Music From… Evil Dead Review

For anyone who’s not familiar with the original Evil Dead film, the remake will probably be a treat… or a terror. This blood-drenched horror extravaganza is, in my opinion, an instant classic, even if it is a remake. The score, I’m happy to say, has the gravitas to match. The composer, Roque Banos, has put the “score” back in film score, opting for a symphony using (gasp!) actual musicians.

Not being a big fan of horror films, I was only remotely familiar with the original Evil Dead. I knew that it involved demonic possession, a very evil book, and lots and lots of gore. I personally think this unfamiliarity actually made for a better viewing because I didn’t go in with any expectations. I don’t want to ruin the film for anyone so my synopsis will be very brief. You can go here(insert link) for a more detailed review of the film. The short version: Possessed drug addicts make for very nasty demons, then everybody dies… Almost.

Now to the score.

After the surprisingly intense opening sequence we hear a few gentle piano notes. From that point forward I knew the score was going to be really, really good. A slightly deranged Eric Satie was the first thing that I thought of and that short piano sequence set the tone for the rest of the film.

While watching the film it’s hard to catch all of the very subtle details that Banos has put in the score. If anything, listening to the score while watching the film made me think this was a standard horror soundtrack. To be fair, there IS a lot of screaming, banging, hissing, stabbing, yelling… well you get the idea. A separate listening with headphones presents a very lush, intense, and somewhat disconcerting experience. If there is one thing that the composer does very well, it is his use of the voice. There are some pretty scary chants in a few parts of the film that are Latin phrases taken from “legit” sources. Don’t worry, none of them are going to invoke any demons, but since most people don’t speak Latin they do sound somewhat otherworldly.

While we are handing out compliments I would have to give Banos another one for his lack of percussion. The temptation to go percussion crazy and bang on every kind of surface known to man must’ve been strong at some places. Banos resisted nicely. The last high point I’ll mention is his string arrangements. He’s known in Spain for romance and drama film composition and the reason why shows in these few bright spots of the film. I would liken it to a shaft of light breaking thru the clouds on an otherwise stormy day.

If you are looking for a good listen that can jar you out of your day-to-day this one is for you. One recommendation though, listen to it with the lights on.

Keep your ears open,
Chad Taylor 

Here is a sample of the Soundtrack, found on YouTube.

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Other articles written by Chad Taylor

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The Official Evil Dead Trailer – In Theaters Now!

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