This is the kind of film soundtrack that it not really much fun to review.
And the reason can be summed up in one simple word. Brief. So why does that
one word say so much about this work? Well, because there are so many tracks
under a minute in length that it's incredibly difficult to get any sense
of a full, rounded score.
"Here We Go Again" gives a good indication of what to expect with its forty-four
second running time and is merely a reminder of previous Scream music.
"Cotton Gets Picked" is at least longer at two minutes plus, but this is
really no more than standard histrionics. Although it is suitably tense,
we've all been here before. This segues into "DoppleGailer" which is even
more predictable, before we get our first taste of something a little more
interesting with "On the Set", featuring a nice rhythmic line aided by electric
guitar. Disappointingly though, it ends before it really gets a chance to
"Home Sweet Home" is easily the most impressive aspect of this work, a very
welcome surprise after what has gone before. This winning piano and voice
theme at least indicates that Marco Beltrami has a good ear for melody, if
he's given the opportunity.
"Comparing Photos" is so introspective as to almost pass by without even
noticing and this is followed by "Mother's Watching", providing us with more
typically 'scary' music, all very professionally done but just as uninspiring.
"Dewey Mobile" is intriguing with its off-key notes and bursts of rhythm,
but again is over all too soon.
Two of the longer tracks at just over three minutes are "At the Station",
a suspense cue with quiet, tinkling piano backed by understated strings and
"Ghost Attacks" with big flashes of strings and brass serving up the kind
of music we've heard in this genre many times before. Nevertheless, despite
the over-familiarity, they are unquestionably accomplished.
The stuttering trumpet work on "The Fall Guy" allows it to vaguely stick
in the mind, which is more than can be said for tracks like "Roman Around",
"All in the Family" "Gail Force" and "Stone Cold". All of these are extremely
short and entirely routine. To be honest, this is the type of thing you might
expect to hear on a library record of standard horror/suspense cues.
I suppose this does open up the old debate about whether good film music
needs only to work when coupled with the on-screen images and not necessarily
as a stand alone piece. But my own view is that the very best scores are
capable of achieving both.
A quick reprise of "Home Sweet Home" opens up "Pièd a Terror" before
it tapers off and becomes quietly foreboding and "Sunset Pictures" incorporates
material from Nick Cave's "Red Right Hand 2", although there seems to be
little benefit as its appeal is only marginal. And while I can acknowledge
that the work on "Last Call" will be nicely effective in the film, it's difficult
to imagine many would be drawn back to listen to it purely as a musical
The one true thematic element of the score, first heard in "Home Sweet Home",
is recalled fleetingly in "Sid Wears a Dress" and this is another likable
piece, as it moves from guitar and flute into voice and strings with some
drums thrown in for good measure. Finally "Sid's Theme" is a rather disquieting
reprise once again of "Home Sweet Home", that leaves one with the impression
that this work could have been so much better if Beltrami had been allotted
more time to develop his musical ideas. I can't help feeling that there is
a far better score trying to escape these imposed limitations, although I
have just as strong a sense that this music will make a far greater impression
when I actually see the movie itself.