There seem to be several critics recently that don’t just watch a movie, TV show etc or listen to a score without getting into so many why’s and wherefores about the plot or how the music should have worked. Which is why I always try and watch or listen with an open mind and try not to see too deeply into a movie or its sub plots or what the director producer was trying to put over and comparing it with a situation that is taking place or has already taken place out there somewhere in the world. I attempt to watch it for entertainment and that alone, whether it is a movie or its score, yes of course music has a job to do within a movie and providing its doing that then well, that’s it for me even if it does not sound great as just music, but there again if it does work as stand-alone music all well and good and that’s a bonus.
The Russian Bride (2018) is a horror movie so let’s not get carried away and look for parts of the script or even a plot that can be considered as highbrow. Like most people I see it’s a horror and go and watch it because maybe I want to be scared, I also go to watch and escape into a world that is hopefully far removed from reality, that’s what cinema is I think escapism for us all.
Whether its in a Galaxy Far, Far, Away, or in a world that is being attacked by aliens, a Zombie Apocalypse, or even a silly rom com, they all serve their purpose to take our minds off the real horrors in this world.(after all there is so many at the moment).
Let’s save any criticism or complaining about historical facts, the literary content or indeed the standard of the performance to things with multi-million-dollar budgets and get on with enjoying the movie no matter how bad or wrong it maybe.
Forget that the spaceship looks really dodgy, and the director who is on a budget that cannot stretch to Industrial light and Magic, but instead has to try and create FX with a fairy liquid bottle, a cornflake box, some string, odd bits of an Air fix model kit, PVA glue and a Blue Peter Badge (get down Shep) (joking).
The Russian Bride, is probably not the best movie in the world, but its one that I think at least can hold its own and also grab the audiences attention and maintain that focus from them. Its not a new storyline or concept, in fact it’s been done a few times by other directors and in other countries, but still, it remains an interesting angle.
At first one would be forgiven for thinking the movie is a slow burner, because I would say the first fifty minutes or so are quite easy going and like a saunter down a country lane, but then wow the plot erupts, wakes up and becomes what any self-respecting horror should be a shocker, slasher, that smacks you right in the face with a generous helping of gratuitous violence, portions of gore and also some nice tongue in cheek moments. That culminate is something that includes, a fest of cannibalism references, the classic tale of Frankenstein, arcs of blood, guts, and blunt instrument swiping female revenge chaos. Like the sound of it?
The music which has been released on digital platforms recently by Plaza Mayor is the work of Spanish born composer Cesar Benito. Who wowed many of us with his scores for films such as Ways to Live Forever, and the gloriously emotive The Time Between.
The Russian Bride is an inventive score, and one that although being for a horror movie maintains a high level of thematic content, I have to say you will never become bored listening to this score, as there are so many musical twists and turns within it.
The composer employs synth sounds alongside conventional instrumentation, with the use of solo piano being particularly haunting in tracks such as Till Death Us Do Part, which begins graciously and in a classical style, but soon segues into something darker, but the composer utilising cello midway through to take the apprehensive edge off things, piano returns in the cue Nina and Dasha which is an emotive and haunting piece, piano being subtly supported by low profile strings.
There is an ominous and uneasy sound present throughout the score, with tremolo strings acting as a fearsome remainder that this is a horror, but there is as I say melody here, which every now and then seems to rise out of the more atonal moments that have been created, bringing a welcomed chink of light into the proceedings.
The composer also treats us to action cues such as Horseback Stab Riding, which is a jagged sounding fast paced piece and the dark fearsome sounds in the track Marriage At War, that both contain Herrmann-esque qualities and elements,
Plus there are a handful of cues that on occasion evoke memories of the style of John Barry and little touches that could be Delarue.
It’s a score that I know you will like, so please check it out now, on the likes of Spotify.