An unlikely return to form from an old
favourite of mine, Pino Donaggio produces his best score in many years for what
would appear on the face of it to be unpromising material. Yet another sequel
to the original, effectively creepy Child’s Play (1988), this one, as
the title suggests, features the offspring of the eponymous killer doll.
Although the premise sounds rather campy and no doubt the movie itself has
something of that tone, the score is refreshingly sincere and inventive,
harking back to Donaggio’s best work in the seventies and early eighties.
Whilst the music often seems a little old-fashioned by today’s standards, it is
individual and clever enough to always hold the attention and features a large
number of diverting cues. If you are familiar with the composer’s work, there
is much here to summon nostalgic memories of his heyday and if you happen to be
new to Donaggio, this will no doubt lead you to discover the treasures buried
in his past. The undoubted highlight of a score that really works best as
cumulative whole, is the track ‘Glen’s Escape’, a terrific, melodically
compelling Hermanesque suspense piece, typical of Donaggio at his very best.
Perhaps this very welcome, but all too rare
success only proves that Donaggio’s talent is best utilised for horror/suspense
movies that don’t mind employing a lyrical, distinctive, somewhat retro style.
I know for my own part I’d be very happy to hear further soundtracks from him
in this vein. Let’s hope a few more directors and producers out there agree!