Soundtrack review: Predator (Alan Silvestri – 1987)
Ah… here we are in my comfort zone again… I get to write about “Predator”. 80s action classic, Arnold, one of the movies I’ve seen countless times, nothing can go wrong here. I’m expecting to be as excited about this score as I was for “Commando”. I remember how this movie felt, I know every bit of the rain, mud, danger and violence and I am curious how Alan Silvestri managed to deal with all this. The version I’m reviewing is the Intrada remastered edition from 2010. The cues are rearranged and pasted together for the best listening experience and it also includes the original end credits. This version has the distinct honor of having sold out in a day.
Right from the start you can notice that the jungle setting is suggested through the music as well. There’s a lot of wood like sounds echoing through the cues, contributing to the feeling of unease given by this score. The jungle sound and the percussion military sounds are present throughout the score like a backbone. The sound of “Predator” is the classic 80s testosterone action score sound we’ve heard in other scores. I find a lot of similarities between this score and “Commando”.
This one is all about the suspense and not catching a breath. The short cues are constructed like fast horror cues that stab at you with the notes and you feel like running away. Silvestri is very effective in constructing an uncomfortable and scary atmosphere. The only breaks are on cues like “He’s my friend” or “We’re going to die” when we get a solo trumped sounding, an isolated and melancholic wake up call. I think my favorite part is the duo “Building the tap” and “The waiting”, because the tension is almost unbearable and I feel like I am there, in the jungle, hiding and waiting for the invisible alien to fall in my carefully planted trap. “The waiting” ends with a surprise…
“Predator” is the kind of score I could never get bored with. The tension is constructed so well and so addictive that I need to listen to the score until the end. It’s engaging, alert and it moves at such a pace that you don’t even have time to think about its imperfections. It’s all about the thrills.
Cue rating: 74 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 31 / 76
Album excellence: 41%
Building The Trap
Hand To Hand Combat
The Aftermath / The Pick-Up And End Credits