A score that did attract my attention recently is from the new chiller US, which has an interesting and innovative soundtrack supplied by composer Michael Abels, (GET OUT). The score for me has got to be the most un-nerving and at the same time most alluring in recent years and one I seemed to be compelled to revisit at any opportunity. It has the effect like when you know something is going to scare you or horrify you and you know only too well that you should not look but guess what you do. Well US, the score is cut from the same cloth, because I know it’s going to unsettle me but hey, I will just take a little sneak listen, then a minute or two later off come the headphones and Ok, lets listen to something else shall we(he says reaching for the CD of MARY POPPINS). So, US, is at the top of my dare you to listen to this on headphones and alone and if you are brave after dark. It’s a malevolent sound that the composer has created, spidery, dark, sinister and at times grating slightly chaotic and strangely attractive. I love the composer’s deployment of choir, which at times is Morricone/Elfman-esque and his utilisation of solo violin and delicate sounding piano in a handful of the cues, which although calming conjures up an underlying musical presence that is less than welcoming and re-assuring. When the violin is combined with choral work it has to it a style and sound that can be likened to that of composer Elliot Goldenthal, a style that is apparent in his magnificent score for INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, if I am to attempt a comparison this is probably the only example I can think of. In fact, the choir that is utilised throughout, kind of has a retro sound, as if it has been lifted from a vintage horror, like ROSEMARYS BABY or DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES both by the legendary Christophe Komeda. The subdued voices which are times childlike therefore even more disturbing are effective within the context of the movie, but also are wonderful entertainment value away from the images, the choral work being an affecting component of the score and also being memorable and unsettling when listening to the music removed from the movie. I do think it is probably the voices within the score that create the unworldly sound and purvey an aura or atmosphere that is filled with dread and fear, these vocals are supported, underlined and punctuated by cleverly placed sounds and musical sounds creating the perfect persona for the mood of the movie and giving every scenario within it a deeper sense of tension and dismay.
The music is highly innovative and has to it a hypnotic and mesmeric style and sound. Listen to BATTLE PLAN and like me I know you will be suitably impressed, driving strings act as a background to choir in this short but superbly effective piece. Plus, the track PAS DE DUEX is a delight to hear with wonderfully rhythmic strident strings that are interspersed with pizzicato effects and underpinned with synthetic stabs. The composer also makes inventive use of the hook from the song I GOT FIVE ON IT by the Luniz which features as the end cue on the recording and incorporates the three note motif into the cue, The version on certain sites is different from the CD release, with the download versions omitting three vocals which are used on the soundtrack. This is one soundtrack you cannot miss, a must have work, have you ordered it?