- Composed by Roque Baños
- La-La Land Records / 2013 / 71m
The marketing guys who decided that the 2013 update of Evil Dead should be presented as “the most terrifying film you will ever experience” – they were presumably not in school on the day the lesson about avoiding setting oneself up for a fall was given. The black comedy elements that were part of what made the original movie so distinctive and popular were excluded this time (though Sam Raimi was one of this film’s producers). Many of these 2000s-era remakes of horror classics from days gone by have received somewhat predictable scores by somewhat predictable choices of composer, so it was a nice surprise when the excellent Spanish composer Roque Baños was signed to write the score – director Fede Alvarez stuck to his guns to get the composer the job and it’s a good job he did, because his music is one of the most visceral “old-school” horror scores in the last few years, relying not on the textural ambience which has been favoured recently in an attempt to create an unsettling atmosphere – this is visceral, brutal orchestral music with one aim in mind – to scare.
There’s nothing especially original here – there are hints of Elliot Goldenthal (particularly Sphere) and Christopher Young throughout – but it’s a pleasure to hear the orchestral technique used by the composer to create his chills and thrills. The title of the opening cue – “I’ll Rip Your Soul Out” – gives you an idea of Baños’s intentions – he uses an air-raid siren to create a chilling effect, but surrounds it with other scare tactics: a choir, used effectively throughout, whether chanting words, singing wordlessly or whispering what are far from sweet nothings; the col legno strings which are so effective and conjuring an unsettling feeling; and some extended sequences of terror employing the full forces of the large orchestra. It pounds, pounds, pounds away like most of the finest horror scores do – occasionally offering relief, such as the more gentle theme which dominates the second cue, “Sad Memories”, being used effectively to provide breathing room when it’s needed through the score – and to great effect in the climactic “Evil Tango”. “Come Back To Me” late in the score is a great piece of sweeping gothic romance. But the score is dominated by some relentless action music – the nine-minute “I’ll Do What I Gotta Do” a particular highlight, an extended sequence of extremely aggressive material which is so impressive. The 72-minute album simply flies by, with never-ending thrills – the score is one of those larger-than-life affairs that leaves you gasping for air by the time it’s over – not just showcasing the skills of a really talented composer, but providing a huge entertainment value too. In terms of modern horror scores, this is like Christopher Young’s more outlandish efforts – in both style and quality – and is one of the most entertaining soundtrack albums of the year so far. Sometimes the tried-and-tested methods are the best ones to use – and this is one of those times.