Back with Part 4 of the year-end series. If you missed Parts 1, 2, and 3, you can see those here, here , and here. Now, onto the selections!
It Follows (composed by Richard Vreeland aka Disasterpiece)
First of all, Disasterpiece is a great stage name for a composer doing horror work. Second of all, try listening to these classic horror music pieces:
and not get the feeling that It Follows won’t someday be in the same rareified air that these pieces occupy?. The 808-manufactured sounds give off a lot of mystery, and then throw in the crescendos with menacing bass drum hits along with some clapping and you have a bona fide bizarre score that I wouldn’t want to hear at night. Even the slower tracks like Detroit and Inquiry are equally unnerving.
Beasts of No Nation (composed by Dan Romer)
No Boy, No Barganing
This plays at a point in the movie where nothing is ever going to be the same for young Agu. I like to hear it in parts, almost like the forced evolution of the lead character. The first 1:23 serves as his last little bit of being a kid, and the rest of the track seemingly reflecting his loss of innocence. It’s a sad, emotional, and moving piece in a film that only gets tougher to watch as it goes on.
I Saved Your Life
And this particular track punctuates what the viewer has just seen, which is the introduction to the charismatic yet fear-inducing Commandant. With the African sounds, it is aggressive, orderly, and war-like—fitting, obviously for Beasts of No Nation.
Black Mass (composed by Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL)
Bulger Burial Ground
It’s Just the Beginning
Don’t Wake Him Up
Take Care Kid
Nowhere near the extravagance that is the score of Mad Max: Fury Road, still, Junkie XL’s work on Black Mass is top-quality stuff. It’s always there, but like Bulger, it just kind of lurks in the shadows, but you feel its dark presence. The easiest way to describe it would be very cold and soulless, even in some of the more “moving” parts of the score. While that may not be what XL was going for, I do think it sums up Bulger perfectly.
Sicario (composed by Johann Johannsson)
“…like the throbbing heart of a beast charging at you.”-Johann Johannsson (Taken from variety.com)
I really should have just posted the whole score. Johann Johannsson’s work here isn’t all that melodic, even with its core motif heard in tracks like The Beast, Tunnel Music, and Soccer Game. But, his musical work drenches Sicario with an absolutely unsettling atmosphere and hopeless mood. It’s what I imagine a trek down into complete darkness–or hell—would sound like. It is great anywhere in any listening apparatus, earbuds, or Beats, but honestly, the score needs the system that is afforded in the theater to get the real effect. As a whole, it is easily one of the most complete scores of the year, and one of my all-time favorites.
The Martian (composed by Harry Gregson-Williams)
Hearing this track was when I realized that The Martian would have a very optimistic tone and spirit behind a tale that, for all intents and purposes, should not have one. This piece isn’t reflective of the whole score (as a whole it is actually kind of dull to yours truly), but it is the piece I remember most out of the film. Listening to it inspires that feeling that one really can do anything, with the right attitude, which is really what The Martian is all about. Take away space, and it is really very human.
Photo credits go to heyuguys.com, usatoday.com, junkiexl.com, danromer.com, and area5.tv.
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ohhhhh The Exorcist.. what a good reminder!!!
It Follows’ sound is effing amazing!