A vampire movie, so the score is all crash, bang, thud, atonal stabs. rasping growling brass and big percussion with cymbal clashes, right ? Wrong ! Composer Johan Soderqvist has created not only an atmospherically frightening score, but also at the same time manages to infuse poignancy and gentleness into the proceedings, so with one hand he puts the listener on edge and with the other he soothes and calms that same listener by introducing low key and understated levels of underlying tranquility.
This composers gift for melody is abundantly clear in the beautiful composition ELI’S THEME which is track number 3 on the compact disc, the cue begins with harp being underlined by layered and unobtrusive strings, these strings soon swell and bring to the fore a poignant and emotive theme, it is heartrending to the point of bringing tears to the eyes of the listener and creates an aire of what is near to serenity. Yes I admit that there are some pretty atonal sounding passages present within this score, but it still manages to stay musical rather than just a background noise.
Examples of this type of scoring are demonstrated in track 6, HIDING THE BODY, where low foreboding strings are supported by from what I can deduce sparse use of synthetic sounds, that when combined create a resonance that is obviously atonal but at the same time has musical substance to it. This can be said of a number of cues on the compact disc, atonal in their make up but musical in their overall effect, the composer creates short but effective themes and leitmotifs, which catch one unawares and within a sea of at times quite disturbing, harrowing and complex compositions there comes from nowhere a piece that just melts the listener as in track number 8, OSCAR STRIKES BACK, this short lived cue is an adagio of sorts, beautiful, calming and emotive.
As a fully paid up member of the Hammer Horror fan club, I suppose I have a fixed ideas about what Horror movie scores sound like, or at least what they did sound like, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN , bears no resemblance whatsoever to the frenzied scoring of James Bernard, or the near romantic compositions of David Whitaker, it is a horror score with body a horror score with direction and focus, it combines shadowy orchestral textures and colours with uplifting and beautiful romanticism and these fusions and combinations I for one think work extremely well, it is for me anyway one of the best horror scores I have heard in many years. This may not be everyone’s idea of a great soundtrack, but I do urge you to buy this CD, I think when you hear it you will be hooked by this composers approach and his stylish and emotive compositions .