Film scores

Soundtrack review: Cub (Steve Moore – 2015)

cub

“Cub” (original title: Welp) is a 2014 Belgian horror movie and the feature film directorial debut of Jonas Govaerts. Funds for Cub were partially raised through an IndieGoGo campaign and the film had its world premiere on 10 September 2014 at the Toronto International Film Festival.Filming took place during 2013 and stars Maurice Luijten as Sam, a young boy that goes on a camping trip with his fellow Cub Scouts, only to fall afoul of a bloodthirsty poacher. The score was written by Steve Moore.

Whenever a horror score starts I’m excited to find out what kind of path the composer will take. Horror movie music is a dark forest with many twists and turns and the results can be very different. Steve more opens with electronic horror, the kind that worked so well in the original “Terminator”. One cue in “Cub” and I am already feeling stings of nostalgia. Could this be a gem that brings back the 80s sound?

The second cue “Casselroque” comes and the sound is still there. It’s like I am watching a separate scene which takes place in the same time as the first Terminator. The same metallic and unforgiving darkness, the same simple and electric sound that never slows down its pace as it comes, threatening and implacable. Steve Moore’s music isn’t mean to give you sudden and temporary scares; this is not that kind of horror. No, this is meant to drape the listener in a thick blanket of fear that is there to stay. “Cub” slowly weaves its web of terror with patience and the certitude that the prey will not escape.

I am sucked into this world and I feel cold and excited in the same time. There is nothing but thick darkness in here and if you are in the mood for that you will get your fix. For me this score was extraordinary because it is the closest thing I’ve heard to the iconic, original Terminator by Brad Fiedel. I missed that atmosphere which I thought unique and now 30 years later we get a score that takes us back in time to that exact moment. At least that’s what it does to me and it’s so efficient it scared me more than any other horror score this year for bringing back the past and its vision of a bleak future..

Cue rating: 93 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 22 / 38

Album excellence: 58%

Highlights:

Intro & Credits

Casselroque

Arrival

The Treehouse

Sam vs. Kai

Finale

 

 

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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