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Why Some Ozark Fans Think That The Show Sometimes Resembles A Horror Movie

Marty Byrde's time under the employ of the Navarro cartel has been the stuff of nightmares in "Ozark." The job has seen him having to pick pieces of lawyer from his wife's hair and watch his former business partner dissolve in unmarked containers. It's the kind of stuff that would keep you up at night if you didn't have a ridiculously illegal business to run. 

Such are the trials and tribulations of Jason Bateman's shady antihero, and it's easy to see why the show earned comparisons to the likes of "Breaking Bad," due to its host of corrupted characters and their moral compass going haywire in the process. While "Ozark" is a family crime drama at heart, some fans feel that the series sometimes reached the dark places of an entirely different genre. In fact, when it comes to the show's visual style and accompanying soundtrack, audiences believe the exploits of the Byrdes reached some truly ... well, horrifying places.

Ozark looks and sounds like a true horror at times

In the long run, "Ozark" may be rife with drug bosses and double-crossing, but one fan felt that vital elements in the series pushed it into a territory that made it worth hiding behind the sofa than anything else. Throwing their thoughts out onto a Reddit thread, u/LCD202021 asked, "is it just me, or does 'Ozark' sometimes feel like a horror movie? I am not sure if it's the lakefront property or the really dark ambiance." 

It's a fair comparison, given the intense cold and constant blue hue that floods the town the Byrdes moved to. This steely ambiance from cinematographer Shawn Kim makes a chilling atmosphere to get caught up in. However, as much as the imagery in "Ozark" is enough to raise some hairs, so too was the slow and striking music that accompanied some of the show's most intense scenes. u/Tsun-shine chimed in saying, "don't forget the creepy music that plays that sounds like heartbeats." For that, audiences can thank Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans, who were responsible for giving that eerie element to an otherwise very real crime drama. 

Interestingly, it was a tone they managed to tap into at the request of Jason Bateman and showrunner Chris Mundy, which they reapplied to another of the former's TV projects that was much more set on scaring its audience.

Ozark's composers went through hell for Ozark

In an interview with IndieWire regarding the show's score, Bateman recalled how, in his words, "when we started talking about 'Ozark,' I said, 'Let's try to think about creating sounds that feel germane to that environment. What does it sound like behind the boat shop? What does it sound like in the woods? What does it sound like behind the trailer or in the trailer?'" 

Getting the lay of the land allowed Bensi and Juriaans to tear up the map and set this whole world on edge, all adding to the atmosphere that successfully applied the unexpected heebie-jeebies for viewers. 

"I just encouraged them to bang things up a little bit and make it sound not right. They did and I encouraged them to go even further, make it sound like hell," Bateman explained. "The audience, whether they're aware of it or not, they know that they can't be entirely comfortable all the time, that they shouldn't relax into some sort of sense of predictability." 

Given this contribution, it should be no surprise that following this successful collaboration, Bateman reunited this impressive musical double-act for his one-off HBO series based on the Stephen King adaptation, "The Outsider." The series saw his character arrested for a brutal child murder, only for locals to learn of a monstrous doppelganger that had taken his identity. For the aforementioned talent it was a territory they were right at home in, and perhaps they have the unsettling score from "Ozark" to thank for it.