December 1999 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

Craig ARMSTRONG The Bone Collector OST  Decca 289 466 804-2

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A heretofore relative unknown, Craig Armstrong has been very busy lately, what with Best Laid Plans, Plunkett and MacLeane, and now The Bone Collector. Another timely Halloween release, The Bone Collector is an impressive horror score with a striking main theme. Using orchestral and choral elements, Armstrong delivers a hypnotic, unsettling score that is melodically beautiful, but frightful. The score reminds me of one of my favorites this year, Shore's Existenz, with its complex but entrancing canvas. Unlike the more romantic Existenz however, The Bone Collector is steeped in a heavy-hearted, black current that effectively brings to mind crawling around in sewers and chasing the recesses of a serial killer's mind.

The main theme is the focal point of this score: a solid, easily memorable melody capturing drama, suspense, and action. The entire score is well-articulated and strong, though the rest of the music plays a more supporting role. There is no timid underscore here, but rather, an eloquent portrait of darkness. When developed with orchestral colors, the themes are simply terrific.

Horror fans should love this score, for it is one of the most downright disturbing and scary pieces of music that I have ever heard. This is serious horror music, resounding with ominous evil while thinly laced with a hint of romanticism. It is, in fact, too dark for me to enjoy unless I feel like jumping into the throes of fear and depression. This is to say Armstrong was incredibly effective in depicting an eerie, perturbed mood for the film.


Helen San

We are grateful to Helen San ( for giving us permission to include this review which is currently appearing on her Film Music site.


Helen San

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