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Soundtrack review: Pacific Heights (Hans Zimmer – 1991)

Composer of the month Hans Zimmer Hans Zimmer month

Soundtrack review: Pacific Heights (Hans Zimmer – 1991)



“Pacific Heights” is a thriller starring Michael Keaton about a tenant who is evicted from his home and comes back for revenge. It’s one of Hans Zimmer’s first scores and one of his least known. But it is Hans Zimmer month and discovering compositions like these is part of the fun.

The score is made of four parts, one 12 minutes long and the others 8 minutes each. The first one is mostly atmospheric and holds to the suspenseful nature of the subject. It was the age of the synth and this is what makes this cue work for me. It gives a very cozy background vibe and I can get lost in the music. The melodic parts are interesting as well and there are a few bits of well defined themes in this track.
To me this is music done smart enough to keep me interested.

My favorite part from this score is the second one. Here we turn from atmospheric to melodic and intense and suddenly this score is alive. It’s telling me something, it touches me and I love what I’m hearing. There’s also an exciting female vocalize in the background, adding to the mystery. I hear the seeds of “Regarding Henry”. “Part II” is asking for forgiveness in the beginning before making sure it earns it by the time the track ends.

“Part III” and “Part IV” keep me interested in the score. There are a few more variations in them, from Asian sounding motifs to jazz and even horror. They are mixed together well and somehow they give a melancholic sound to “Pacific Heights”.
I enjoyed listening to this score; sometimes my mood asks for longer and slow burning cues rather than shorter and clearer themes that might break the flow. Sometimes, a steady and enjoyable quiet synth flow is all I need…

Cue rating: 70 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 8 / 37

Album excellence: 70%


Part II


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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