Soundtrack Reviews

June 11, 2011 | By

Another quartet of soundtrack reviews are up including Andrew Hewitt’s Submarine [M] (MovieScore Media), a film just released in Canadian theatres; Martin Phipps’ wonderful Brighton Rock [M] (Silva Screen Records), come soon to home video in England; Marco Beltrami’s Scream 4 [M] (Varese Sarabande); and Darren Callahan’s second score for a non-existent film, Alien Terrain [M] (Phantom Soundtracks).

Hewitt’s score is quite sparse (due in large part to the film’s heavy song content), but MSM’s decision to release the score digitally is a good move towards demonstrating brief soundtracks deserving some commercial release – with digital being the most widespread and cost-effective.

Phipps’ music for Brighton Rock is one of the most refreshing scores in years, and while the movie hasn’t gotten effusive reviews, the score deserves a generous nod. Gorgeous chorals and an addictive, simple little vocal theme that doesn’t leave the head for days. When the film makes its U.K. home video debut at the end of June, I’ll have a review of the original 1947 film, which remains unavailable in Region 1 land due to utter neglect. It’s a fine early work by a young (and non-balding) Richard Attenborough as Graham Greene’s famous child-thug, and features one of the emotionally cruelest endings ever.

Scream 4 may not have been a necessary film (no one seemed to care during its theatrical run, but many franchise efforts are made for home video and ancillary markets, so it doesn’t really matter in the long run), but the release of a score and song album certain rekindled an interest in the original Scream (1996) score. Yes, the first film, which brought Beltrami into the spotlight as a new talent to watch. Varese’s CD Club has issued the score – complete – as a limited CD (2000 copies) – so the wait is over.

One can presumably toss away the bootlegs that emerged when it was clear no one was willing top spend the cash to issue a score-only CD, but the 15 year wait is finally over. Seriously. FIFTEEN YEARS for the music from a contemporary horror film, acknowledged by most critics as a modern classic soon after its theatrical release, to get its proper CD release. ‘Bout bloody time. Watch for my review in Rue Morgue Magazine.

Alien Terrain as a film only exists in the head of composer Darren Callahan, but it’s such a well-crafted score that one can easily imagine characters, situations, and conflicts (though the track titles help make things a bit more precise). Like Spikes [M] (2010), it’s music inspired by a idea rather than an actual film, and it works beautifully, evoking vintage primordial synth gear.



Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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