Final Musings: What we have here is an undeniably effective score in context but something that is incredibly dull and dreary on album. While the score is not atonal in a sense, its noise and drivel is nearly unbearable, leaving very little room for any harmonic appeal. Even the more thematically driven moments are far too oppressive in its nature to truly enjoy. Besides 15 min of some orchestral beauty, this score lacks any harmonic appeal. Hence this is a score to appreciate on film more so than on album.
Susan Hill’s 1983 chilling horror novel has seen its fair share of adaptations. Its radio, television and theatrical adaptations might attest to the reputation the novel had. But the 2011 film would be the first feature film to take on the tale. It would also be the first opportunity for star of the Harry Potter series, Daniel Radcliffe, to branch out in film since the end of his hit franchise. The film was surprisingly well received by critics for its credible handling of an old-fashioned horror tale. It showcases Daniel Radcliffe as a young lawyer and father who has certain visions which would go on to lead him into the usual predictable circumstances. This isn’t a flick with gore, but rather the eerie suspense of the stories of old in the genre.
Signed on to the project was horror master, Marco Beltrami. It was hardly a surprise, considering the composer’s expertise with the genre. Beltrami has often shown off his talent in the genre with melodic and harmonious strengths in his stronger efforts like Mimic. To go on, the composer had quite a year in 2011, especially in terms of horror with the haunting score for Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. His first 2012 venture ran along the lines of Beltrami’s lesser works, further proving the composer’s strange hit-and-miss trends in the quality of his work. While the score has a basic foundation of melody and lyricism, it certainly won’t be the most pleasant listening experience for fans eagerly awaiting the harmonious appeal of his 2011 work. Read the rest of this entry »