Not quite as cerebral as David Newman's score to the original, but far more
entertaining. Whereas Newman opted for a strict approach, Nicholas Pike goes
full out for an easily accessible, jocose, melodic score that is simply and
properly enjoyable to listen to. Think of Jerry Goldsmith's scores for Joe
Dante's films and you get the idea.
It is almost certainly the best score to a "Critters" movie. It delves neither
too far into synthesized effects nor dull, cliché horrors, but accentuates
the film's streak of sick humor and wide-eyed worldview. Consider the scoring
of an Easter Sunday in which the Crites ferociously encounter a guy in a
rabbit costume (track titled 'Bunny Attack'). Yes, folks, the Critters kill
the Easter Bunny, and Pike chooses to score the
scene with a bouncy sort of chaos that seems to cluelessly cry, "Oh, how
unexpected!" Other action scenes include a variation on the traditional Dies
Irae that makes the resemblance to John Williams' "Close Encounters of the
Third Kind" less distasteful than divertingly ironic. The Crite theme is
evidently a hyperactive parody of Newman's original!
Then there is the new theme for Grover's Bend, a shamelessly Aaron Copland-esque
airy melody to inspire visions of trees and crops waving in the wind. The
bounty hunters from the first film return with an even more directionally
confused theme, conceivably alluding to the bounty hunter with an identity
crisis. And the action music is typically direct -- 'Setting the Trap' for
example -- but some of the action scoring has that Copland flavor to it,
bringing to mind "Billy the Kid" and "Rodeo" (particularly the cue 'Night').
The liner notes (by the composer) mention that the score won 'Best Music'
at the Spanish festival for 'fantasy cinema.' It sounds as though it probably
deserved it. There is little here that would set the world alight, but although
not a film music masterpiece, Nicholas Pike's score is atypically fantastic
for a small budget film...