Poltergeist Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Poltergeist by Marc Streitenfeld.
At a glance:
43 minutes of score
Geek Score: 73
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 0
Album Excellence: 0%
Poltergeist is a familiar name to most people. Originally it was a Steven Spielberg & Tobe Hooper horror film in 1982 that was a big success. These days it’s all about remakes and this is a 2015 remake of the same film directed by Gil Kenan and starring Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt and Michael Grais. This is a tale about a house built on top of an old cemetery and I guess the spirits don’t like that. Weird things start to happen in the house. The youngest daughter is getting contacted by these beings. In the original 1982 film, it was thanks to the old classic “snow storm” on the TV when the normal programming ended. In the digital age where we are now, we don’t have “snow storms” anymore. In the trailer, it seems to originate from the closet this time, which in the original film was an epicentre of evil. I will watch it of course, because I love horror films, good or bad, but I don’t expect it to be anywhere near as good as the original. I won’t compare the new score to the old Jerry Goldsmith score either, because that will not be pleasant. That one is a classic and can’t be touched. This one is a new beast, but hopefully a very good horror score on it’s own. The composer is Marc Streitenfeld.
‘Opening’ is nice, like a music box, and then comes the main theme in on bending strings. Sort of whimsical and a bit ghostly, particularly near the end. Not bad at all. Spooky things start to happen in ‘They’re Here’ with a weird swirling synth at first and then some breathing sounds, and some static. They are definitely here alright. Jump scares are present as well, and this really works great when playing loud. The main theme is embedded near the end as well. ‘Angry Spirits’ is more action oriented, higher tempo. On of my highlights there is the subtle twirling piano sequence in the beginning. Really enjoyed that, much more than the action. So far, it’s definitely good enjoyable horror scoring. The mood is definitely dark and scary, but not too scary.
Now clowns are scary, always has been and in ‘Clown Attack’ which is a scene I am seriously worried about witnessing has a very violent and creepy music attached to it. It’s very atonal, experimental. I can even hear faint screaming in there. Still,, even though I am looking at the soundtrack cover right now with that evil clown, I don’t get any goose bump moments. I don’t really feel scared, but the cue does make me tense. There are other moments like in ‘Home Improvement’ where a weird voice can be heard. It’s obviously not a real voice, but it’s still creepy and that’s what this score is missing for me. It’s a generic horror score, one that I’ve heard so many times before. Same with ‘Somebody Is With Her’, it has it’s moments, but that’s all there are, moments. The big moment of the score, and the most exciting moments are in ‘Let Her Go’ where Streitenfeld is not holding back inducing a mix of horror and action. Very entertaining and as a bonus it’s the longest cue on the score. Still wouldn’t call it great though. The score ends the way it starts, with a music box lullaby.
I had some good moments with Poltergeist and the score is decent as a whole, but it lacked the X-factor, the small details that would make it a lot better. Most of the score is in generic horror mode, something that I’ve heard many times before. Parts of it is in action horror mode and that was good, but only in parts.