This website was made due to me finding and becoming really engrossed in the Lore of the Walten Files. However, many viewers of the Walten Files, found this web series, through its reputation for being, terrifying. But why are the Walten Files so scary?
Simply, it is through the audio design and production of the series. A secret that every fan of horror and thrillers know, is that sound is more important than visuals, when it comes to intimidating and scaring a watching audience. The Walten Files is the perfect example of this rule, in media production.
A future article on this website will discuss the scariest moments in the Walten Files, thus far. But, nobody should be surprised by the top moments on the list. In creating the list, I was surprised by the importance, the sound design really plays in creating the bone-chilling scares.
But for anyone who does not agree with this, watch the Walten Files, muted. The experience is much different, with distorted visuals, not causing much shock, other than a few jumpscares. With no context, the visual design cannot complete the horror, of gruesome horror, the sound design highlights. Not hearing audio in reverse, or the distorted music, or the screaming, takes away so much from the Walten Files. Some visual jumpscares will catch you by suprise, but not to the same extent as with the audio setting you up, for the jump. Silence, or the audio slowly getting quieter, before blasting your ears, whilst the visuals blast your eyes. It is all teamwork, to send your senses into overdrive.
Comparison to the Inspiration
Further proof of this, is the actual franchise that inspired a lot of the Walten Files, Five Nights of Freddy’s. The original Five Nights at Freddy’s game, still holds up, arguably more than in later games, because of its sound design. The little noises, adding together to make an atmosphere, that is more than what you can see. It is what you can’t see! The laughter, the pots and pans being bashed about, and little cartoony noises come together to make an uncomfortable location, beyond the imagery. Even the phone guy, adding just enough context, to add suspense to every creek, knock and footstep, creates a perfect cocktail of audio distress, to transform the visuals into a horror setting.
Whereas FNAF 2 and games after, many of the issues with the games, come from not being able to replicate the sound design of the original game, and failed to create a chilling atmosphere. Each game had moments of great audio design, such as:
- The sound design of the minigames in FNAF 2.
- The noise of purple guy attacking the animatron in the minigames, of FNAF 3.
- The actual jumpscares of FNAF 4.
- Crawling through Ballora Gallery and opening Funtime Freddy’s faceplate, in Sister Location.
- Minigames like Midnight Motorist, and Fruity Maze, or the salvage minigames in Freddy Fazbear Pizzeria Simulator.
- Ultimate Custom Night 10000 points ending (when matched to the visuals).
- Pizza Party for Five Nights at Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted.
Matching the Visuals to the Audio
But, even other horror video game franchises, have such great audio design, making them iconic. Such game franchises, could include Doki Doki Literature Club, Until Dawn and Resident Evil. But this could include non horror video games. It could be argued, the music of the Sonic the Hedgehog games, is better than the actual games.
But iconic scores to movies, tv shows, and even web series, continue to prove this point. Audio is not everything, but it is often the missing step, for a lot of great productions, being iconic. Would Star Wars be iconic without its Score?
So, if you want to be the next Martin Walls, or horror media producer, learn what sounds scary. From silence, to a good score, to an audio jumpscare, getting the audio right, can turn something from low budget student film, into an online indie darling. But don’t forget about the visuals completely. Audio first, visuals second, and the rest of the senses, third.