Movies within the horror genre I think need music more than any other type of film. The horror movie has increased in popularity year upon year and the musical scores for films within this category have also become the objects of fascination from collectors of film music and fans of the horror genre as a whole. By this I mean if a collector buys the score to a horror movie and a sequel appears they will invariably buy the score from the sequel even if they have not seen the movie, it also goes without saying that film music collectors buy when they know what composer has scored the film, again in most cases without seeing the movie, they will buy a score because it is by a certain composer. When I heard that Benjamin Wallfisch was onboard for ANNABELLE CREATION, I was I must say surprised because the original movie had been scored by Joseph Bishara, and I naturally assumed he would be providing the chills and starts and musical jumps for this instalment. For some reason, I associated Wallfisch with films that had a more lush or romantic soundtrack, such as BITTER HARVEST ETC. Which is of course so wrong of me, as we all know that Wallfisch has worked on numerous movies all varying genres. CONQUEST 1453, HAMMER OF THE GODS, A CURE FOR LIFE and PRESSURE among them, plus he scored the TV mini series THE ENFIELD HAUNTING. ANNABELLE CREATION is set to be a popular sequel by the looks of things and judging by the little bit of buzz that is surrounding it. The score is a commanding one and a soundtrack that at times is fully atonal but then shifts a gear and alters direction becoming somewhat melancholy and warm with an almost childlike air about it. But, and with horror scores and films there is always a but isn’t there, BUT, underneath the safe and secure sounding interludes there is percolating a seething and ominously foreboding sound that is filled to the brim with terrifying stabs and laced with virulent and guttural sounding passages that infiltrate the work and overwhelm any signs of calm and traces of serenity. The opening track, THE CREATION is at first a low-key affair, with Barry-esque strings and woods intertwining to create a melodic and delicate sounding piece, the strings become more prominent but then the composer moves the composition into a more sinister sounding persona, with a slightly off kilter piano adding a touch of menace and apprehension to the proceedings. The cue turns darker towards the end of its duration, with the appearance of swirling strings that purvey an atmosphere of tension and anxiety bringing it to a close. Track number two, THE MULLINS FAMILY, is a brief but pleasant and effecting piece for piano, the fragile sounding piano being underlined by delicate use of the string section. Track number three, A NEW HOME is slightly less edgy and foreboding initially, with a warm yet melancholy sounding cello solo giving depth to the composition, but all the time there is a somewhat uneasy background or underlying sound which although in the background seems to prevail above the cello and alerts the listener that maybe not all is quite right.
Track number four, BEE’S ROOM is where the score really begins to get into the deep and evil sounding material, the composer effectively employing the string section to conjure up an atmosphere that is uncomfortable and chilling, but saying this mid-way through piano begins to intervene and adds a calming quality. There are no calm or subdued nuances within track number five however, ANNABELLE AWAKENED, opens with strings again, which effectively hiss and swirl in a maelstrom of sounds which are bolstered using brass stabs, electronics and muffled percussive elements. ANNABELLE THE CREATION is a score that is at times delicate and even fragile, but along the way there are many surprises musically speaking, which literally jump out at the listener and grab their attention. It is a classy horror score, with something for everyone within it, it is inventive, commanding, perplexing and above all, down-right scary, with an almost unrelenting aura of menace being dominant throughout, until track number, 21, THE HOUSE IS BLESSED when the composer adds a little bit of hope in the form of melodic strings, and also in ADOPTION with a piano solo which I would say puts one at ease, but with this score one never knows whether it’s safe to let your guard down, and this certainly applies as we go to the last cue from the score CONDUIT which is a filled with a terrifying and chaotic sound as if the evil is returning after a brief respite. One for the collection.
Available on WATER TOWER MUSIC USA. and SILVA SCREEN UK.
The Mullins Family
A New Home
Shadows and Sheets
Puppets and Mischief
Our Beloved Bee
The House is Blessed
You Are My Sunshine (Charles McDonald)