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Soundtrack review: Jessabelle (Anton Sanko – 2014)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Jessabelle (Anton Sanko – 2014)

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“Jessabelle” is another offering in the wave of horror movie scores that came out these past couple of months. The story is about a girl, her estranged father and a haunting spirit. Composer Anton Sanko was unknown to me until now.

The score starts promising for me. It sounds atmospheric, intense, gripping and this is my kind of horror. I prefer atmospheric and melodic horror cues to any other kind, and “Jessabelle” delivers. “Home movies”, the third cue, is actually magic. It amazes me from the first note and ends up as one of the best ambient cues of the year, on par with the out of this world cues I heard on “The Elder Scrolls Online”.

As other horror scores, this one contains some weird sounds that are interesting and unique. There’s some static TV or radio sounds in “Jesse’s dream” and they work. “Torches” brings some tribal chants and some witch shrills. Both cues are interesting and add to the unique identity of this score.

“Jessabelle” is one of the sweetest and most melodic horror scores I’ve heard in a while. The strings are beautiful, the mood is mostly atmospheric and eerie and everything just works. Everything Anton Sanko tries succeeds for me: the demonic whispers and sounds in “Hi mom, open the gate”, the female voice in the background of “Mrs Davis – Moses shrine – Sweet moment” or the unintelligible voices in other cues. The composer scares and charms the listener in the same time, and I absolutely love the blend.

This one ends up as one of the scores I will definitely remember. The listening experience was fun and interesting, scary and beautiful, and a very nice surprise. Put “Jessabelle” on the list of scores to listen to and you won’t be disappointed.

Cue rating: 58 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 27 / 40

Album excellence: 66%

 

Highlights:

Weirdest Dream – Searching Through Drawers

Apparition – Moses – What’s Mine

Home Movies

Second Reading

Can’t Stay Here – Bed Time – Bad Dreams

Hi Mom – Open The Gate

 

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Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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