CD: Dream House (2011)

March 21, 2013 | By

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Rating: Excellent

Label: Varese Sarabande/ Released: October 11, 2011

Tracks & Album Length: 15 tracks / (56:18)

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Special Notes: (none)

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Composer: John Debney

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Review:

In spite of the production problems that reportedly plagued Dream House (2011) –studio Morgan Creek (er, producer James G. Robinson) had the film recut, much to the ire of the film’s stars and director Jim Sheridan – John Debney’s music may be the most cohesive element to come out of that troubled picture.

Debney’s score is based around a lush orchestral theme that’s ripe with warmth, tragedy, and longing, but after two gorgeous introductory cues, the score begins to drift into angry terrain with dissonance, snarling aural metaphors, and a constant undercurrent of melancholy almost as pure as Christopher Young’s own gems (such as Jennifer 8 [M] and Hider in the House).

Most of the album’s cues run between 3-4 minutes, allowing for atmospheric builds and eerie theme variations, and the lengths ensure a strong narrative where sadness flows into misery, then pensive recollections, naïve hope, and grim suspicions. Debney’s mounting shock cues – such as “Peter Ward’s Room” – are filled with colourful contrasts, and the frequent interpolation of warm theme fragments (as in “Ghostly Playthings”) ensures Dream House has a strong sense of character, especially the fears shared by the traumatized parents.

Varese’s CD features a beautifully engineered recording, and allows a truly fine work to transcend an otherwise forgotten thriller.

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© 2013 Mark R. Hasan

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External References:

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