Soundtrack Review: The Dark and the Wicked

The Dark and the Wicked (2020)
Released by Bandcamp
34 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 78 min.
Music by Tom Schraeder

As I mentioned in my review of the actual film, it’s a very strong and emotional draining ride, that constantly pulls at your emotions. And one of the things that helps with that is the score. This is not one with music per say, with melodies and such, but of sounds and emotions. And it works so well.

Schraeder uses a couple instruments, in very unusual ways, to create these amazing sounds that immediately put the viewer on edge. There are haunting piano notes given a slight echoing to them, or what sounds like metal slowly being dragged across another piece of metal, with different speeds and tones, but again, highly effective. A perfect example of that is track 8 – Not the Carrots, especially if you’ve seen the film which means you’ll probably remember the scene. It’s almost hard to watch and hear the music that Schraeder created for this, makes listening to it almost as effective as the visuals.

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Scored to Death – The Documentary!

Back in 2016, a book came out called Scored to Death: Conversations with Some of Horror’s Greatest Composers, which I finally got around to reviewing in 2018. And then two years after that, in 2020, author J. Blake Fichera released a second volume, continuing his goal of bringing attention to these talented musicians who help enhance the scares and atmosphere in the movies we love. But now, Fichera is taking this one step further, by making a feature length documentary on these composers.

Scored to Death: The Dark Art of Scary Movie Music will be the first feature-length documentary that “explores the fascinating relationship between music and horror cinema.” Starting today, they have launched a Kickstarter campaign that will run through Halloween, hoping to raise the funds to make this project a reality. Production has already started, so fans of movie music need to make sure that it is able to continue.

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Soundtrack Review: Crimes of the Future

Crimes of the Future (2022)
Released by Mercury KK
17 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 38:13 min.
Music by Howard Shore

Ever since really getting into movie soundtracks and David Cronenberg films, I’ve always enjoyed what composer Howard Shore brought to his films. Each one was unique, different, and always fit the individual film so well, no matter the content or the subject matter. Shore always made the music part of the overall film experience. With Cronenberg’s latest, a return to the body horror genre he was known for, Shore once again doesn’t disappoint.

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Soundtrack Review: She Will

She Will (2022)
Released by Mercury KK
11 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 44:55 min.
Music by Clint Mansell

I remember seeing the trailer for this and seeing that Alice Krige was in it, I knew I was going to see it. But then forgot about it until it popped up on Prime. I’ve been a fan of Krige since Ghost Story (1981) so I figured it would be another great performance, no matter of the quality of the final product. What I didn’t expect was the captivating soundtrack that seemed to surround the story itself.

I also knew of Mansell’s work that he has done with Darren Aronofsky, but never had any of them really grab hold of me like this score did. Maybe because it was a combination of the beautiful cinematography here, where it felt like the music was interwoven into the images onscreen.

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Soundtrack Review: Rosemary’s Baby

Rosemary’s Baby
Released by La-La Land Records, 2012
36 Tracks with a total running time of 71:21 min.
Composed by Christopher Komeda

Coming from a jazz background, one wouldn’t think that composer Komeda would be able to create a score for such a haunting film, but he does just that in a very different sort of approach. Right from the opening track, Lullaby from Rosemary’s Baby Part 1, with Mia Farrow doing the vocals, it sets the tone with what should be a soothing lullaby but becomes something darker. Which switch back to a soft and easy jazz piece in Track #3, Moment Musical, before going back into something more frightening with Track 4, Dream. From the piano work, the strings, the chanting, it all comes together to give one incredible and powerful score. Just listen to Track #28, What Have You Done?, and tell me you can’t feel the emotions from that ending in the film?

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Soundtrack Review: Salem’s Lot

Salem’s Lot
Released by Intrada, 2013
84 Tracks, with a total running time of 99:53 min.
Music Composed and Conducted by Harry Sukman

If you’re one that grew up in the ‘70s, then you remember the made-for-TV movies back then were sometimes more entertaining than what was screening at the theaters! At least they were to me. One of the things that always enjoyed for those films were the scores. They just had this same feel and style to them that were easy to recognize, as well as being very effective. Thankfully, we now have the complete score for one of the best made-for-tv movies ever to be made. And one of the reasons for that is the incredibly creepy!

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Soundtrack Review: The Phantom of the Organ / Vampyre at the Harpsichord

The Phantom of the Organ / Vampyre at the Harpsichord
Originally Released 1973-74.  Re-released in 2000 by Electric Lemon
15 Tracks, with a total running time of 56:38 min

I remember first coming across this music in the early ‘80s, strange looking albums that weren’t soundtracks but contained creepy, gothic sounding music. No idea that they had originally released in the early ‘70s. I had no idea that they had been remastered, combined, and released on CD in 2000 by Electric Lemon, but was so happy to add it to my music library.

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Soundtrack Review: Undead

Undead
Released in 2005 by La-La Land Records
17 Tracks, with a total running time of 51:40 min.
Music composed by Cliff Bradley

While we usually prefer our soundtracks to be on the creepy side, but when the director’s wanted to have the score to have a quirky 50s sci-fi feel to it, composer Bradley nailed it. It sounds a little like something from an early Tim Burton / Danny Elfman film, but Bradley has given it his own style and flare and it works really well.

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Soundtrack Review: The Thing (1982)

The Thing (Re-Release)
Released in 2011 by BuySoundtrax Records
16 Tracks with a total running time of 61 min.
Music by Ennio Morricone & John Carpenter

I can’t believe I had never reviewed this score here! Next to Carpenter’s score for The Fog, this has been my favorite of his work. Yes, this is a collaboration between him and Ennio Morricone, but since I’m not sure either of them came out and said specifically who did each of the bits of music, I’m going to concentrate this review on the score as a whole. Though, I will say that when I first bought the LB soundtrack to this, listening to it over and over again, I do remember thinking “damn . . . there are some parts in here that sound a LOT like something Carpenter would have done!”

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Soundtrack Review: The Uninvited

The Uninvited
Released in 2009 by Lakeshore Records
15 Tracks, with a total running time of 48:44 min.
Music Composed by Christopher Young

We’ve been a fan of Young’s music since our first viewing of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, which remains one of our favorites to this day. We had not seen this particular film before hearing this score, so we were very interested in seeing the musical journey Young was going to take us on and we were not disappointed.

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