Visit the Movie Wave Store | Movie Wave Home | Reviews by Title | Reviews by Composer | Contact me
WRONG TURN 2: DEAD END
Creative, fun horror score
A review by JAMES SOUTHALL
Music composed by
* * *
Album running time
Album cover copyright (c) 2007 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; review copyright (c) 2007 James Southall
It's becoming increasingly hard these days to tell which of these teen horror films are meant to be deliberately trashy and which are actually attempting to be serious; a few looks at the pictures from Wrong Turn 2 on this album suggest the former, and this is confirmed in the liner notes. I don't think that was the case with the first Wrong Turn, though I wouldn't say for sure. Anyway, that moderately successful film's sequel doesn't even have the first one's D-list actors, though the change of composer is not unwelcome, with Elia Cmiral replaced by Battlestar Galactica's Bear McCreary.
To say that McCreary's score is better than Cmiral's would be damning with faint praise - a 40-minute recording of a man peeling some potatoes would make a better album than Wrong Turn - but actually there is some really enjoyable music here. It stays on the right side of the line dividing being nudge-nudge-wink-wink sassy and simply mocking the audience, which isn't a particularly easy skill for a composer for a film like this to demonstrate; any fears are allayed in the terrific opening title piece, with a Morriconean theme for banjo, sitar, guitars and a whistler. It dominates the score and is impressive.
Indeed, it is the distinctive sonic world McCreary has created which marks this a notch or two above most scores for this type of film - refreshingly, there's none of the usual brooding orchestral blandness punctuated by brass hits which is the sound heard almost constantly in horror films today, with McCreary instead favouring music which - gasp! - doesn't sound like everything else. Melody generally takes a backseat, but the composer uses it when necessary, such as in the lovely "Nina's Theme", atmospheric strings chillingly underlaying the theme itself.
OK, so it's hardly a masterpiece, but it does its job very well, and shows a creative composer making the best possible use of a (presumably) small music budget to provide a genuinely interesting score. Perhaps 52 minutes is a little longer than the music can really sustain (the main idea of the theme is a brilliant one, but there's only so much use you can get out of it before it becomes wearying) but that's a small complaint against a decent album.