Visit the Movie Wave Store | Movie Wave Home | Reviews by Title | Reviews by Composer | Contact me
THE POKER CLUB
Brooding, dramatic underscore for the aftermath of a killing
A review by JAMES SOUTHALL
Music composed by
* * *
Album running time
Album cover copyright (c) 2009 Evan Evans; review copyright (c) 2009 James Southall.
A group of friends holding their regular poker night discover and then accidentally kill a burglar. Thus goes the plot of The Poker Club, a 2008 movie from director Tim McCann. After the friends dump the body, a series of unfortunate events combine to make their lives a misery. This sort of thing can be fertile territory for a film composer, and the director turned to Evan Evans, who has a long string of independent films under his belt, going back to 1997; amongst them is perhaps the best-named film of all time, Pizza: The Movie.
I don't suppose the music for Pizza: The Movie is much like this score, a hugely-effective, brooding, snarling work which sees a relatively small orchestra augmented by electronics. A decent main theme is the glue that binds everything together, but this is not a score where melody is a primary focus. It reminds me a little of Howard Shore's music for these dark thrillers - everything is in very low registers, the music playing like a subtle knife about to stab you in the back.
Evans creates his atmosphere and never wavers from it. When it does explode to life (check out "Hot Pursuit"), Evans still keeps everything very much in the same sound world, which makes those more up-front cues all the more effective. It's a clever, mature score that assumes a certain intelligence in its listener. At times it's so subtle you can barely even hear it - but it's always there, driving home the tension. It's one of those score albums which is easier to appreciate than truly enjoy, but that's not too uncommon for this sort of film. Evans is clearly a talent to keep an eye on - let's hope it's not too long before the next album of music bearing his name.