Marco Beltrami, it seemed was the composer to go to if you wanted a horror score, but his music for horror films is not all crash, bang and bump in the night material, just take a listen to the music for the SCREAM series, there is some really romantic and highly thematic cues within them, at times the composer reaching near operatic heights. Over the past ten years or so Beltrami has become one of Hollywood’s A listers in the composer world. But it seemed that his scores although very good were very few and far between and also never really got the praise that they deserved, if you like I was there at the start of his career you would have sampled grand sounding themes for films such as THE FACULTY, or his Morricone influenced score for the re-make of 3-10 TO YUMA and coming right up to date his hauntingly beautiful and disturbing music for THE SNOWMAN, again a score that contains a number of nods to Morricone which excites, and tantalises. One of the composer’s recent assignments is for the tense horror thriller A QUIET PLACE, and the composer in my opinion has returned to is top form on this outing into darkness and sinister goings on.
The score, is not one of his most thematic, which is I suppose given the storyline is something that we expect and accept. But saying this there are little pockets of respite where the composer treats us to some tender and melodic interludes, performed on fragile sounding piano and endearing and somewhat melancholy strings. But these are just little glimpses of light within a score that is certainly dark, foreboding and downright malevolent in its overall sound and atmosphere. The composer utilises a growling or rumbling sound in many of the cues, that is unsettling, there are also driving and raw savage strings throughout, which at times seem to slither into the proceedings and then erupt into a sinewy and sharp sounding persona.
Track number 13, A QUIET MOMENT, is a charming melody initially, but one can hear in the background a rising tension created by a shadowy sounding drone effect, which is underlining the quieter part of the composition performed on piano, the music and musical sounds that Beltrami has created for the score, are in a number of ways innovative and original, but at certain points it does descend into a bit of a free for all of sinister and dark atonal passages that are frenzied and chaotic. It is however a commanding score that is powerful and effecting, it demands that you listen, and is cleverly orchestrated, with percussive elements heightening the tension, and jagged sounding brass adding to that tension. Maybe not one for the faint hearted or lovers of romanticism, but still a score that I am sure will be enjoyed by followers of the horror genre and the music of Marco Beltrami. Check it out,,,, if you dare….