MP3: No Good Deed (2014)

October 6, 2014 | By


NoGoodDeed2014Score: Very Good

Label:  Madison Gate Records

Released:  September 9, 2014


Tracks / Album Length:  15 tracks / (27:00)

Composer: Paul Haslinger

Special Notes:  n/a




For this newest entry in the ‘unwanted stranger’ sub-genre, Paul Haslinger built his score around a two-beat motif which essentially forms the motor, propelling the film through its inaugural scenes of tension, and subsequent taunting and torment.

Haslinger alternates with two, four, and six-beat versions of his theme, and it’s a simple tactic that allows him to frequently change the shading of cues by emphasizing the coarseness of churning lower strings (especially with robust vibrato textures in tracks like “Why Are You Doing This?”), changing tempo, and re-applying his motif via techno pulses, keyboards, and drums, adding little gestures to colour his tensed-up cues, including waves of gliding bass chords, the occasional high-pitched squeal or shimmering sound, and rare moments of warm instrumental timbres (“We Have to Leave”).

The score’s least-unsettling cue is “Leaving for the Weekend,” signaling the intro of the heroine by transposing the tension motif to lighter instrumentation – keyboards and warm chords which evoke obvious innocence – while the rhythmic motif always relates back to the looming danger.

Using mid and lower strings, Haslinger’s dark palette consists of twisting textures and dark orchestral colours, but the addition of electronics gives the material scope in the lower end: notes and chords tend to drift downward; shrill sounds trail off and dissipate after reaching near distortion; and rare moments of harmonic peace (“Terry’s New Beginnings”) remain locked in a middle ground where there’s calm but no closure, safety but no security.

Madison Gate Records’ album is nicely mastered, and although Haslinger’s cues tend to run between 1-2 mins., the album’s tight sequencing ensures a gradual dramatic progression to give this suite-styled disc a good dramatic flow.



© 2014 Mark R. Hasan



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Category: Soundtrack Reviews

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