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Soundtrack review: Lost souls (Jan A.P. Kaczmarek – 2000)

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Soundtrack review: Lost souls (Jan A.P. Kaczmarek – 2000)

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“Lost souls” was Jan A.P. Kaczmarek’s first venture into scoring a horror film. I was very curious to hear how his composition style would fit with this genre. Kaczmarek’s music is often subdued and dark, so all it should take are a few more steps towards the dark side to make it work for a horror movie.

Unfortunately, the composer took too few steps. The music is, as usual, beautiful in many parts, but the scares lack completely. There are some tries in tracks like “Exorcissmus” (too long at 8 minutes) but that’s about it. The music is nothing more than tense. “Walking into the unknown” for example is a very nice cue, but it has little to do with horror. As I read the reviews of the movie, the consensus was that it was visually beautiful, but it lacked story and provided no scares. This is one of the cases where the music mirrors the film perfectly. It sounds great, but it lacks any thrills or frights. The gothic piano motifs aren’t enough to make me feel anything.

There’s a track called “Violent variation on Maya’s theme”. I expected a furious piano, something that would make me ump out of my chair. It’s nothing like that. Yes, the piano sounds more aggressive than usual, but it’s still more beautiful than anything else. It sounds like I am complaining that a score is too beautiful for what it should be? It sounds strange to me as well, but this is a score written for a movie about pure evil, and I felt not even a glimpse of such a presence during the (long) 70 minutes of “Lost souls”.

If I were to separate this composition from the movie completely, I would highlight great orchestral cues like “Maya meets Peter”, or the simple piano of “Peter is lonely and afraid”, a cue which by no means echoes any such feelings inside me. There’s loneliness, yes, but melancholic, not scared. I guess if I ever want to listen to this score again, I should rename all the tracks with numbers and forget all about the theme of the movie…

I had a couple of more hopes from the tracks “Haunted house of Father John” and “Father Lareaux possessed”. They contained the only true horror moments of the score…I am left completely unsatisfied after listening to “Lost souls”, because even the beautiful cues seemed to lose their value because they were misused…

Cue rating: 63 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 9 / 70

Album excellence: 13%

 

Highlights:

Who Is Peter Kelson?

Maya Meets Peter

Peter Is Lonely And Afraid

Lost Souls – End Credits

 

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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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