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I Kill Giants
  • Composed by Laurent Perez del Mar
  • Varèse Sarabande / 53m

A children’s fantasy film, I Kill Giants follows the adventures of a teenager called Barbara – who kills giants.  The film actually got decent reviews but barely anybody saw it (according to Wikipedia, its total box office takings in its first month of release have been under $200k).  The score comes from The Red Turtle‘s Laurent Perez del Mar.  While the film’s trailer may have suggested something like Harry Potter (and the film is produced by Chris Columbus), don’t expect anything like that from the score, which is generally more intimate.  It begins with a series of variations on the theme for Barbara – sweet and innocent but with some depth definitely lurking there under the surface, it’s a lovely piece.  The orchestra is small and padded out with electronics, which may have been a budgetary decision but does actually work artistically too, allowing a certain intimacy to develop which is really impressive.

When the composer does up the ante a bit, sometimes it doesn’t quite come off.  The early “Giants” introduces the darker material associated with the monsters and here the thinness of the orchestration doesn’t really do it any favours; the modern percussion which joins “Fight the Forest Giants” is not welcome at all, which is a pity because the orchestral action music which goes on to spring from it is really rather good.  There is one absolute gem in the middle of the album, an outstanding piece called “Under the Water” – a wordless female vocal offers an ethereal feeling, joining soaring strings and lilting harp.  “Everything Is Gonna Be Alright” is another beauty of a piece, a variant on Barbara’s theme which is probably the pick of the bunch, effortlessly growing from slight beginnings to a sweeping conclusion.  This is followed by “Another Giant Is Coming”, which has a tragic feeling which turns to foreboding and is handled pretty well.  There are moments of extreme beauty dotted throughout the album and while it doesn’t quite come together as well as The Red Turtle did, it’s well worth checking out.

Rating: *** 1/2 | |

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  1. Andre (Reply) on Sunday 29 April, 2018 at 21:21

    I woud rate it a bit higher, precisely because of the small budget and, nonetheless, the composer could actually do a great job here.
    I agree about action tracks that are a bit poor and dissonating with the rest of the album, but that’s just a little flaw.
    Overall, it’s a very good soundtrack.