Take an older pop song and do a dark moody version of it.
I first noticed it with Wrath of the Titans' use of Sweet Dreams:
And then I saw it again with Imagine Me and You in The Great Gatsby.
Earlier this week when I saw Guardians of the Galaxy a second time, they played this trailer for Dracula Untold and a famous Tears for Fears song that I used to associate mostly with the movie Real Genius.
And then in 50 Shades of Gray they remix an old Beyonce song (I won't show the trailer here for obvious reasons). But at the end at this trailer, they even make a special note about how the movie will feature this new, darker remix.
What do you think?
It has a very specific effect for me. By taking something lighter and draining all the color out of it and infusing it with angst, it is deeply evocative. In the musical Rent, there is a very happy song in the first act called "I'll Cover You." Later in the musical the same song is played at a much slower, lower rhythm and it is heartbreakingly sad.
They did the same thing with the music in Up. Watch that famous montage and it is essentially the same melody. But when it is slowed down and solemn, it is all the sadder for the joy that it once had.
Can you think of any other examples?