- Composed by Jeff Grace
- Screamworks Records / 2012 / 40:32
A haunted hotel movie, The Innkeepers sees a couple of employees trying to delve into the mysteries of a hotel in the final days before it shuts its doors for good. It’s got largely good reviews, most painting it as a solid horror film. It marks the latest in a line of collaborations between director Ti West and composer Jeff Grace. Grace has impressed me whenever I’ve heard his music in the past – he seems to specialise in this genre of film, finding creative ways of scoring them, displaying an obvious mastery of an orchestra in the process. For this score, it’s probably true to say that he didn’t break much new ground, relying instead on pretty tried-and-tested techniques, but they serve him very well and produce a terrific album. In parts it reminds me of the score that first put him on my radar, The Last Winter.
The score takes its time to build up, the fine main theme being presented in the opening title but then Grace is content to lure people in. “The Story of Madeline” includes a really lovely theme, one that seems to possess a kind of hidden depth. “The Garage” offers some early thrills before the score’s turning point, “The Pendulum”, where the mood shifts completely, Grace introducing some spooky female vocals as he musically navigates a vivid dramatic arc. Later, the dramatic tension is ratcheted up once more in “The Pendulum Breaks”. There isn’t that much in the way of overtly thrilling music per se, but when it does come it’s worth the wait, as in the exciting “Last Bit of Nostalgia”. “Claire Falls” is terrific, those female vocals returning, along with some chilling little piano figures providing some of the score’s finest chills, before the track explodes into life to provide some of its finest thrills. A gorgeous cello solo highlights “Epilogue”, a very fine piece of gothic romance perfectly evoking the setting depicted on the album’s front cover. Speaking of which, I think the slightly retro album design is absolutely fantastic. This is a great release, highlighting another impressive score by Jeff Grace. ****