Them Boots (Unforgiven)
The Sound Effect: In Unforgiven , the bar falls silent when Munny (Clint Eastwood) enters, meaning the only sound we hear is the ringing of his boots on the wooden floor.
How To Recreate It At Home: Get yourself some really sturdy boots and a very wooden floor. Make sure there’s absolutely no sound to interfere with your recording for maximum crispness.
Icarus Distress (Sunshine)
The Sound Effect: The Icarus in Sunshine must have the prettiest distress beacon we’ve ever heard. Check it out here .
How To Recreate It At Home: Manipulate your phone’s ringtone in the computer to get a vaguely musical sound effect. Add echo for space-like ambience.
Phone Booth (Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure)
The Sound Effect: Easily the coolest phone booth ever appears in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure – it comes with lightning, crackling electricity, and an implacable battery-power sound.
How To Recreate It At Home: Record a storm, naturally, then add in your own electronic sounds using devices around the house (microwave, washing machine, hoover).
Scream Phones (Scream)
The Sound Effect: Phones on their own aren’t particularly scary, but composer Marco Beltrami did something fun with them for his Scream score. Going thoroughly post-modern, he used ring tones and door bells in his compositions, heightening those sounds into something terrifying.
How To Recreate It At Home: Take ordinary sounds and distort them through the magic of technology. The world is your oyster.
Clawing Time (X-Men)
The Sound Effect: Sniiiiick! Wolverine’s claws just wouldn’t be as cool without the swish sound effects they come with.
How To Recreate It At Home: While your dad’s sharpening the kitchen knives for the Sunday roast, record the sound the blades make as they – yes – snick together.
Gremlin Fail (Gremlins)
The Sound Effect: Whenever poor old Randall Peltzer in Gremlins makes a gadget, it invariably always breaks – and is accompanied by a comical twanging sound. It’s the same sound used in The Goonies , too.
How To Recreate It At Home: Get a rusty old spring and twang it against the kitchen sideboard.
Door Spring (Mr Hulots Holiday)
The Sound Effect: In Mr Hulot’s Holiday (1953), Jacques Tati’s love of audio effects comes into play with the sound a restaurant door makes whenever it’s used – a comical, wooden thunk.
How To Recreate It At Home: Find the oldest door you can and let it do the work for you.
The Sound Effect: In Big , the all-powerful Zoltar opens his mouth and makes a supremely scary groaning sound when our hero makes his wish…
How To Recreate It At Home: Record the sound the drain makes on a hot summer’s day. Scary.
Bog Of Eternal Stench (Labyrinth)
The Sound Effect: In Labyrinth , the Bog Of Eternal Stench gives us the giggles as it emits what can only be described as rather rude ‘parping’ noises.
How To Recreate It At Home: Feed granddad a load of beans. Then sit and wait.
Swear Bleep (Scott Pilgrim Vs The World)
The Sound Effect: In Scott Pilgrim , Julie’s a dirty potty-mouth. Which is OK, because whenever she swears, a handy little jumbled bleep sound saves our poor ears.
How To Recreate It At Home: Take a recording of a particularly naughty-sounding R2-D2 bleep, then mess with the audio.
Stargate Portal (Stargate)
The Sound Effect: An unusual sound effect, but one that really works. The bubbling water audio of the portal turns into a screeching, rushing sound as our brave explorers are dragged across the universe.
How To Recreate It At Home: First you’ll need to build a Stargate…
Star Trek Beaming (Star Trek)
The Sound Effect: Alright, it originated in the TV series, but it got an update in JJ Abrams’ version .
How To Recreate It At Home: Wet the rims of a couple of wine glasses then run your fingers around them to recreate that lovely chiming sound.
Seismic Charges (Attack Of The Clones)
The Sound Effect: Sure, there’s no sound in space, but that doesn’t stop Episode II: Attack Of The Clones giving us some really cool bomb sounds as pulsed, seismic charges send twangs through space when they detonate.
How To Recreate It At Home: Record an air rifle going off, then slow the sound right down to get the desired effect. Trust us, this one works.
Tripod Trauma (The War Of The Worlds)
The Sound Effect: In The War Of The Worlds , the alien tripods aren’t shy, as evidenced in their blaring, earth-shattering booms .
How To Recreate It At Home: Crank the subwoofer as loud as it will go, then play anything you like on TV. That sound is guaranteed to make all the china in the house shiver.
Scuttling (The Dark Crystal)
The Sound Effect: A tiny effect, but one that gives the hulking Garthim in The Dark Crystal real menace – as they scuttle about doing the Skeskis’ bidding, they make a rattling sound that’s the definition of ominous.
How To Recreate It At Home: Take some dried-out chicken bones and rattle them together.
Screaming Cat (Various)
The Sound Effect: It’s been in everything. You know the one. Somebody throws something off-screen and an unseen cat screams in annoyance. We seem to remember it happening in The Mask (“A Tommy Gun!”).
How To Recreate It At Home: Sneak up on the family cat, then bark like a crazy dog.
Bullet Sounds (Saving Private Ryan)
The Sound Effect: Sound designer Gary Rydstrom gave Saving Private Ryan real punch when he worked on the bullet sound effects, which whiz like an arrow before smashing into various targets. Unforgettable.
How To Recreate It At Home: Drum a spoon on the bottom of an upturned saucepan. If that doesn’t quite do it, buy some firecrackers and let them loose.
Castle Thunder (Various)
The Sound Effect: Originally recorded for Frankenstein (1931), this old-as-time effect has reappeared all over the place, including Ghostbusters , Neverending Story , Back To The Future – even the Care Bears Movie .
How To Recreate It At Home: That’s the joy – you don’t need to.
Pod Racers (The Phantom Menace)
The Sound Effect: If there’s one thing Episode I had going for it, it was the pod racer scene. It turned out to be one of the most thrilling scenes of the prequel trilogy – not least because of the awesome sound design on the pod racers.
How To Recreate It At Home: Go wild with vehicle sound effects. Put them through sound filters, warp them, bend them. Anything you can think of. It’s bound to sound great.
Mings Ring (Flash Gordon)
The Sound Effect: A baddy’s nothing without his weapon of choice, and Emperor Ming in Flash Gordon has his cool ring, which makes a pleasingly kitsch sci-fi sound whenever he uses it .
How To Recreate It At Home: Bang a few teaspoons and record the sound they make when they twang.
Wolf Howl (Various)
The Sound Effect: You know the one. The ‘wolf howl’ sound effect has been in everything, most notably The Howling . For obvious reasons.
How To Recreate It At Home: Go down to your local homeless dog shelter. Depressing, but you’ll get some good howls out of it.
Transformer Transforming (Transformers)
The Sound Effect: We doubt a car would ever make this sound if it transformed into a robot, but that doesn’t stop it sounding hella cool whenever somebody like Optimus Prime does his Transformer thing.
How To Recreate It At Home: Record yourself going “ah-oh-uh” through a voice changer.
The Bleep (Kill Bill Vol 1)
The Sound Effect: Tarantino cleverly preserves the true identity of ex-assassin The Bride in Kill Bill Vol 1 by bleeping out her name every time somebody says it.
How To Recreate It At Home: Press a button on the microwave for long enough and you’ll get the perfect censor bleep sound.
Terminator Spark (T2)
The Sound Effect: Two notable ones from T2 here – first there’s the sound of the spark that ignites the T-1000’s truck and blows it to smithereens. Then there’s that gorgeous sound of the T-800’s grenade launcher – WHUMP.
How To Recreate It At Home: The spark sounds like a little bird chirrup, which should be easy enough to recreate. As for the WHUMP, you can probably accomplish that with your voice.
Strike (The Big Lebowski)
The Sound Effect: What’s The Big Lebowski without bowling? Well, nothing. Which is why the sound designers obviously spent so long looking for that perfect ‘strike’ sound.
How To Recreate It At Home: The importance here is the crack and bounce of the pins hitting one another – which you’ll only find in the bowling alley.
Sound The Alarm (Alien)
The Sound Effect: As Alien rampages towards its climax, the tension is made all the more palpable by the sound of that raucous alarm.
How To Recreate It At Home: Record the beeping sound of a truck reversing, then manipulate it in the computer for a more future sci-fi sound.
Predator Mask (Predator)
The Sound Effect: It’s the moment we’d all been waiting for – the Predator unhooks the edges of its mask, which gives a pleasingly gaseous hiss. Then its mandibles move in hard-to-define clicky sounds.
How To Recreate It At Home: The gas part is easy (just use a deodorant canister). The clicky sounds might require trawling through audio files of insects and tweaking the sound design to fit your needs.
Web Slinging (Spider-Man)
The Sound Effect: As he soars and swings through the city, one sound is always distinct over the bustle of the city in Spider-Man - our hero letting loose a new string of web to keep him airborne.
How To Recreate It At Home: Two words… whipped cream. Press down on the canister very gently (and fleetingly) to get a burst of sound without the tell-tale foamy audio of the cream.
Whipper Snapper (Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom)
The Sound Effect: Indiana Jones’ whip has a very distinct cracking sound – all the better to slash nasty Nazis with.
How To Recreate It At Home: This one’s easy – just buy a whip.
Bullseye (Top Gun)
The Sound Effect: The crack and pop of the planes soaring through the air in Top Gun .
How To Recreate It At Home: Get out the hoover and record it being pressed against different objects (but never a person, unless you want hickey-like marks).
Transformation (An American Werewolf In London)
The Sound Effect: An American Werewolf In London ’s famous transformation scene has some great sound effects, not least the sound of cracking, warping bone as David’s body contorts into that of a wolf.
How To Recreate It At Home: Eaten your Sunday roast? Now take the chicken carcass and start snapping bones.
Chewbaccas Howl (Star Wars)
The Sound Effect: A gargling howl that’s as expressive as any language we’ve ever heard. Shame we can’t understand a word he’s saying.
How To Recreate It At Home: Step on the dog’s tail (accidentally, of course) for the required effect.
The Sound Effect: Using the simple sound of an escalating, high-pitched bleeping, Aliens ratchets up the tension via the motion tracker gadget the cadets use to tell if a xenomorph is on the war path.
How To Recreate It At Home: Whistling works best for us. Cheap, too.
The Sound Effect: Tron and Tron Legacy both feature the coolest bikes ever invented in the form of the lightcycles. Sure, they both have their flaws, but the sound design in this clip is masterful.
How To Recreate It At Home: Take a regular bike and distort it through the computer. For the smashing sound, smash up some old plates in the back garden.
Tarzans Call (Tarzan)
The Sound Effect: Used over and over in numerous movies, Johnny Weismuller’s iconic ‘Tarzan call’ is now inseparable from the jungle swinger, despite the fact that the sound clip is going on for 80 years old.
How To Recreate It At Home: Refuse to feed your dad. When he lets out a yell of hungry anger, capture it on tape.
Rotor Blades (Apocalypse Now)
The Sound Effect: The helicopters in Apocalypse Now aren’t just any old helicopters. Sound designer Walter Murch synthesised real helicopter recordings to create something entirely unique.
How To Recreate It At Home: If you want that signature ‘whoop whoop whoop’, get a skipping rope and swing it as fast as you can in the back garden (not near anybody, mind). Voila!
Laser Treatment (Goldfinger)
The Sound Effect: Bond’s in a bit of a situation in Goldfinger when he’s strapped to a table, legs spreadeagled. Meanwhile, a (cool-sounding) laser edges its way between his pins…
How To Recreate It At Home: A hoover should give you the required humming electronic sound, while pressing the high pitch C on a Casio keyboard should help you emulate the buzz of a laser…
Batpod (The Dark Knight)
The Sound Effect: Just check out this scene from The Dark Knight and tell us the sounds that the Batpod makes aren’t some of the coolest ever heard in a movie…
How To Recreate It At Home: Record your older bro’s motorbike, the sound of the washing machine spinning and the food blender at high speed, then mix for an awesome Batpod sound.
Chain Sawing (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre)
The Sound Effect: Even when Leatherface isn’t visible on screen, the sound of his favourite weapon buzzing in the background is enough to set your teeth on edge.
How To Recreate It At Home: In lieu of an actual chainsaw, offer to cut your nan’s hedge for her using the hedgeclippers, then record your strenuous activity for the ultimate horror movie sound effect.
The Sound Effect: Don’t have a horse? No worries – just hire a guy with a pair of coconuts to follow you around everywhere you go ala The Holy Grail …
How To Recreate It At Home: Obviously, you’ll need a couple of hollowed-out coconut halves and a willing slave…