October 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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John OTTMAN
Arac Attack-Eight Legged Freaks  
  OST
  VARÉSE SARABANDE VSD-6380   [47:59]

Arac Attack

John Ottman is an interesting composer, a nearly man. By now he could easily have joined the A-list, if not for his ability as an editor (The Usual Suspects) and his ambitions as a director (Urban Legend: The Final Cut) getting in the way. He missed out on the plum job of scoring X-Men because of other commitments (although Michael Kamen's fine, very underrated score was the result) but now appears to be on the verge of finally establishing himself in the big league as he prepares to make up for that missed opportunity by taking over on X-Men 2. And in the meantime there is Arac Attack, or Eight Legged Freaks, depending on whichever title you prefer. In the theatres it seems to go by the latter name, although on the CD they hedge their bets and call it both! But putting that minor detail aside it's the music we're really interested in and Ottman's work here is playful and quirky, as with the sprightly opening track, 'Spider Mania', signalling to audiences that this is meant to be a fun ride and not to be taken too seriously. And the score never loses sight of this, even when things get a little tense and hectic ('Trailer Trashed', 'Scurry Flurry' etc.). So if you enjoy campy thrills and spills with the balance suspended deftly between tension and tongue in cheek, you will no doubt find plenty to admire here.

Mark Hockley

***

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