THE VATICAN TAPES is the latest horror/shocker to be scored by composer Joseph Bishara, although Bishara seems to be involved mainly in the composition of music for this genre of movie, he always for me anyway comes up with sounds both musical and atonal that are oozing with originality and although it is clear that he will never win an award for writing a catchy little tune this is a composer who knows instinctively how to fashion harrowing and stress filled passages that will probably scare cinema audiences more than the scenarios and images on screen. The composer has the ability to create another dimension or add another level when writing for horror movies, his music underlines and also supports wonderfully any chills, thrills and heart stopping moments that are unfolding upon the screen. His music also infuses a sense of foreboding and dread to the proceedings, projecting a real atmosphere of fear. In fact his scores most certainly become an important and integral part of the movie making process on projects that he is involved with. THE VATICAN TAPES is certainly no exception, Bishara weaving a somewhat unsettling and intricately complex and vexing musical accompaniment throughout the films already disturbing storyline. There are within the score a handful of moments that maybe described as low key or quieter interludes, the composer employing solo violin to purvey a theme of sorts which is short lived and either overwhelmed or engulfed by atonal instrumentation that consists of percussive elements, voices and taught strings that are punctuated by chimes, or wind chime type sounds giving the work a spidery but powerful aura. Bishara is in my opinion the master of the horror film score, his music suiting perfectly the disturbing and at times violent situations that occur within the movie.
Directed by Mark Neveldine this horror thriller is a disconcerting but affecting piece of cinema and focuses upon the ultimate battle between good and evil, this is Satan against God as a young girl is possessed by an ancient force that is even more powerful than all the experts in exorcism had believed possible. The Vatican is enlisted to drive out the evil from the girl and Father Lozano wages war against this unspeakable evil force, which is not merely destroying the girl but is ultimately a threat to the entire world. To compare Bishara’s style to any other composer I think is quite impossible because he has his own highly innovative style and sound which he stamps upon each and every film project he works upon. The composer employs woodwind, low strings and an array of percussive components within his score for THE VATICAN TAPES, realising a unique atmosphere which is filled with a dark virulence and apprehension. If you love the sounds of horror this is for you, if however you prefer romantic and dainty sounding themes this is maybe not for you. Certainly not to be listened to in the dark.