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  • Composed by Scott Glasgow
  • MovieScore Media / 2007 / 45m

It’s hard now to remember when horror films were just horror films.  These days they’re all full of self-parody, parodies of each other, sometimes designed to make you laugh, other times designed to make you think how clever the filmmakers are (they rarely achieve that aim); and other times never quite clear about whether they’re meant to be taken seriously or not.  Hack! is a kind of parody of loads of other horror films, with a series of murders taking place which are all done in horror-movie style… there’s something curiously post-modern about it all, or perhaps it’s just curious.

Most of these films (well, let’s face it, most films) today are scored by Hans Zimmer’s latest pet, so it’s always a joy to come across a score for one of them which actually seems like a real film score, the product of a composer sitting down and writing actual music, with imagination, creativity… ability.  Composer Scott Glasgow says in his liner notes for Hack! that it is full of references to other horror movie scores – and perhaps it is – but it’s so well-done, so well-written that it seems entirely refreshing and almost makes you want to leap for joy.

Scott Glasgow

Scott Glasgow

The dissonant opening is a real sign of the quality to come, a terrifically well-judged piece; and then “Beach Day” features a beautiful, Christopher Young-like theme to die for.  It’s fun spotting the little nods to Herrmann, Young, Goldenthal and others which crop up in the score, but Glasgow keeps everything sounding entirely consistent – there is no sense of this being piecemeal.  He injects plenty of his own, original material anyway – and (perhaps because of the nature of the film) is unafraid to really let rip with the orchestra, sometimes in full-on grandiose gothic horror style, other times employing the considerable forces at his disposal to simply try to terrify the audience.

This is very well-written music, and the album remains consistently interesting.  Yes, it has a clear set of inspirations, but if you’re going to be inspired by anything, be inspired by the best – and then impose your own voice onto it – and that’s exactly what Glasgow has done.  He is a really exciting prospect – also see the album releases of Chasing Ghosts or Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles – and Hack! comes highly recommended.  MovieScore Media continues its remarkable record of showcasing fine music by little-known composers, and long may it continue.

Rating: **** | |

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