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Soundtrack review: Cooties (Kreng – 2015)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Cooties (Kreng – 2015)


“Cooties” is a 2015 American independent horror comedy film directed by Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott, written by Ian Brennan and Leigh Whannell. The film stars Elijah Wood, Alison Pill, Rainn Wilson, Jack McBrayer and Jorge Garcia. A mysterious virus hits an isolated elementary school, transforming the kids into a feral swarm of mass savages. An unlikely hero must lead a motley band of teachers in the fight of their lives. The score is written by Belgian musician Kreng.

The nature of the composer makes me think of an interesting, trailer like score. The “Opening titles” are not your usual film music track and give me hope for what follows. This sounds like a composer who has a very wild imagination and isn’t constrained by anything. He establishes very well the tone of the score as well as the movie with this choral / vocal insanity and dissonant piano sounds.

My hopes get even higher when I hear “You are so fucking ugly” because it’s a synth theme ad you already know that’s my favorite thing to hear. It’s a rare thing to hear on this score though but this doesn’t mean the music isn’t interesting. Kreng mixes various sounds and sound effects and comes up with a very enjoyable composition. I like experimental music and this one is right at the border. Some of the cues are prepostreus (I’m looking at you “Mr. Simms attacked”) but they are so much fun. And then there’s “Oh, look, Carnage” where the strings act as chainsaws while the other sounds play like drills. I am not kidding, just listen to that cue. Listen to it at a very high volume and you will enjoy it even more, if musical carnage is your thing.

I welcome the most atmospheric piece from this score in the eerie and creepy “The playground”. I can almost see an abandoned playground covered in a dangerous mist. Then there are echoes of a band which plays without any tone or melody, in tune with the general feel of this chaotic score. Imagine “Cooties” like an attic nobody visited in years. You will find in there family photos…rats…toys… some in good shape, others broken and looking grotesque. You will find a couple of music boxes very different and one of them will work the other one will be broken and will sound strange. You will find cobwebs and even some places where the light shines differently and gives a strange glow to certain areas. There’s beauty, there’s chaos, there’s madness and this is one very interesting score.

Cue rating: 81 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 12 / 46

Album excellence: 25%


Oh Look, Carnage!

The Playground

Dink’s Death


End credits


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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