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  • trick_treatComposed by Douglas Pipes
  • La-La Land Records LLLCD 1103 / 2009 / 59:18

This film sat mysteriously on the shelf for a couple of years before Warner Bros finally released it – straight to video – in time for this year’s Halloween.  It’s an old-fashioned horror anthology, telling five stories about what happens when you disobey the rules of Halloween.In his very enthusiastic liner notes, director Michael Dougherty describes his film as “a love letter to Halloween, filled with everything we remember about the holiday”; and in some ways, one might take the score – by Douglas Pipes, who appeared from nowhere with the decent score for Monster House a couple of years ago – to be along the same lines.  A bit of Herrmann here, Goldsmith there, Goldenthal there – it’s like a loving tribute to classic horror scores of the past (in terms of style – there’s certainly no quoting going on).

It actually makes for a very entertaining album.  There’s big, brassy action music, a spooky children’s choir, occasionally mildly dissonant textures – all the tricks of the horror movie music trade are here.  Does it offer anything we haven’t heard before?  No, not really – it’s a tried-and-tested approach – but there’s always something satisfying about a score composed in this style when it’s done well.  It’s not in the league of Christopher Young’s Drag Me to Hell from 2009, but is a very decent addition to the roster of scores which those who are obsessed with Halloween can play at this time of year.  ***

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  1. Jon (Reply) on Saturday 31 October, 2009 at 23:20

    Glad you finally heard this one. I thought it was superb; it’s been a really good year for horror music!