Tag Archives: film

Soundtrack News: Lamb’ Soundtrack Available Now from Milan Records

Milan Records has released LAMB (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK) an album of music composed by Icelandic composer and guitarist TÓTI GUÐNASON for A24’s newest folk thriller. Available everywhere now, the album features score music written by Guðnason for the terrifying debut feature from writer-director Valdimar Jóhannsson set in the Icelandic wilds.

Having worked alongside his sister Hildur Guðnadóttir on her Oscar®-winning original score for Joker and with Ólafur Arnalds on his BAFTA-winning soundtrack to Broadchurch, Tóti Guðnason makes his debut as lead composer with Lamb. A dark and unnatural folktale for the ages, Lamb is available in theaters now from A24.

Lamb was initially intended to be completely without a score, and I feel that is a humbling starting point for a composer,” says Tóti Guðnason of his work on the film. “Growing up in the north of Iceland I’m very familiar with the feeling of rural silence. That feeling is extraordinarily well portrayed by Valdimar Jóhannsson in Lamb and I did my best to play into it while respecting it. My responsibility was to create something more fitting than silence, and silence can be the greatest of sounds.” 

LAMB (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK)

TRACKLISTING –

  1. Prelude
  2. The Lambing
  3. Searching for Ada
  4. Return Home 
  5. Mothers
  6. Reflection
  7. Hrútur
  8. Uncle Pétur
  9. Herding
  10. Ada
  11. Hrútmenni
  12. DÝRIÐ

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My Thoughts on: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

After making my way through the misfit Halloween III: Season of the Witch, I was more than ready to get back to the story of Michael Myers with the aptly named Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and I was not disappointed. Released six years after Halloween III, Halloween 4 moves the focus to Jamie (Danielle Harris), the young daughter of Laurie Strode (and by extension Michael’s niece) who is struggling to live with her foster family, as she suffers from constant nightmares of Michael, though she doesn’t realize it’s him as yet.

Michael conveniently escapes the day before Halloween and makes his way back to Haddonfield once he learns that he has a niece. Pursuing him along the way is Dr. Loomis, now badly scarred after suffering burns due to the conclusion of Halloween II (a nice continuity touch). There’s a noticeable difference to Loomis in this film, compared to his appearances in Halloween and Halloween II. While he was always obsessed with Michael to a certain degree, starting with this film Loomis becomes noticeably vengeful too. This is no longer a case of a doctor wanting to save the world from his incurably evil patient, now Loomis is distinctly obsessed with killing Michael to remove his evil from the world. That, combined with the scars, makes Loomis a little frightening in his own right.

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the focus of Halloween moving to Jamie, a young girl. But Danielle Harris’ performance in this film is quite good, not least because she reacts to Michael exactly the way you’d expect a little kid too: with fear, terror and a lot of screaming. Speaking of, those screams practically broke my heart. It also left me completely unprepared for how the film would end (more on that in a little while).

I’ve read multiple times that people don’t like Michael’s mask in Halloween 4, but I confess I don’t see the problem with it. It’s clearly established that this is a different mask from the one he had before (he stole it from that store Jamie was in), so naturally it’s going to have a different look. It was certainly scary enough for me, I had no problem believing that was Michael Myers.

Then there’s the ending of the film and THAT final scene with Jamie. Considering it’s been over a year since I saw the original Halloween, I’d forgotten the significance of Jamie wearing a clown costume for trick or treating as young Michael wore something similar when he killed his older sister. If you make the connection back to the original film, it provides a frightening bit of foreshadowing for the horror that will come in the film’s closing moments. I particularly liked how Halloween 4 pays homage to the first film’s opening scene by giving us a POV through mask holes. And that last image of Jamie….that will remain burned in my brain for years to come, and I KNEW the scene existed! Being easily frightened, I review a summary of each Halloween film before I watch it so I’m not overwhelmed by the kills or jump scares, so I knew exactly how Halloween 4 ends. But even though I knew, it didn’t stop the ending from giving me an emotional gut punch that left me sitting stunned through the credits. That is the sign of a good film, when you know how it ends but it still gets to you anyway.

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) Directed by Dwight H. Little Shown: George P. Wilbur

The original Halloween is still the best in the series, but dare I say it, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers is not far behind. This is definitely one of my favorite films in the series and it left me eager to move on to Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (though in hindsight I shouldn’t have been that eager).

Let me know what you think about Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Halloween (1978)

My Thoughts on: Halloween II (1981)

My Thoughts on: Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

My Thoughts on: Halloween (2018)

My Thoughts on: Halloween Kills (2021)

Film Reviews

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My Thoughts on: Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

I’ll admit to being more than a little leery about watching Halloween III: Season of the Witch. This film’s reputation precedes it, and I’ve known for years that this is considered the “weird one” of the franchise, not least because it’s the only Halloween film to not feature Michael Myers. This is because John Carpenter had it in mind to turn Halloween in to an anthology series, with each film covering something different, but still connected to Halloween. Well that backfired because by then Michael Myers had become such a popular villain that audiences rejected a Halloween film without him in it, though it has since gained a cult following.

With that in mind, I was fully prepared to be disappointed by Halloween III: Season of the Witch, but it turns out it’s not all that bad.

Halloween III, unlike the previous entries, takes place in California. The whole story revolves around a mysterious toy company, the Silver Shamrock company, a set of popular Halloween masks they’re selling, and a vast conspiracy revolving around a “big giveaway” the company is promoting for Halloween night. Dr. Challis (Tom Atkins) gets mixed up in everything when one of his patients is mysteriously killed and soon finds himself in over his head as Halloween night ticks ever closer.

It is so hard to think of this movie as a Halloween movie because Michael isn’t present. The iconic Halloween theme isn’t there either, which makes it really hard to think of this film as belonging to the franchise. The story itself is also really strange: it doesn’t quite know if it’s fantasy horror or sci-fi horror and it really tries to be both, which doesn’t work at all. That being said, Conal Cochran makes for a satisfying villain, one with truly nefarious intentions once the story begins to unfold.

Cochran’s plot may be weird, with multiple references to the supernatural, but once it’s demonstrated exactly what Cochran wants to DO, that’s when the true horror kicked in for me. Yeah, I’m talking about THAT scene with Buddy and his family. I wasn’t truly horrified until that moment happened, and I already knew the scene existed (I never go into a Halloween film blind, I’m too chicken). What really gets me is that this is children Cochran wants to do this too, and in a sense that makes him somewhat worse than Michael. Because sure, Michael goes after teenagers, but Cochran is targeting young children, something Michael (to that point) hadn’t really done in the previous two films (I know this changes in Halloween 4 and 5 but at this point those movies hadn’t happened yet).

I will say that the ending of Halloween III bothers me. Not that the ending is left ambiguous, I get why that was done. I just don’t buy the TV stations removing the commercial from the air simply because Dr. Challis begged them to. There’s no reason for the stations to listen to Challis, who by this point is raving to the point of insanity (with good reason given everything that’s happened). Also, I find it a little hard to believe that he wouldn’t call home and at least get his own children to take their Silver Shamrock masks off before time ran out.

One other plot point I don’t understand is what happens to Ellie. Maybe I’m missing the point but what purpose does her horrible fate serve? Oh sure, it’s a terrifying reveal, but why do it at all? Unless…well I do have a theory about that. Cochran did admit earlier in the story that he “loves a good joke.” And wouldn’t it be the biggest joke of all for Challis to think he’d managed to “save/get the girl” only to find out it was all for naught? That’s the only possible explanation I can think of, because otherwise the moment doesn’t really work for me (I also feel it went on several beats too long).

I’m glad I made it through Halloween III, but I will admit to being more than ready to getting back to the story of Michael Myers starting with Halloween 4.

Let me know what you think about Halloween III: Season of the Witch in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Halloween (1978)

My Thoughts on: Halloween II (1981)

My Thoughts on: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

My Thoughts on: Halloween (2018)

My Thoughts on: Halloween Kills (2021)

Film Reviews

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My Thoughts on: Halloween II (1981)

After gingerly making my way through Halloween (2018) and Halloween Kills (2021), I decided I might as well go for it and make my way through the rest of the Halloween movies. And as I’ve already seen the original Halloween (albeit last year), that meant my starting point would be Halloween II, the no-longer-canon sequel to the original Halloween film. Halloween II picks up immediately where the original film left off, and finds a traumatized Laurie Strode still pursued by Michael Myers, with the action now moved to Haddonfield’s local hospital.

Given how terrified I was by the first Halloween film, I was a little nervous going in to Halloween II. But I shouldn’t have worried, as there is a noticeable drop in terror between the first Halloween film and Halloween II. Which isn’t to say that Halloween II isn’t scary, it definitely is, but it’s not as scary as the first film, which so far bears out what others have told me about this franchise, namely that the first film is the best and it all went downhill from there.

Although as I said, Halloween II does have it’s fair share of scary moments, it just takes a while….a LONG while….for things to get interesting. Everything that happens before Michael shows up at the hospital is, well, to be honest it’s a little dull. In fact, up until a certain point, I was fully prepared to state that I was completely bored by this movie. But then Michael showed up at the hospital and things got interesting in a hurry.

The kills and scares once Michael gets to the hospital are more than a little gruesome, especially THAT scene with the therapeutic hot tub. The one big disappointment I have with the kills though is that we don’t see how the one head nurse meets her demise. Oh sure, we see the bloody aftermath, and it looks gruesome, but I want to see how she got into that position to begin with. Because of all the kills I’ve seen Michael do, that one doesn’t feel like something he would do. It’s too slow, if that makes sense. Michael, as far as I can tell, goes in for a relatively quick kill: stabbing, strangling, scalding to death. All excruciating ways to die, but it’s still relatively quick. Death by bleeding out (unless Michael tapped an artery) is going to take a while. Maybe that’s why the movie doesn’t show that part, because it wouldn’t fit with what we usually see Michael doing when he kills.

I do find it more than a little funny that Michael was able to move throughout the hospital for so long without anyone getting wise to him being there. But then again, this IS a horror movie, and it IS established to be the dead of night, so I won’t nitpick too hard on this point (but it IS funny if you think about it). Oddly enough, I think I liked Donald Pleasance’s performance in the first film better than in this one. Somehow, he just didn’t come across as good this time around.

I know it’s been long since retconned, but I do like the plot point of Laurie being revealed as Michael’s long-lost younger sister. Suddenly Michael’s ongoing obsession with killing Laurie in particular makes total sense. After all, this all started with Michael killing his older sister, it stands to reason he would want to kill his younger sister for the same twisted reasons. Even though it’s no longer canon, I like how the film drops that little bombshell into the mix, and I can only imagine that it got a big gasp out of the audience when it first hit theaters.

One other detail that interested me comes late in the film. Maybe I’m overthinking it, but knowing what I know about the plots about Halloween 4, 5, and 6…is it possible that Michael scrawling “Samhain” on the chalkboard is a tiny bit of foreshadowing for the weird Thorn plot that makes up the plot of 4-6? I don’t know if that’s even possible given the time gap between Halloween II and Halloween 4 but I feel like it could be interpreted that way.

While it’s nowhere near as good as the first film, I did enjoy Halloween II, and I can totally see how it was intended to be the definitive end for Michael’s story (though of course history had other ideas). Onward to Halloween III: Season of the Witch (aka “the weird one” in this franchise)!

Let me know what you think about Halloween II in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Halloween (1978)

My Thoughts on: Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

My Thoughts on: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

My Thoughts on: Halloween (2018)

My Thoughts on: Halloween Kills (2021)

Film Reviews

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Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

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My Thoughts on: The Last Duel (2021)

I was so excited by the idea of The Last Duel. It’s directed by Ridley Scott (he who gave us Gladiator and Alien just to name two), it was based on a true story, and its all-star cast included Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Adam Driver. The 2 1/2 hour run time made me a little antsy, but I’ve sat through long movies before (Avengers: Endgame being the most recent example that I can think of), so I hoped it wouldn’t be an issue. The story, for those not familiar, is based on the true story of when Jean de Carrouges and Jacques Le Gris fought a duel to the death after Carrouges’ wife Marguerite accused Le Gris of raping her. It should be a completely compelling story.

Then I actually went to the movie theater and watched The Last Duel and I left disappointed.

It’s not all bad. At its heart, The Last Duel contains a very important message about rape and being held accountable for one’s actions, even if all the world says you shouldn’t say such things. I can’t fault the film in that regard. I should also say that Jodie Comer and Adam Driver both turn in magnificent performances and the titular duel itself is a thing of beauty to behold. If you make it all the way through the movie to the duel, you will not be dissatisfied.

No, my big issue is with how the film is put together. The story elements are good, they really are, but the way they’re put together…a big chunk of the film comes across like a disjointed mess. One scene will cut to another and it’ll take you a few minutes to realize that years have passed between these two scenes. It’s just not how I would’ve imagined a story like this being told. I thought it would be one big epic like Gladiator and that’s not what we get.

The large scale format of how The Last Duel is told is interesting, I’ll give it that. The story is essentially divided into three perspectives, with each retelling of the story emphasizing (or glossing over) certain story elements based on whose perspective is being shared. It’s the classic Rashomon effect, where we see the same story from multiple perspectives, except that instead of the true outcome being left completely up to the audience to decide, it is subtly hinted that one of the viewpoints is actually the true one.

I think part of my problem is that I misunderstood what this story would be about. The trailers led me to believe that the issue at question was whether or not the rape took place. It sounded like this was going to be strictly a case of “he said/she said” with the truth ultimately left unrevealed.Maybe I should’ve known better given what I read of the real life story before going to see the movie…but that’s what I get for misreading the trailer I suppose.

I can’t in good conscience recommend The Last Duel, but I am curious to see what all of you thought about the film. Let me know in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film Reviews

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My Thoughts on: Halloween Kills (2021)

I have finally done two things I never thought I would do: I have finally gone to see a Halloween film in theaters and I did it at NIGHT. In all seriousness, I had to watch the original Halloween and 2018 Halloween in the daytime because of how freaked out I can get from watching horror movies. I knew I was taking a risk by seeing Halloween Kills at night, but in the end I think it paid off because…I not only survived, I liked it!

For what it’s worth, I enjoyed Halloween Kills and thought it told a good story, though I temper that statement by reminding you all that I have only seen three Halloween films to date: the original, the 2018 continuation, and this film, which is the sequel to the 2018 film. The early reviews hinted that this film was far more brutal than past iterations and they weren’t kidding. There are several moments in Halloween Kills that made my skin crawl, but I can’t say that I was surprised by the uptick in violence. Keep in mind, the 2018 film ends with Michael trapped and left to die in a burning house. You have to imagine he’d be beyond enraged once he escapes, with that increased violence being the major indicator, because otherwise Michael acts the same as always: quiet and aloof right until he goes in for the kill.

And boy does Michael kill in this one. I thought the 2018 film would’ve prepared me for what was to come in Halloween Kills, and while it somewhat helped, I found myself overwhelmed at times by the sheer amount of violence. I could be wrong, but I think Halloween Kills has the highest total body count for a film in this franchise (please correct me if that’s inaccurate). Despite all of the best laid plans (more on that in a moment), people just kept dying and by the end of the film I was more than a little unnerved by the fact that Michael just kept killing. And maybe that’s because, even though I know there’s Halloween Ends to come next year, I really thought that Haddonfield banding together to hunt down Michael would lead to something more conclusive happening. I should’ve known better given what I’ve learned about the Halloween films, but it seemed like a sure thing when the trailers hinted at the town forming a mob for the sole purpose of getting Michael. Surely that would lead to something good, right?

Well…..not exactly. In a moment I wasn’t expecting at all, Halloween Kills has a rather pointed take on the dangers of mob mentality and it leads to the saddest moment in the film in my opinion. The problem with a mob is that, once you get one started, it becomes almost impossible to control, especially if your target isn’t where you think it is. It would’ve been awesome if the mob had gotten to Michael as I thought they would, but I can understand why the film didn’t go that route, it kept things realistic.

If I have one big complaint about Halloween Kills, it’s that we don’t get enough of Laurie Strode. I loved Jamie Lee Curtis in 2018 Halloween, and while she does turn in an excellent performance in Halloween Kills as well, she’s hardly present, though to be fair she IS in the hospital due to the injuries she sustained fighting Michael in the previous film. Based on how the film ends, I think it’s safe to say that we’re going to see a LOT of Laurie in Halloween Ends, but that’s only a guess on my part. I am also now a big fan of Andi Matichak as Allyson, Laurie’s granddaughter. I liked her in the previous film, but she has this great scene with Michael late in the film that solidified her as a favorite for me.

There were a number of scenes I liked in this film, particularly the scenes that paid homage to moments from the original Halloween film. Those worked particularly well because they serve as great easter eggs for those who know the original film, but they also work on their own even if you’d never seen the old films before. I admit to being briefly irritated by the flashbacks to 1978, but looking back I understand the purpose they served in setting up several plot points in the film.

Speaking of those flashbacks, there’s something I noticed in them that I wanted to discuss. As the story flashed back to 1978, I noticed that the film quality changed. The scene literally LOOKS like it was filmed back in the late 1970s. It was a great attention to detail that I really liked. I mean if you’re going to do a flashback, you might as well do it properly, right? There’s one other detail in the 1978 flashbacks that I liked very much but I won’t name what it is because I don’t want to spoil it. All I’ll say is this was a GENIUS way to further tie in Halloween Kills to the original movie and I can’t wait for the making of featurettes so I can find out how they did it.

All of that being said, while I did like Halloween Kills, I can’t help but wonder what the ending means for next year’s Halloween Ends. Because everyone got together to do the one thing that I thought would work to get rid of Michael….and it didn’t work (obviously it didn’t or there wouldn’t be a sequel next year). Which raises a terrifying question in my mind: what if this is a story that doesn’t have a happy ending? What if there truly is no way to get rid of Michael and we learn as much in Halloween Ends? I suppose we’ll have to wait until next year to find out.

I’m so proud of myself for making it through Halloween Kills in theaters and I’m really excited to see what happens next year with Halloween Ends.

Let me know what you think about Halloween Kills in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Halloween (1978)

My Thoughts on: Halloween II (1981)

My Thoughts on: Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

My Thoughts on: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

My Thoughts on: Halloween (2018)

Film Reviews

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

My Thoughts on: Halloween (2018)

A full year after I talked myself into watching the original Halloween (1978) and barely surviving the encounter, I finally summoned up the nerve to watch the 2018 continuation. This film essentially retcons everything that happens after the original Halloween, and while I was initially bummed that this meant that Laurie actually isn’t Michael’s long lost sister, I found I otherwise wasn’t bothered, because good lord almighty this film scared the crap out of me.

I don’t care what anyone says, Halloween (2018) is just as terrifying as the original, maybe even more so. From the moment the film starts, there’s a building tension as you’re just waiting for the moment Michael inevitably gets loose to wreak havoc once again. I really like how, for the bulk of the film, you really can’t see Michael’s real face, even though it takes some time for him to get the mask back on. However, if you know when to look, you can get brief glimpses hear and there, and then as now (because remember he’s briefly unmasked in the original film) it’s unnerving how normal he looks, aside from being blinded in one eye by Laurie of course. But once that mask comes back on…*shudders* I know there are 40 years between this film and the first one, but I swear I can’t tell the difference once the mask is on and that infernal music starts up.

I think the most terrifying moment for me in that entire film is that really long take when Michael starts his killing spree in Haddonfield (with the iconic Halloween theme playing at the same time). Watching Michael seamlessly move from house to house, just killing and wrecking lives as he goes, it feels like we’re just being helplessly pulled along in his wake.

Aside from the havoc involving Michael, which is undoubtedly my favorite part of the film, the part of the film that really pulled me in is everything to do with Laurie’s PTSD from what Michael did to her 40 years ago. This is something that I haven’t really seen covered in a horror film before: what happens to that lone survivor who gets away? Given the brutality in the first film, it’s no wonder Laurie Strode has become what we see in this film: a deeply paranoid woman (albeit a badass one) who is nowhere near recovered from the trauma she endured as a teenager. Jamie Lee Curtis’ performance is completely mesmerizing .

Quick side note: I wanted with all my might to reach through the screen and smack some sense into Laurie’s daughter Karen. I get on some level why Karen resents her mother, but the way the character came across just grated on me.

One other scene I wanted to discuss in this review and that’s THAT scene in the bathroom. I remembered seeing hints of this scene in the previews, back when I was going to be brave and watch this film in theaters (I’m so glad I didn’t, this film would’ve broken me on a big screen) and being completely terrified then. Well let me tell you the bathroom scene in full does not disappoint. The tension is almost painfully thick the moment the door opens and you just KNOW that Michael is in there with his next victim. And once the violence erupts….it just doesn’t stop. The sheer violence in Michael’s actions, it just burns into you.

And then there’s the music, oh god that music….you don’t know how happy I was that the 2018 continuation makes ample use of that iconic theme throughout the film. That, more than all of the easter eggs, really serves to bind this film to the original. Because as soon as you hear that music, that eerie theme, your brain just knows “this is a Halloween movie.” Having heard this music in two Halloween films (so far), I dare to say that this is my favorite horror movie theme, I haven’t heard one yet that instantly sends a cold chill down my spine the way the main theme for Halloween does.

Ultimately I’m glad I finally worked up the nerve to watch the 2018 Halloween. It’s a good continuation of the story, with more than enough easter eggs and nods to the original film to satisfy any fan of the original story.

Let me know what you think about Halloween (2018) in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Halloween (1978)

My Thoughts on: Halloween II (1981)

My Thoughts on: Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

My Thoughts on: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

My Thoughts on: Halloween Kills (2021)

Film Reviews

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

My Thoughts on: Titane (2021)

I am normally content to wait until a movie comes to my local movie theater or, barring that, waiting for a DVD release to see a film I’ve been wanting to see. But when it came to Titane, the second film from director Julia Ducournau…ever since I listened to the film’s soundtrack last week my interest in this film escalated to a near-obsession. So much so, that when I found out Titane was playing at a movie theater 2 1/2 hours away from me, I made arrangements to drive up and see it, I was that eager to see what this film was all about.

After sitting wide-eyed through Titane, I can still feel my brain reeling from what I experienced. I fully admit I don’t understand everything I saw in this film, but I know I liked it.

Titane is set in France and follows a dancer named Alexia who gains some…unusual….tendencies after a skull injury is repaired with a titanium plate as a child (from this we derive the title of the film). I’ve let this film percolate in my brain for close to a week now and to be honest I still can’t adequately put into words what this film is about past that point, and to be honest I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. There’s definitely a message in there about love and acceptance (even if that love comes from an unhealthy place) but it’s all tied together in a story that is extremely twisted and not for the faint of heart. I also can’t help but wonder if there was a metaphor buried in the film about the risks that can come from having unprotected sex, as that’s the only explanation I can come up with for THAT scene (you know the one I mean if you’ve seen the movie) early in the story.

Be assured, Titane is well-named as a body horror film, though it wasn’t quite for the reasons I was expecting. Regardless, there are several moments in this film that will make you feel deeply uncomfortable, though I’m proud to say I only had to look away once. What really surprised me about Titane is this one part in the middle that veered into black comedy. It was a turn that came out of nowhere and isn’t repeated once the moment passes, but for some reason it completely works. Titane as a whole is not a movie that you would think would make you laugh, but this moment did make me laugh, and I liked that the movie was able to do that.

The one part of the film that really surprised me is how the music actually fit in with the film itself. If you’ve seen my soundtrack review for Titane, then you know I imagined the first half of the soundtrack as being set in some twisted, metallic temple, but having seen the film I realize that isn’t quite accurate now. Instead, I realize that the more appropriate description for the first half of the music would be to say that it is set inside Alexia’s mind, showing how empty she is (in more ways than one). It’s only as the story moves forward and develops, and we follow Alexia’s story, that the music fills out. I do stand by my interpretation of the end of the soundtrack though: my image of a twisted cathedral remains intact, especially (minor spoiler warning) if you consider that final scene a subversion of Madonna and Child.

The point is, Titane is one of the best films I’ve seen this year, the fact that I can’t put all of my feelings about it into words doesn’t change that at all. Julia Ducournau is now one of my favorite directors and I can’t wait to see what she creates moving forward (as well as checking out her directorial debut Raw).

Let me know what you think about Titane in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film Reviews

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Soundtrack Review: Titane (2021)

As I’ve been enviously watching the latest film festival lineups from afar, the one film I’ve wanted to see the most out of all of them is Titane, the latest film from director Julia Ducournau. Well, I may have to wait a little longer to see the film itself, but I have been given the opportunity to listen to the film’s soundtrack and I definitely have some thoughts about it.

The soundtrack for Titane was composed by Jim Williams and is available to preorder now and will be available starting today, October 1. The film is the second collaboration between Williams and Ducournau, the duo having worked together on Ducournau’s 2016 feature film debut Raw.

Regarding the music for Titane, Jim Williams had the following to say:

“The score for Titane grows from a short theme for a scene where the protagonist leaves home in startling circumstances…Initially in a contemporary popular music style with a tinge of John Barry, later this was set with metal percussion and male voice choir using the Neapolitan Minor for a scene set in a car. As the film develops the theme takes on an emotional, darker twist.”

And what music it is!! Ever since I heard the premise for Titane, I was eager for any peek, however small, at the film. So when I got the opportunity to preview the soundtrack for Titane, I jumped at the chance.

Let me start by saying that this might not be the type of soundtrack you were expecting for a story like Titane, especially with some of the preview visuals that I’ve seen for the film. In fact, the music starts out so different at the beginning of the soundtrack that I actually double-checked to make sure I was listening to the right audio files. However, as I dove into the music and moved farther in, I realized this unusual music (it’s almost all timpani drums in the beginning) was growing on me. There’s a harsh, almost mechanical feeling to the first half of the soundtrack and given film’s premise that makes total sense.

As near as I can tell, Williams and Ducournau made the decision to center the music around the mechanical aspects of the story, at least in the beginning. There are human elements in the mix to be sure, but they don’t come out until later, presumably as the story is progressing along (this is speculation on my part as I’ve yet to actually see the film). But I’m fascinated by Williams’ decision to focus so much on percussion and drums. You don’t hear a score centered on that kind of sound mix all that often, in fact for me personally I can’t recall hearing anything quite like this before. The mix of drums and some type of gong that dominates the early part of the soundtrack, it all reminds me of a twisted, metal temple; or some type of metallic sacred space. That may sound weird but it’s the best description I can come up with. You almost have to hear the music yourself to even begin to understand it.

Even when the music does shift away from being strictly percussion (one example is “Bathroom Pieta”), the percussive sounds never really go away, they’re always lingering in the background. And I like how the music that’s created during these later tracks (again, “Bathroom Pieta” and also “Belly Oil”) still feels twisted and warped. Everything about this music will feel slightly “off” to your ears and I firmly believe that is by design (again, given the film’s subject matter). You are not meant to feel comfortable listening to this music, I know it left me on edge for the most part.

One final detail that grabbed my attention: I like how the later tracks seem to be leading toward a church-like motif with what sounds like an organ (or at least a synthesized version of one). If the first half of Titane‘s soundtrack is set in a metallic temple, the second half ends up in a cathedral, albeit one equally as twisted as where the music starts in the beginning.

Titane Soundtrack Track Listing

1.Gym to Car
2.Fan in Car Kill
3.Car Fuck [Explicit]
4.Beach Puke
5.Justine Kill
6.House Burning
7.Airport
8.Simulator
9.Bathroom Pieta
10.Belly Oil
11.Forest Fire
12.Sarabande
13.Ending from Bedroom
14.Ending from Kiss
15.End Credits
16.Wayfaring Stranger
17.Apocalypse
18.God and Drug

I highly recommend checking out the soundtrack for Titane at the earliest opportunity. This is one of the most interesting soundtracks I’ve listened to this year and it’s made me more eager than ever to watch the actual film the first chance I get.

See also:

My Thoughts on: Titane (2021)

Film Soundtracks A-W

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My Thoughts on: The Evil of Frankenstein (1964)

After picking up Frankenstein Created Woman and realizing just how much I enjoy watching Peter Cushing play Frankenstein, I made it a goal to get all of Cushing’s performances as the character (on blu-ray) in my collection. So, when the opportunity came to pick up The Evil of Frankenstein, I immediately took it.

This film was completely new to me, unlike Frankenstein Created Woman, however the plot generally follows what I’ve come to expect from these stories: a creation of Frankenstein’s runs amok, chaos ensues, and it all ends in a big dramatic climax. Only in this case the story takes a few unexpected twists between the beginning and the end. As with several of these films, the story starts with Frankenstein already in the midst of a new set of experiments, only to be chased out of town (yet again), forcing him to return to his hometown in search of money. Things take a twist when he discovers his original Monster, only to find it comatose and unresponsive. Frankenstein coerces a traveling hypnotist into reviving his creation, but that quickly creates more problems than it solves as Frankenstein soon finds out.

Here’s the thing about The Evil of Frankenstein: I know that Hammer made this film (and the other Frankenstein films in their series) as separate entities from the old Universal films, but I swear THIS film is a near perfect blend of Son of Frankenstein (1939) and Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943). How so? Well, first of all, a major plot point in The Evil of Frankenstein is that Baron Frankenstein discovers his original creation, but it is now unresponsive. That is eerily similar to Son of Frankenstein, where Wolf von Frankenstein (the titular “son of Frankenstein”) discovers his father’s monster in a comatose state. But the similarity continues: once Frankenstein’s monster is revived, it only responds to the commands of the hypnotist who revived it, EXACTLY like in Son of Frankenstein where the Monster only responds to Ygor’s commands. Those are way too many similarities to be mere coincidence and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that the writers for The Evil of Frankenstein took inspiration from Son of Frankenstein, even if they weren’t supposed to.

The similarities to this film and Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man are less striking, but still interesting. The big similarity between these two films is the Monster being rediscovered frozen alive in ice, which is also how he’s found in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. I’m also struck by the similarities of the two film’s climaxes, or at least they seem similar to me. In both films, Frankenstein’s monster is swept away and presumed killed when the laboratory is destroyed (blown up in one film and swept away by floodwaters in the other). Again, it’s one similarity too many to be pure coincidence (though having read that this film was distributed by Universal, maybe Hammer really did just copy past film elements after all).

Those interesting details aside, I have a serious bone to pick with whoever put together the creature make-up in The Evil of Frankenstein. Part of the reason I love the original Frankenstein makeup from the 1930s so much is you really can’t tell that it’s a make-up. In THIS film however, it is painfully obvious that this is an actor in makeup, and not even really good makeup. This is my least favorite part of the film and it made it really hard to take certain scenes seriously.

Peter Cushing is a delight to watch, as always. For years I only knew him for his appearance in Star Wars, and I’m glad I’m finally taking the time to check out more of his filmography. I noticed in this film the same detail I saw in Frankenstein Created Woman: Baron Frankenstein is too clinical for his own good. That is to say, he’s so interested in his monster as an experiment, that the greater ramifications don’t occur to him until it’s too late. The same as in this film: he’s content to make use of the hypnotist, but it doesn’t occur to him that the hypnotist would USE the monster for his own personal ends until the damage has been done.

Flaws aside, I did ultimately enjoy The Evil of Frankenstein. It’s an enjoyable film, Peter Cushing is completely believable as an obsessed Baron Frankenstein and while the outcome of the story is predictable, it’s no less fun to watch.

Let me know what you think about The Evil of Frankenstein in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Frankenstein Created Woman (1967)

My Thoughts on: Son of Frankenstein (1939)

Film Reviews

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