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Soundtrack review: Our house (Mark Korven – 2018)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Our house (Mark Korven – 2018)

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“Our house” is a 2018 movie. A machine that can bring back dead loved ones seems like a great idea…until you unleash the wrong spirits. When his parents are killed in a car accident, science wiz Ethan (Thomas Mann) must leave behind college and his girlfriend (Nicola Peltz) to care for his younger brother and sister. By day, he juggles the responsibilities of raising two kids; by night, he tinkers in the garage on an invention he hopes will change the world: a machine that can generate wireless electricity. He gets more than he bargained for, however, when the device awakens the dead souls that haunt the house. As Ethan and his siblings attempt to make contact with their parents, a horrifying realization sets in: not all the spirits in their midst may be friendly. This hair-raising science-fiction ghost story is a nightmare journey into a past that refuses to stay dead and buried. Mark Korven wrote the score.

I remember I enjoyed Mark Korven’s previous horror score for “The witch”. There have been so many horror movies in the past few years that there are barely any places left for composers to go with their sound to bring something new or exciting. So most of the times when I go into a horror score these days I am a bit worried that I might run into a generic sound. It’s not the case here, fortunately and Mark Korven goes for something different. As soon as the score starts I get a misty menacing ambient piece, an electronic action cue and a warm and melodic, also electronic, quiet track. I like that the composer goes for electronic because I love electronic music and this makes the score easier to enjoy for me. This hybrid of electronic and ambient works for me. A cue like “The staircase” brings the tension and the ambient electronic passages make it feel dreamy in the same time.

The atmosphere of this score is hypnotic; the ambient electronic cues are dense and dreamy. This is the kind of score that I just get lost in, reflective mood at its best most of the time with sparse sounds and a minimalistic approach. The scary parts are very cleverly written as they are also minimalistic, sneaking from afar, biting and then going back out. I feel as if I am listening to the score of a Sci-fi exploration computer game when I’m alone on a planet and I am discovering everything about it. I know this is as far away as possible from the plot of the movie but this is what the music tells me.

Between the long ambient passages and the rare sudden scares, “Our house” is a very nice surprise. Almost allegorical in sound, it’s a fresh and different approach that worked very well. It’s been a while since I got my ambient electronic fix while also enjoying a creepy horror score. Give this one a listen.

Cue rating: 78 / 100

Highlights:
06 Shoes
09 The Haunting
15 Alice
22 Becca In Van
26 Release

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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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