New from Howlin’ Wolf this month is the sequel score for The Jack in the Box. The Jack in the Box the Awakening has music by Christophe Allerstorfer, who also scored the previous movie, his latest offering is I think a little more developed than the previous work, it has to it a sound and style that is perfect for Horror, driving, hissing, and powerful through and through at times the music evoked the style of Christopher Young, and Joseph Bishara, being thematic but still having a forbidding and virulent mood to it. The score this time around is grander and more beguiling and oddly has to it an attraction that can be mesmerizing and beautiful in a roundabout way.
Underneath the dark and malevolent material one discovers delicate and haunting themes performed by piano and fleeting glimpses of violin/viola/cello solos that are filled with melancholy and often these moments divert one’s attention about what is going on and before you know it you are brought back to reality with a crash of percussion or a stab from strings or synth.
This is a mix of both symphonic and electronic, the composer combining both sections to create unsettling and uneasy passages that are sprinkled with enticing and slightly calming nuances, these more subdued sections are at times just half heard notes or compositions that weave in and out of the proceedings. The instrumentation includes brass, and a variety of woods, with the composer at various stages incorporating gasps for breath in one of the cues and a dragging sound which he combines with plucked or struck strings to bring to fruition an inventive urgent, and sinister sound.
Add to this swirling string effects and dark low drone like undertones and what we have here is an accomplished score for a horror movie, that itself would probably put one on edge if you listened to it as music away from the movie.
Whilst listening the sinewy and sinister sounds invade one’s mind and quickly establish a sense of the fearful and the macabre. This is a score that I know as a horror film score fan you will enjoy, it has an inventive and innovative aura about it the composer fashioning a musical persona that encompasses so many moods and styles, from the fearful to the calming.
Presented to the normal excellent Howlin’ Wolf standard, with great art work, plenty of stills and information from the composer and the director of the movie. Recommended. Available from Howlin’ Wolf records.