After a while it would be easy to become disillusioned about
music written for the horror film genre. Although there are notable exceptions
both in big budget productions (Goldsmithís The Omen (1976) an obvious
example) and of course, very much so when considering lower budget fare
(Carpenterís Halloween (1978)), all too often all that we are offered is
stock drones and stings, or what might best be simply referred to as Ďjumpí
music. All itís there for is to make you feel uneasy (make that queasy in some
cases, particularly if the music is really poor!) and then get you to jump out
of your seat at the appropriate moments. I really hate those kinds of score. In
fact Iím not much of a fan of that type of movie.
Here, John Frizzell, has fallen foul of the true curse of
the horror film. Namely, melody not required. Actually, to be fair, thatís a
little misleading. Frizzell does use melody here and there, with a tinkling
piano theme introduced in ĎLoomiís Funeralí that features throughout and itís
an acceptable motif. But itís all so over-familiar and the majority of the
soundtrack is dominated by atmospherics and intense electronics that build to
crescendos of sound and fury. Hard to listen to, let alone get any real
enjoyment from.† In reality, this score is serviceable enough and will work
perfectly well within the film itself, but it provides very little in terms of
a persuasive listening experience. John Frizzell is a far more talented
composer than this work would suggest. I look forward to better things from him
in the future.
Editorís Note: A significantly more enthusiastic review of
an earlier promotional version of this score appeared in our April update.