HAUNTED was released in 1995, its tag line being, A SUPERNATURAL TALE OF LOVE AND MYSTERY, directed by Lewis Gilbert and starred Aidan Quinn, Kate Beckinsale, Anthony Andrews, Anna Massey and Sir John Gielguld. Set in 1925 Aidan Quinn’s character David Ash is disturbed and frequently haunted by a harrowing memory from when he was a young boy of his twin sister drowning, although an accident he blames himself for her death. As an adult he has become a professor at Cambridge specialising in the paranormal and also psychosis, his outlook being that there is always a reason for such things as sightings of ghosts and the paranormal he attempts at every opportunity to offer a feasible or reasonable explanation to the unexplained. For his research he attends a number of séance’s and goes to the homes of people who believe that they are being haunted by spirits. It is not however until he goes to the house of the Mariell family that things begin to happen that make him doubt his own sanity and beliefs. An exciting and interesting storyline that is as all good supernatural tales should be entertaining and thought provoking. The music is by Debbie Wiseman, a composer of worth and one who is highly talented and has a great gift for melody. Her score is a (forgive the pun) haunting one and contains one of the most beautiful and lingering themes that I have heard in many years, JULIETS THEME is I suppose the backbone of the entire work and the composer fashions her score around this attractive and alluring piece. The theme first appears in track number 2 on the compact disc and is performed on piano it is a lilting and fragile sounding piece which attracts the attention of the listen right from the opening five notes, the remainder of the score being for a ghost story has its darker and more sinister moments, but it also contains some delightful string passages and highly emotive themes performed by strings, solo flute and piano that add depth emotion and also a slightly romantic air to the proceedings. The less melodic music within the score is still highly listenable as the composer fuses a certain amount of melodious material within these cues and at times they actually become more disturbing or unsettling because of the underlying harmonies and her use of choir and unnerving strings that receive subdued punctuation from harp and woodwinds. JULIETS THEME does re-appear throughout the score either as a plaintive sounding piano piece or in various other guises, the composer orchestrating the theme differently and at times sneaking in just a snippet of the theme into a cue so that we are reminded of it. There is a freshness and elegance about the central theme and also this is echoed in other cues such as CHRISTINA’S MINUET which is a delightful piece and LOVERS which incorporates a short section of BUT NOT FOR YOU by George and Ira Gershwin.
HAUNTED is an accomplished score by one of the worlds leading film music composers, Debbie Wiseman has the ability to work in any genre of film and also is prolific in the writing of memorable scores for television productions and she is also a talented pianist as demonstrated on this score.
If you missed this release when it was first issued I am sure you will be able to find a copy on one of the internet shopping sites or I tunes. It is certainly worth having and a soundtrack that you will return to many times.