Carl is on hand with his recommendations of the best soundtracks to listen to whilst in lockdown
To help beat the coronavirus blues, for the foreseeable future, members of team Future of the Force will be on hand with our recommendations of awesome soundtracks to listen to during the COVID-19 lockdown. Whether its lesser-known gems, Oscar-winning classics or just celebrating the best composers – we’ll be here to give you our top picks during this difficult time.
Halloween (2018) | By John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter And Daniel Davies
Everyone knows I ADORE the original 1978 ‘Halloween‘. It is one of my favourite films of all time. Don’t ask me to explain it, just accept it. But a large part of my love for the film has to do with the score to the film. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The score is a vital part of what makes the film scary. And the opening title, although pretty simple in its inception is one of the greatest pieces of film music ever created. It just fits the film so well. In 1981, the music underwent a change as it went a bit more high tech from its basic but brilliant original form as Carpenter and Alan Howarth evolved the music for ‘Halloween II‘. The main theme was reinterpreted by Howarth for the fourth, fifth and sixth films in the series while John Ottman for ‘Halloween H20‘ and Danny Lux for ‘Halloween: Resurrection‘ brought their own versions to the table. Lux’s version was a great attempt at reproducing the score with a modern twist, way better than Howarth’s solo efforts. Ottman made a valiant attempt at making the score his own but nothing could compare to Carpenter and his original composition. Tyler Bates tried a different take on the material in the Rob Zombie pair of films which was ok but the films were terrible.
Two years ago, John Carpenter returned to the fold and delivered, alongside his son Cody and Daniel Davies a new score for the reboot of the franchise. And the master once again delivered a score that, while not coming close to his original masterpiece, blew every other interpretation out of the water, bringing the score up to date with a modern twist while still retaining the scariness and threat of the original film and its score. The score came out in 2018 and I eagerly bought it and listened to it with religious fervour as any devotee of the franchise did. And then last year, the score was re-issued in an expanded version, at first on vinyl but then made its bow onto a CD. And of course, I snapped it up instantly. And I’m glad I did as It contains the entire score to Michael Myers and his brilliant return into theatres and my life. The main theme is a strong staple throughout the score but both Carpenters and Davies add a strong and somewhat different approach to the film with their music for it.
The expanded edition adds a lot of the small pieces of music that appear in the film and were omitted from the original release to great effect. Pieces including ‘Aaron meets Michael‘ and ‘Babysitter Aftermath‘ are among the twenty-four additions to the score release. It is everything that a soundtrack and score collector could ever want. Fitting alongside the expanded version of the original score and the deluxe edition of the music of the first sequel, this brings to life the events which we see on screen. Laurie Strode gets a new theme at first before her original theme makes a welcome return, the shape’s stalking theme makes itself welcome once again and many more of the classic cues get in on the act alongside the new music, cues and themes that the film employs. All are now finally available here for the completionists amongst us, myself included. And boy, it is a delight to have in a collection. I actually own EVERY expanded score for EVERY Halloween film including the ones I really think are extremely lacking but they need to be in a collection. They fit alongside lesser-known scores or horror film scores to sequels that I own that although a worthy of a purchase for a completionists collection are somewhat lacking.
This release though fits in nicely alongside the original films score, the ‘Halloween II‘ score and the original scores for such classic horror films such as ‘Psycho‘, ‘Poltergeist‘ and the original Charles Bernstein score for ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street‘. These are the scores I put on late at night, on my iPod, turn off the lights and allow myself to drift away into the nightmares they contain within their motifs and notes. But this expanded score to the 2018 reboot of my favourite horror franchise is one that I listen to on a regular basis. It is loud, scary but utterly enthralling and I cannot get enough of it. If you feel the need to allow Michael Myers and his new score to petrify you, grab this expanded version and drift away into an enjoyable Halloween nightmare.
Stay safe and look after each other.
Let us know if you have any suggestions of great soundtracks our readers should check out and we’ll feature and share them with the FOTF community.
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Staff Writer and Books and Literature Correspondent for Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter @CarlRoberts2 where he uses the force frequently!