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Soundtrack review: Jeepers creepers 3 (Andrew Morgan Smith – 2017)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Jeepers creepers 3 (Andrew Morgan Smith – 2017)

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Written and directed by who wrote the first two as well, Jeepers Creepers 3 is finally unleashed fourteen years after the last adventure of the notorious flesh-consuming monster. The story of the third episode is actually set between the first and second film as Sergeant Davis Tubbs (Davis Tubbs) assembles a task force to destroy the Creeper once and for all the while growing closer than ever before to learning the secrets of its dark origins, as the monster terrorises a local farming community. After so many years of slumber, The Creeper is back. I haven’t watched the first two movies and I won’t watch this one either because of the despicable nature of the director but I am listening to the music; after two very good scores by Bennett Salvay it’s time for a new composer, Andrew Morgan Smith to take over.

The score opens right in the middle of the action with “Field chase and the truck” as the composer wastes no time in setting up his dark atmosphere with a cue that combines creepy suspense with straight up action. The opening motif is a bit deceiving as I would have preferred that frantic mood for the duration of the cue instead of just tension. In a horror score it’s very important to make the tension more than only mysterious or I get out of the mood; “The scent of fear” should have made the hairs on the back of my head stand up but it’s too quiet for me; the motif in the middle section is scary enough but it’s dropped too quickly. There are moments inside every cue that show the potential of the score or the composer, moments like the beginning of “The team” when the pounding darkness makes me feel uneasy and makes the terror almost palpable. There’s also a nice little love motif in “Gaylen and Kenny” that’s quite sad.

Quite often though in the first half of the score the atmosphere isn’t intense enough to count as a rewarding horror score; the tension is there for sure, Andrew Morgan Smith does a good job in creating the texture but when the music gets louder is more heavy action oriented than scary. Take “Abandoned vehicle” which has some captivating action sequences with brass and percussion but doesn’t count for me as a horror cue. Still I can’t complain since I am enjoying the music. I prefer rich orchestral music to electronic sounds on a score like this.

“Jeepers creepers 3” left me with mixed feelings because it was uneven: the first half was so and so why the second half went full horror and worked really well; I got the strange sensation during a cue like “The farm” that it would have worked very well on a suspenseful TV show like “Lost” or “The walking dead” instead of a movie, I can’t explain why. This scores ends up on the better side of 2017 both as action and horror and I can safely say that I will be paying attention to Andrew Morgan Smith’s next compositions because I am surely I will be hearing about him. I would say you should listen to “The farm” as a representative cue from this score and that the best thing about the album was how dense and heavy the music was in the louder moments.

Cue rating: 86 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 18 / 45

Album excellence: 39%

Highlights:
The Team
Abandoned Vehicle
The Farm
Highway Chase
Back Outside

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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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