Stray Bullets Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Stray Bullets by Jack Fessenden.
At a glance:
Geek Score: 80
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 5.8
Album Excellence: 21.7%
Stray Bullets is a 2016 American thriller film directed by Jack Fessenden and starring James Le Gros, John Speredakos & Larry Fessenden. In upstate New York, two teenage boys are tasked with cleaning out their father’s old mobile home on an abandoned property, but the boys are in for a surprise when they discover three crooks on the run have taken refuge in the trailer. The score is composed by Jack Fessenden.
I’m always fascinated by projects like this where the writer, director and composer is the same person. What could possibly be better? Imagine you’re writing a film and have 100% complete creative control over how the movie feels and sounds, that’s got to be a great feeling. There’s no way of knowing whether people like it or not of course, but in a world where the composer has to create a score based on the director’s wishes, this approach would be ideal. The score opens with ‘Ricochet’, a short cue with lots of ambience and mood and not much else. That’s fine though, I appreciate good moods and I particularly like the retro feel it has. The synths used feels like they could have been used in an 80s horror and as an 80s fan I appreciate that. ‘Air’ is even better with a distinct feeling of desolation and claustrophobia.
You won’t find a big orchestra here and lavish orchestration, but you’ll find an intimate take on the thriller genre. I find the music fascinating, and very well produced, even with a limited budget. I find that the inspiration might be from more classic horror films, not necessarily the typical thriller feel you had with scores in the 80s and 90s. I don’t think the sound and feel of the score is unique enough to separate from the masses and I fear that this score might just be another one of those you listen to and forget quite easily. That’s the gamble Fessenden takes with this approach, but it doesn’t really matter if it pays off in the movie which is the sole purpose of the score. The production value is quite high for a typical indie approach, and it is quite pleasant to listen to on album. I like the instruments used and although there’s no theme to hold on to in my experience, the music gives me something. I wouldn’t say this score taps into your emotions, it certainly didn’t grace mine, but I was still fascinated by it, partly because of it’s retro approach. Give it a try.
14. Stray Bullets