Soundtrack Review: Dead Silence

deadsilencecdDead Silence
Released by Lakeshore Records, 2007
31 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 48:15 min.
Music by Charlie Clouser

While I was not a big fan of the movie itself when it first came out, it didn’t take long for the score to hit me like a freight train! With a very similar sound and feel to either a Carpenter score or even Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, Clouser has created an amazing theme that just resonates with the listener, immediately giving you the chills. But it doesn’t stop with just that theme. Throughout the running time, there are many eerie pieces of music that really sets the mood. Plus, the theme returns over and over again, with slightly different sounds or tempo but it still works.

Mainly known for his scores for the Saw series, Clouser is not only a talented composer, but shows how important an effective score can is and the impact it can make on the viewer. Where some scores are just background music, Clouser makes his music part of the film experience. Well done!


Soundtrack Review: VFW

VFW SoundtrackFW
Released by Lakeshore Records, 2020
27 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 73 min.
Music By Steve Moore

Much like Jeff Grace’s score for Cold in July, if you’re a fan of John Carpenter’s music, then this score is a must. Since the film VFW is a homage to Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), it only makes sense to have a score that feels like a Carpenter score. And composer Steve Moore has done just that. Using simple tones and those repetitive notes similar to Carpenter, he has created an effective score that has all the feeling of something from the late ’70s to early ’80s that a lot of grew up with.

We have tracks like Montage which kind of just plays in the background, setting the tone nicely. Nothing loud or over the top, but sets the mood. Then with the next tracks like Do What You Gotta Do and Run Lizard Run, the tension starts to build. In between these more up tempo sequences, it goes back down to the slow and moody set pieces.

Moore has created a very simple and yet very effective score that works really well within the film, but is also a great one to have playing in the background. It really helped making this film the homage that it is even more so.

Soundtrack Review: Antiviral

Released by Lakeshore Records, 2013
21 Tracks, with a total running time of 42 min.
Music by E.C. Woodley

Having not seen the film yet, we’re going strictly on this score alone, and not how it might add or enhance the movie. But right away, we can tell how different this score is from most soundtracks. It is very quiet, slow, subdued, and very unique. To know that it is from a film directed by David Cronenberg’s son makes perfect sense. The opening track, just entitled Opening, starts out with a slow echoing piano, playing a few notes, before either a violin or an electronic device takes over right before moving into the next track. And that is what we’re in for with the rest of the score. It is very heavy on the electronic sounds, with vibrating notes holding for long periods of time with other sounds overlapping them, such as more piano or a bass sound, something soft and distance, other times loud and vibrating. Continue reading

Soundtrack Review: The Canal (2014)

canal-cdThe Canal
Released in 2014 by Lakeshore Records
23 Tracks with a total running time of 50 minutes
Original Score by Ceiri Torjussen

It is funny how one’s opinions can change over the years. I’ve been going through some of my reviews from the old Krypt and bringing them to the new format. During this process, I realize I don’t have a review posted for the soundtrack for this movie, which I recently posted in my list of films that people need to see. As I was going to bring it over, I re-read it and was amazed to find out that I apparently didn’t care for it that much. The strange this is that this is one score that I’ve been listening to quite a bit lately when I’m working on some writing. Because it is more “background sounds” than actual music, it just didn’t resonate with me too well. Well, here is an updated review with some different thoughts on it. Continue reading

Soundtrack Review: The Wind

The WindThe Wind (2018)
Released by Lakeshore Records
32 Tracks with a Total Running time of 64 min.
Music by Ben Lovett

Within the first note, it feels like composer Lovett went old school for this score. Since the film takes place in the old west, the first sound we hear is strings, from a violin or cello (I’m a music fan, but not an expert!), that sets the mood. In the film, we get a sense of wide open plains with nothing out there for as long as you can see, and Lovett brings that feeling through with this music.

I was surprised at some of the more faster tempos on some of the tracks, like #2 Demons of the Prairie, but he still using the strings, along with some percussions to keep that tension raised. Then when you get to tracks like # 6, We Shall Be Monsters, we get more of a quiet sound, with some wind instruments in there, as well as strings, creating a creepy mood, as if something is out there in the dark.

We first came across Lovett’s work in the 2007 low budget film The Signal and then more recently with The Ritual (2017). This score isn’t going to win you over by melodies or themes, but for an atmospheric piece that usually stays on the somber side, pounding up the tempo occasionally, it works well on its own. And even more so in the film itself, which I had seen before reviewing this score.

Soundtrack Review: The Void

The Void soundtrackThe Void (2016)
Released by Lakeshore Records
32 Tracks with a Total Running time of 64 min.
Music by Blitz//Berlin, Joseph Murray, Menalon Music, & Lodewijk Vos

If you’re looking for a score that is more ambient sounds than an actual musical score, one that just might bring the Old Ones, or any forgotten deity back from the netherworld, this just might be the one. You’ll get no melodies, no quiet and soft piano keys here, but instead a vibration of sound coming through your speakers. In fact, there are times it almost seems like something is trying to escape from your speakers! It does an excellent job creating this mood with its buzzing, pounding, and other strange noises. A stellar job.

For example, track # 21 Sacrifices has a humming in the foreground while we hear some sort of distant chanting going on that creates an incredible amount atmosphere. I think this is where the beauty of this score lies, in its otherworldliness, with strange sounds and noises. When played loud enough… who knows what might happen!

I’m sorry it took me this long to track down this score. It was one of my favorite moves a couple of years ago and this score is one of the reasons why.

Soundtrack Review: What Still Remains

What Still Remains SoundtrackWhat Still Remains
Released by Lakeshore Records, 2018
21 Tracks, with a Total Running Time of 41 min.
Music by Jonathan Beard

There are some scores that are in your face, with a pounding emitting from the speakers, almost like an audio assault. But personally, the ones that are more quiet and subdued, slowly creeping into your head instead of bursting in, are the ones that I’m more drawn to. It seems that is what composer Beard was going for with this score. There are a lot of strings used here, and a bit of piano, that create a perfect blend of music and sounds that while are more on the quiet side, they still can move you. Some tracks come across more like metal scraping in the distance, or some sort of wind chime from hell. But all works in creating this great ambiance. Continue reading