Its inevitable that when a classic movie is re made then comparisons will be drawn up and people who remember the original will nearly always say that the remake is not a patch on the first incarnation of the story whatever it is. POLTERGEIST the new version has recently hit the screens in the UK and there have certainly been mixed feelings about the movie many commenting its not like the old version others preferring the updated version, but really what we should do is look at the two as separate movies which have similar storylines. The same can be said about the musical score for the two movies, the first of course the work of Movie Music Maestro Jerry Goldsmith, the newer edition being composed by Marc Streitenfeld, I have to say straight away I have always admired Goldsmiths work on POLTERGEIST and its sequel, POLTERGEIST 2, in my opinion being a more accomplished and probably more complex soundtrack. The score for the new version of the tale has to be listened to and also considered on its own merits and again we should not compare it to the original in any way because it is totally removed and different to the scores composed all those years ago by Goldsmith. I have to say that Streitenfeld’s music is original if nothing else the composer not really evoking anything from the Goldsmith works apart from a tone at the beginning of some of the cues which for some reason I associate with the original score, it is a powerful soundtrack that when combined with the images on screen works very well and heightens the tension, creates real creepy jolts and jumps and at the same time adds a certain fragility to the proceedings. Make no mistake this is not a romantic or lush lilting work, it is at times full throttle, chaotic frenzied, highly virulent and sinewy to the point of being piercing with its electronic and synthetic sounds that fuse with the more conventional instrumentation of the orchestra. This is at times a harrowing and fearsome soundtrack that is filled with tense and nervous atmospheres and overflowing with grim and foreboding darkness. I dare you to listen to it through headphones with the lights off. POLTERGIEST OPENING is one of the rare moments of tranquillity within the score, it is a lullaby of sorts but although we have a fairly gentle and relaxing composition here, there is still an underlying atmosphere of uncertainty and even a bittersweet undertone that is ominous. This lullaby motif is a times reprised within the score, creating a fleeting moment of stillness and a mood that is comforting amid a sea of stressful musical sounds and is utilised in the final cue of the score HOME FREE purveying a sense of well being and comfort to the listen but this is soon altered as the composer once again introduces an underlying sense of tension which increases as the cue reaches it conclusion with a music box theme that is brought to an abrupt ending with a manic laugh, informing us that all is not well. A sequel do you think ? I would recommend that you take a listen to this score, even if you are a hardened fan of the original film and score.

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