December 2003 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Gary S. Dalkin
Managing Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre  
Music composed by Steve Jablonsky
  Available on La-La Land Records LLLCD 1009
Running Time: 50.25
Amazon UK   Amazon US

texas chainsaw massacre

Not an easy task really to compose an innovative, musically satisfying score to a remake of a infamous, hard-edged horror classic that relies more on an atmosphere of dread than on melodic themes and motifs. And Steve Jablonsky pretty much delivers what you might expect, given this precept; a grim, moody work that determinedly sets about its intended task of piling on the tension.

The fact that the composer occasionally manages a few melodious moments amidst the standard shock mechanics is a bonus, but the score is ultimately all about stark terror and is not designed to linger in the mind, its intent purely to unnerve. Allowing for this and accepting the limitations imposed, the music here achieves its purpose. Just don't expect anything different from what has come before in so many other horror movies of this type. Tracks like 'Leatherface' and 'Crawford Mill' achieve an ominous sense of impending doom, although too often elsewhere there are long spells of sound and atmospherics that somewhat try the patience.

It would be encouraging to think that eventually someone will come up with a score to match John Carpenter's Halloween or Danny Elfman's Nightbreed and give the horror music genre a much needed kick-start into fresher, more exciting directions, but until then we will have to make do with this solid but sadly not particularly inspiring foray into fear.

Mark Hockley

**(*) 21/2

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