”
Roberts dipped back into the Steinman well for the film’s climax.
“Then I was like, ‘I want to try another Steinman track.’ I just love ‘Making Love Out of Nothing At All.’ The whole end sequence, we felt like it just needed to be different, not scary horror but go more operatic with it. We tried that track and it just made that whole sequence really emotional. That song is great. It was one of the tougher ones to get ahold of oddly but it’s just phenomenal. I was just like this is the way I want the movie to end.”
Early screenings of The Strangers: Prey at Night featured an introduction video by Roberts, in which he says, “I hope you like Jim Steinman music.” Fortunately, I’m not the only writer in the horror community who does.
“When I said that, I was like, ‘God, does anybody even know who Jim Steinman is anymore?’ That’s great.”
The Strangers: Prey at Night opens this Friday, March 9.