It has been sighted 42,000 times in 68 countries. A creature of myth
and legend known by several names; Yeti, Sasquatch and the infamous Bigfoot!
We've hunted it for years, but what happens when it decides to hunt us?
"Abominable" centers on a man recovering from a mountain climbing
accident, trapped in a remote cabin in the woods, who sees the legendary beast,
and must convince someone to believe him, before the monster goes on a bloody
- Publicity blurb for the film
The rather horrific artwork for this album could be easily
put you off, especially if you had read that the music had been written by a
lesser composer than classically-trained Schifrin, composer of well over 100
films and TV shows including such scores as: Cool Hand Luke, Bullitt, The Fox, Dirty
Harry, Voyage of the Damned, and that other classic of the
horror score genre The Amityville Horror – not to mention that wonderful
Mission Impossible theme (the brilliant original TV series, that is, not
the less than brilliant films!). As a recording artist, Schifrin has
bestrode the world of jazz, pop and classical.
The opening track does not dispel such fear: cue in eerie
sound effects, bats and hooting owls and things that go slithering and clanking
across the night in the ‘Pre-Title Sequence’ before the frenetic and
frightening ‘Main Title’ music reassures us that this is going to be a rather
different and much better score from those of the ‘also-rans’ Schifrin puts an
imaginative spin on the usual ingredients of the horror movie – they are all
here, all familiar - but Schifin gives them that extra bite, colour and
dramatic and rhythmic tension in a richly textured, polytonal score performed
with tremendous glee and virtuosity by the 90-piece Czech orchestra.
High pitched violin figures, heard in many tracks, recall
the terror of Herrmann’s Psycho score and there are other subtle nods
towards Herrmann (plus the classic horror music of Waxman and Roy Webb and John
Williams) Listen to how imaginatively Schiffrin creates such an eerie, tense
atmosphere from such little repetitive material in ‘Preston and Amanda’. Cues
like ‘The Cave’, ‘Squatch Revealed’ and ‘Rappelling’ all are heart-thumpingly
terrifying and should have theatre audiences clutching each other in fright.
‘Setting the Trap’ has stalking bass end piano figures, tip-toeing pizzicato
strings, heavy-breathing woodwind figures and lisping brass all laid down
slightly tongue-in-cheek. ‘Off-Road Rage/Final Battle’ is all finger-biting desperation.
‘The Survivors’, with muted horns and melancholy strings sound resolution and
relief, with just a sour note that might indicate future dangers.
But the Abominable music is occasionally lyrical and
romantic, often, admittedly, over edgy ostinatos; sample ‘Preston’s Memories.’
Three bonus tracks include a nice cheerful, chirpy piece
that is ‘Girls Next Door’ while ‘Ottis Leaves’ returns to thunder and suspense.
An alternative ‘Rampage’ completes the trio.
‘One blade of Grass’, sung by Pat Windsor Mitchell, is the
obligatory ‘Pop’ song composed, thankfully, in a style of a bygone age.
Horror scoring? Schiffrin shows how its done!