Film scores

Soundtrack review: Secrets of a psycopath (Scott Glasgow – 2015)

psycho

“Secrets of a psychopath” is the latest film from 93 years old cult filmmaker Bert I. Gordon, who is best known for such genre classics films as The Amazing Colossal Man (1957), Earth vs The Spider (1958), Food of the Gods (1976) and Empire of the Ants (1977). I really should see those, they sound awesome. This time, the story explores the twisted relationship of an incestuous brother and sister duo who lure unsuspecting people to their house via a dating site. Quite an idea to have when you’re 93… The score was written by Scott Glasgow.

The “Prelude” is brilliant for me because it’s exactly the kind of melodic and mysterious opening that makes me instantly connect with the score and be present in its musical world from the beginning. This opening is tender and deep and with the flute and piano dancing with each other I can’t wait to hear what’s next. Scott Glasgow comes with a dark veil which he sets up very fast and I’m already oblivious to the outside world.

The music keeps me guessing and on the edge of my seat with the tone it sets. In the beginning it stays there at the blurry line between innocent and disturbed, between romance and horror. Then the twisted strings come in play. “Playtime murder” is one of those horror cues I feel crawling on my skin and I am glad the light is on.

The thing is my favorite kind of horror scores ae the ones that also incorporate dreamy innocent sequences, moments when I feel I could get attached to a character, moments of blissful illusion such as “Marital bliss”. I need a cue with this kind of atmosphere and this score gets yet another hook in me. I hear a lot in this theme and it makes me imagine things, scenes and a darkness I know and love. I love the hide and seek game between melodic suspense and pure scary stuff like “Escape”. The composer keeps me interested and the score is alive. Not only is it alive but it’s coming after me and I need to look over my shoulder.

I am more drawn to the dreamy cues and motifs. I adore a cue like “Genine”; the flute just warms my heart and if this cue was a woman it would be a very intriguing and attractive one: there’s the apparent innocence and then we get the shadows on top of that, the look that says something is hidden deep inside her. That’s how this cue is constructed and it’s my favorite from the entire score. Sadness plays with innocence and I can’t let it go.

“Secrets of a psychopath” is a wonderful musical tale of deception and appearances. I am not ashamed to admit that it made me think of James Newton Howard in a few instances. This score also made me think of a music box long forgotten on a table in a hidden room of a dark castle, a music box that stopped time right at the moment when innocence was lost and turned into something much darker.

Cue rating: 89 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 22 / 53

Album excellence: 41%

Highlights:

Prelude

Playtime Murder

Marital Bliss

Escape

Genine

Georgette

Shocking

Memories

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).

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment