One of my favorite horror films is The Burrowers, a period piece thriller taking place in a late-19th century Midwest terrorized by subterranean monsters. Written and directed by J. T. Petty (S&Man), the end of The Burrowers featured a delightfully haunting rendition of the classic slave lullaby "All the Pretty Little Horses," written for the film by singer-songwriter Grant Campbell. Given the style in which the song is performed, Campbell's eerie vocal similarity to Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits, and the disturbing lyrical content, it serves as a perfect reminder of the importance of music, be it a traditional score or just a well-placed song, in horror films.

Lyrically, the song implores the child to sleep, and upon waking will be met with cake and "all the pretty little horses." Seemingly innocuous though no doubt possessing a deeper meaning given the context in which the sung was traditionally song. Created by an African American slave in the old south, the woman was forced to neglect her baby and care after her master's, prompting her to sing this song. As the song progresses, there lies a verse that eschews the subtlety of much of the song in favor of a violent metaphor for this forced separation:
categories Horror