I am told that there is a fine line when it comes to scoring horror movies, it’s a case of getting the sounds and the actual timing correct. There have been some superb movies within the genre that have equally compelling scores but as with everything there are one or two examples which go OTT and even have been said to spoil the overall effect of the movie, with either too much music or even music that just goes too far. DOGGED is a horror film that was released this year (2018) it is a harrowing but at the same time a must-see film. The score by composer James Griffiths falls into the category of being superb. It is a classy and totally absorbing soundtrack, the composer utilising crashing sounds and at times grating effects which in my opinion are necessary. But at the heart of the work are some interesting and attractive sounding pieces. It’s a score that is not fully symphonic as one can appreciate because its storyline is set in present times, the film is violent and even brutal in places. The musical score does much to elevate the action and lends itself wonderfully to supporting and punctuating the scenario that is unfolding upon the screen.
This is a taught, stressful and vexing work. The composer has fashioned virulent sounding themes and sounds that put the listener and the watching audience on edge. The music working wonderfully within the movie but also having a kind of twisted and tormenting attraction away from the film. The composer’s music is at times disturbing and atonal, but it also has to it a themeatic quality that shines through the dark and ominous sounds. It is an inventive and original sounding work, with symphonic and synthetic fusing seamlessly to create on one side a chaotic and harsh work and on the other a lilting and somewhat deformed fragility. I must admit to enjoying this type of scoring in horror movies these days. DOGGED is powerful and relentless and not for the faint hearted. In many ways it reminded me of the early horror scores of composer Christopher Young.