After a traumatic and horrific automobile accident, the films central character returns to her childhood home in Louisiana to try and recuperate however whilst there she comes across some VHS tapes that have been made by her dead Mother and soon comes face to face with a tormented and virulent spirit that is seeking vengeance, it has been seeking out Jessabelle and now that it has found her the entity has decided that Jessabelle will not leave again. Directed by Kevin Greutert who worked on all of the SAW franchise and actually directed two of the instalments delivers a slow smouldering movie which is effectively scary and jumpy, and is a classy deep south thriller which has affiliations with other movies such as ANGEL HEART. The musical score for JESSABELLE is suitably harrowing and tantalisingly effective in the fear and foreboding departments. It is the work of young composer Anton Sanko who worked on RABBIT HOLE and more recently has scored THE POSSESSION and OUIJA and although his name is not as prominent as other composers of film music Sanko has worked on approximately 50 assignments for the cinema and also TV. JESSABELLE is not a score that I would recommend you listen to in the dark or via headphones, the musical ideas, orchestrations and effects within the work are shall we say disturbing and unsettling to say the least, but they are also truly original, highly effective and affecting. I am a fan of the horror genre (at least some of it) and personally I am of the opinion that the Horror score at times is overlooked or even ignored, but when you stop and think about it, it is the music in a horror picture that creates 90 percent of the atmosphere and is responsible for setting the mood and alerting the watching audience to some unspeakable horror that is about to happen on screen. Sanko has created a tension filled work that touches on many senses, purveying horror, apprehension, sadness and also full on terror, his score contains more twists, turns and spine tingling moments than a fairground ghost train ride. It is a feverish and malevolent sounding work, that oozes a malicious and wicked persona. This is not a soundtrack that one could sit and listen to for pleasure I don’t think, I mean you would not put this on as background music at a dinner party, but it is enjoyable simply because it is so imaginative, inventive and surprising. The voice of featured vocalist Sussan Deyham brings much to the work and is superbly disconcerting when utilised as it at times seems to creep up on the listener from out of the darkness of the score to create a dissonant and intimidating aura, at times becoming guttural and manic. This is an accomplished work and one that for me ranks alongside THE CONJURING, EVIL DEAD and ANNABELLE. Worth a listen.

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