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Soundtrack review: Judgment night (Alan Silvestri – 1993)

Alan Silvestri month Composer of the month

Soundtrack review: Judgment night (Alan Silvestri – 1993)

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“Judgment night”, both the movie and the song soundtrack, were among the cult status topics in my group of friends when we were in college. The soundtrack had a lot of songs by our favorite rock and rap bands while the movie was very gripping. The movie was about a few friends who take a wrong turn while going to a game and end up in an unforgiving gang land, where the leader of the bad guys was comedian Dennis Leary, very effective in this role.

It’s for these reasons that I chose “Judgment night” among my 31 Alan Silvestri scores to review in December. I am curious to see if the score is able to capture the hopeless and scary atmosphere of the movie, because the way “Judgment night” felt was very distinctive for me. It was a different kind of scary because evil was represented only by men.

The score works. As soon as I hear the notes I remember what I felt when I watched the movie… we get the same dark, empty and cold atmosphere from the neighborhood depicted in the movie. On “Ladder crossing”, one of the more memorable scenes from “Judgment night”, you can hear a screeching that makes you think of abandoned playgrounds. If until that cue the score was only background for the movie, this is the first track that shows a little heart, a little warmth. It is almost 10 minutes long and it’s a cue that could very well find its place on any respectable horror score. When you hear that track you know how the movie will feel. It’s close to how “The terminator” music feels, only a little warmer. For example, “Make a stand” is an almost jazzy, atmospheric cue that signals a break in the main characters’ torments.

“Judgment night” plays as a great suspense and even horror score. For the fans of the movie it will be even more. There are also three unused tracks on the score which are actually great. “Frank takes the wheel” and “Judgment night theme” are two 80s style synth tracks which don’t fit with the rest of the score but are great to listen to for fans of the genre.

Cue rating: 66 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 23 / 72

Album excellence: 32 %

 

Highlights:

Execution

Ladder Crossing

Hello Ladies

Make a Stand

Judgment Night Theme

 

 

 

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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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