Film scores

Soundtrack review: The curse of the Sleeping Beauty (Scott Glasgow – 2016)

curseofsleepingbeauty

“The Curse of Sleeping Beauty” is an entirely new, dark vision of the classic Brothers Grimm adventure. Thomas Kaiser inherits an ancestral mansion that has been in his family for generations, only to learn that he has also inherited an ancient curse stemming back to the Crusades. Forced into his new role as “protector”, the guardian appointed to keep the evil demons in the house at bay, Thomas must unravel the mystery of the house, while struggling to awaken the beautiful Briar Rose, held captive in a terrifying netherworld seen previously in his dreams. The score was written by Scott Glasgow.

I know this might be a strange word to read in a review about a dark horror score, but I am delighted by this score. I love the dark veil that welcomes me from the first moment with the gothic instrumentations and the haunting vocals that in the same time attract me to this world. I know the voices spell curses and I know there are demons inside but the power of the music is just too big to resist. This score is like a huge haunted castle that I can’t help but want to explore once I am past the gates. This is the right sound for a movie about an evil haunted house. I feel claustrophobic as I hear shrieks from the dark and I know that there are boundaries even if I don’t see them.

I love the emotion and melody of “Thomas’ world”. Music box sounds are right at home in a score like this to show the last shred of innocence. It’s a light I see among veils of velvet. “Linda” is an event better theme with the strings that hit me straight in the heart. This is the very definition of a haunting and memorable theme. These two pieces for me are the warm core of a cold and terrifying score. The gothic cathedral feeling weighs on me and the score feels out of time and out of this earth.

The cues aren’t really separated or disjointed; the entire album flows like a unitary story, like a mural painting that shows instruments, both regular and exotic, from various cultures and periods. “Curse of the Sleeping Beauty” is a live museum of musical experiments and I’m always happy to discover sounds that sound real and natural and are actually made by instruments and not sound effects. Scott Glasgow uses things like an Aztec death flute or a Tibetan Kangling, both sinister in sound, to give the score an even creepier feel. I can only imagine how hearing those instruments in real life must feel like.

“Curse of the Sleeping Beauty” is a beautiful and rich musical tapestry that unfolds more and more as the music progresses. It’s a score that will definitely stand out. Complete with some of the best and most haunting vocal sections I’ve heard this year, Scott Glasgow wrote a composition that’s as rewarding as it is believable. I felt the music right to my bones and I must admit I got a little addicted to this sound. The music focuses both on the external atmosphere as well as on the intimate feelings of the characters and this duality makes it work and places it as one of the most entertaining scores I’ve heard lately.

Cue rating: 92 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 34 / 61

Album excellence: 55%

Highlights:

The Curse of Sleeping Beauty

The Chamber

Thomas’ World

Linda

Mysterious Inheritance

Moon Cypher

Kaiser Garden Research

Somnium III

The Jinn

Connections

Confront the Demon

Dies Irae

Thomas’ Theme

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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