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Soundtrack review: I still see you (Bear McCreary – 2018)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: I still see you (Bear McCreary – 2018)

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“I Still See You” is a 2018 American thriller film, directed by Scott Speer, from a screenplay by Jason Fuchs. It is based upon the novel Break My Heart 1000 Times, by Daniel Waters. It stars Bella Thorne, Dermot Mulroney and Richard Harmon. Ten years after an apocalyptic event left the world haunted by ghosts, Roni (Thorne) receives a threatening message from beyond the grave. Joining forces with a mysterious classmate, Kirk, Roni descends into a shadow world that blurs the bounds of the living and the dead-and begins a desperate race against time to stop a cunning killer. Bear McCreary wrote the score.

This is the kind of project a composer like Bear should nail with his eyes closed, so to speak. The score opens with “Theme from I still see you” and I realise that you don’t see a lot of movie scores lately where a cue is actually identified as the main theme without us having to guess or discover it. It’s a nice and expected fantasy like piece, with ghostly choirs and sound effects that make me think of storms and electric crackles. The last Bear score I had heard before this was “Hell fest” which was far from enjoyable so the misty and deserted apocalyptic tones I hear in this one are more than welcomed. There’s mystery, there’s haunting strings, there’s some hint of fairy tale fantasy music with a bit of flute so the soundscape is much more appealing than the actual setting of the movie. The choral passages work very well for ghost stories and things are no different here. It’s a familiar sound that you’ve heard many times before but it’s pleasant to listen to.

There is a surprising warmth about the music of “I still see you” as if this time Bear decided to focus on characters and emotions rather than haunting and killing. “Ice skating” is a melodic piece for strings and piano that makes me think of a very beautiful story. There are tracks where the vocal parts are more proeminet and it’s the contribution of Aeone. I also like how natural this sound can morph into horror with just a slightly different orchestration of the strings, without dropping the choral work or the misty atmosphere.

The second part of the score includes three very long cues around 7-8 minutes long the first of which, “Backlight”, is livelier, more electronic based and the kind of cue I am sure I would enjoy more with the support of the movie images. “Darkness falls” reprises the main theme and keeps building on that velvety dramatic texture that does remind me a bit of older horror movie scores when the composers still focused on melodies.

“I still see you” is a surprisingly dutiful and melodic suspense composition from Bear McCreary who set aside his experiments and sonic shocks and went for a mostly old school orchestral texture that was very pleasant to the ears. I enjoyed listening to this musical story which was more drama than thriller.

Cue rating: 86 / 100

Highlights:
Ice Skating
Darkness Falls
The City of Ghosts
A Thousand Times
Dance Beneath the Ice (feat. Aeone)

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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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