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Soundtrack review: Kiss the devil in the dark (Gerrit Wunder – 2017)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Kiss the devil in the dark (Gerrit Wunder – 2017)

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“Kiss the Devil in the Dark” tells the story of Marcus (Dameon Clarke), a powerful sorcerer who is desperate to save his dying wife, makes a deal with the demon Dagon (Doug Jones) to save her soul. Dagon, however, has more in mind for Marcus than just a simple exchanging of souls. With seemingly no other choice, Marcus accepts, thus catapulting him into a series of events that will reveal to all involved the very meaning of betrayal. The music was written by Gerrit Wunder.

The opening cue is impressive, there is no other word for it; it’s a bold, gothic horror cue complete with choirs and Gerrit Wunder has got my attention. This is how a fantasy horror score should sound like. The next cue is a love theme “Let her live” where the cello comes above a waltz undertone that fits very well with the horror idea since in a lot of horror films there is a creepy waltz of creatures or women or demons. I am loving this score and “Dragged to hell / titles” only makes it better with a loud, thundering statement of horror. I hadn’t heard of Gerrit Wunder until now but he has got my attention with this spectacular start. There are different ways to write a horror score and my favourite is this one, the fantasy one, loud, bold, without limits, the gothic kind that makes me think of stone castles and rooms and tragedies. The sound reminds me of Woijchieh Killar’s “Dracula”.

“Vanessa” is another fantasy dance where the string section and the choirs lure me into this strange world. This is the kind of score that keeps me hooked for the duration and it’s one of those rare cases where I am sorry that the album lasts only half an hour; I understand this is the length of the movie actually so there as no way to get more. I like the chimes and the choirs and everything about this score works very well.

There are some quieter moments as well but the stormy cues are my favourites. I like it how Gerrit Wunder pulls no stops and has no fear to write this kind of music. It’s not a scary score but it’s a fascinating musical fantasy that makes me think like I am right in the middle of the action, fighting with sorcerers and all sorts of creatures. There is a mix of instruments that work together very well and the composer also introduces short solo motifs every now and then, be they violin or piano, little gems that represent the warm core of the album.

“Kiss the devil in the dark” was a very nice surprise for me and Gerrit Wunder is definitely on my radar from now on. Luckily there is another album of his on this MSM release so I can get to know him better. If your are in the mood for a great fantasy score, look no further as this one hits all the marks.

Cue rating: 91 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 15 / 30

Album excellence: 51%

Highlights:
Opening
Let Her Live
Dragged to Hell / Titles
Vanessa
To the Last Man
Love Is a Lie
I’ll Come Back for Them
End Credits

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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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