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Soundtrack review: The void (various artists – 2017)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: The void (various artists – 2017)

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“The Void” is a 2016 Canadian Lovecraftian horror film written and directed by Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie, and produced by Jonathan Bronfman and Casey Walker. When police officer Carter discovers a blood-soaked man limping down a deserted road, he rushes him to a local hospital with a bare bones, night shift staff. As cloaked, cult-like figures surround the building, the patients and staff inside start to turn ravenously insane. Trying to protect the survivors, Carter leads them into the depths of the hospital where they discover a gateway to immense evil. The score was written by an ensemble composer team: Jeremy Gillespie, Blitz/Berlin, Menalon & Brian Wiacek.

It’s not often that the director of the movie features on the score but it always means that those cues show precisely his musical vision for the movie. If the opening cue “Nowhere” is very uncomfortable and hard to listen to the next one “Starless night / The void” is a beautiful electronic melody that I instantly connect with. This kind of cue eases me better into the scary atmosphere that this team of composers lay in front of me; Brian Wiacek continues with the horror mood that Jeremy Gillespie started with. It’s quite and dense horror, the kind that makes me think of Zombie movies more than monster movies because it moves slow. Even if there are at least four different composers on this score the music feels very organic and coherent and I imagine this is the influence of the director. The first Menalon cue “The shape” creeps and shrieks up walls and scares me more than the atmospheric pieces.

The first Blitz/Berlin cue, “A hole in the world” (shoutout to all “Angel” fans out there since this is the title of one of the best and most emotional episodes of the series) is finally a longer one that has time to develop and scare the living hell out of me with a slow start followed by an insane middle section where things crawl and pound and why am I turning up the volume for this one? Probably because I am a sucker for efficient and suffocating horror cues and this one hits all the marks as its complex and scary.

There are some strange moments in this score as in very very short cues, 10 or 20 seconds long and they don’t make much sense, not even as scary inserts. But I don’t dwell too much on them because the score as a whole works very well. It’s pulsating and relentless in its pursuit to weave a veil of thick, dense terror that doesn’t take any breaks for the duration of the score. I am sure that a score like this, so enjoyable as a standalone listen, works even better in the context of a film I will definitely watch. If I were to choose I would say that I enjoyed the Blitz/Berlin cues the most since they explored darkness even deeper than the other composers. All in all if you want an atmospheric horror score you will get your fix with this one.

Cue rating: 82 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 21 / 60

Album excellence: 35%

Highlights:
Starless Night / The Void (Jeremy Gillespie)
The Shape (Menalon)
A Hole in the World (Blitz//Berlin)
The Axe (Blitz//Berlin & Brian Wiacek)
Sacrifices (Blitz//Berlin)
A Small Hope (Blitz//Berlin)
Place of Worship / Configuration (Menalon)
Run Like Hell (Blitz//Berlin)
Aftermath / Last Hope (Blitz//Berlin)

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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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