Film scores

Soundtrack review: Insidious chapter 3 (Joseph Bishara – 2015)

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I am kind of late to the “Insidious” party (if party is how you define a film franchise focusing on demons haunting a family from beyond). I haven’t seen any of the movies or heard any of the scores. The movies have a good pedigree since they are panned by the team that created the Saw franchise, so I might give them a try if I’m ever in the mood. The score for “Insidious: Chapter 3” was written by Joseph Bishara. Once again I find myself listening to a horror score in less than ideal conditions (meaning in the middle of the day, not alone) so the composer will have to be really convincing to scare me.

And holy crap does he make my heart jump out of my throat , out the window and back in during just a few intense, frightening and show stopping seconds in the opening cue “The insidious flare”. I need to recover because said heart is now trembling scared in a corner. Thankfully some melodic cues come next to fool me into thinking I am safe from the danger. How can I trust the composer now? He’s out to get me.

Joseph Bishara creates a labyrinth full of sharp edges and creepy crawlers. He pours the scares in small and efficient doses. “Upside down” tip toes and sneaks up on me before screaming at me so loud and so convincingly that I forget that there’s light and people in the room and just jump from my chair. There have been many great scores in the past 12 months, each with their own merits, but none as efficient as “Insidious : chapter 3”. I am literally scared to go on because around any corner something might jump me. Yet I don’t press pause and have to suffer the consequences. Joseph Bishara doesn’t hide behind atmosphere or sound effects and he doesn’t try to be complex or subtle. This score is a fight for your life and I’ve rarely felt that about a horror score. This is how good horror should feel like; this is how I am supposed to react. And yes I am writing this fast, while I still can, before the composer decides to stab again. I thank him, by the way, for the first half of “Questions left behind”.

A storm of strings such as “She was waiting” can easily stand among the scariest cues I have ever heard. There are lot of moments during this score when I’ve felt that. Horror scores are harder to judge and appreciate than other genres because of their unique purpose. But that purpose ultimately is to scare, and “Insidious: chapter 3” does about as good a job as I’ve ever heard. The frights in this album will become yardsticks for future horror scores because this is what it’s all about. Grab this one if you dare and if you can handle what it throws at you. Horror fans will just embrace this and cuddle with it late at night. I barely made it out but I have the nerve to say it was awesome. I will go outside now and listen to some kids music.

Cue rating: 88 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 20 / 42

Album excellence: 48%

Highlights:

The Insidious Flare

Psychic Visit

Upside Down

Standing Right Next to You

Wheeled Away

She Was Waiting

Possessed Attacker

Stronger, Alive

Friendly Face

Facing Breathing

Void Figure7 Ch3

 

About the author

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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