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The Damned
  • Composed by Frederik Wiedmann
  • Lakeshore Records / 2014 / 46m

An American family in Colombia have a car accident and are stranded in a remote inn.  They discover a girl has been trapped in the basement, and so they rescue her.  This proves to be a mistake, because she is an ancient evil.  Whoops!  Providing the music for The Damned is Frederik Wiedmann, a talented composer whose television music (Justice League, Green Lantern, Son of Batman) has been deservedly popular in recent years.  He’s a veteran of various horror movies too, including for this film’s director Victor Garcia, Return to House on Haunted Hill.  For The Damned he set out to scare – no frills, just scary music.  Everything starts off well enough, with the spooky opening “The Secret” and a stylish main title piece; both cues feature short themes that will recur through the score.

The trouble is, as it progresses, the music becomes more and more overtly horrific – plenty of brass stingers, processed voices, passages of dissonance, some unsettling electronics – and while it’s done effectively enough (and I like the thematic base), it really isn’t very pleasant to listen to.  This is fairly “standard” horror music using tried and tested techniques and so it would need to be pretty special in order to stand out; and slightly to my surprise given how impressed I’ve been by some of Wiedmann’s previous music, it really isn’t special at all.  At just 46 minutes, the album seems to go on forever, with each track essentially just bringing more of the same.  It sounds like it’s a fine score for the film, but as an album it does little for me.

Rating: ** | |

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