Click here to return to the main site.

Soundtrack Review

Cover Image

The Toybox
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Holly Amber Church
Label: Screamworks Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 28 September 2018

Screamworks Records releases the soundtrack to the horror film The Toybox, directed by Tom Nagel (Clowntown). In the movie a cursed mobile home becomes lost in the desert, along with the dysfunctional family inside, who are quite suddenly in dire peril. The composition is by Holly Amber Church, who has previously worked on Worry Dolls and Ruin Me. The music for this one is described by her as atmospheric textures, cinematic orchestral elements, and some old-school '80s synths to capture the feel, characters and emotions of the film.

When I reviewed the soundtrack to Ruin Me – Church’s previous release – I was blown away by the sheer impact, originality and total avoidance of the standard horror film clichés. I seldom give maximum marks but that one deserved it without any shadow of a doubt. Therefore, you can imagine my interest when this one came winging its way to me for review. How does it compare? I’m glad you asked!

'The Main Titles' consist of piano and other keys, with discordant sounds coming and going. This is nice because it doesn’t sound like a tune you can properly get a hold of. 'Bike Ride into Trouble' is hesitant music which then bursts into life before being instantly cut off. 'Crunchy Carrot Finger Crunch' consists of strings that bring to mind a picture of a coming menace. 'The Trip Begins' has a jangling as if a normal tune will ensue, only to interject strange noises and a slam to end. 'Out of Control' sets up a panic-like build-up which turns to an eerie ringing and low rumbling and then returns in part to the 'Main Titles'. There’s a low bass ever present in 'Gunthry Appears'. There is light piano and otherworldly sounds, followed by jump moments interspersed by low ringing. 'Steve’s Nightmare' introduces indistinguishable voices. This is a very nice, if short, piece. 'Charles in Charge' is a drum arrangement which evolves into an orchestral number. Again, it would be nice if this were a little longer. 'Olivia' has a busy, almost galloping start, which soon reduces to single-chord bars and the occasional piano. Whereas 'It’s Slowly Killing Us' has a contemplative or retrospective feel.

'Jennifer and the Jumprope' has a mystical intro which suddenly lets rip with bass synth-like weird sounds, slams, discord and droning. 'Breathe' is a meditative sound of low strings, organ and slow piano. 'The Photo' returns once again to touches of the 'Main Titles'. 'Gunthry’s Stash' consists of an atmospheric piano piece. 'It’s Him' begins with keys and sinister strings. Then the all-out nastiness arrives, bringing slamming drums and high-pitch strings. When quick orchestral music takes over it’s some of the best of this score. There’s no doubt, this should have been the main theme. 'I’m Not Doing It' covers some previously trodden territory, with moderate themes, deep bass and keyboards, ending in some scary electronic rumbling. 'Samantha Vs Gunthry' is permeated with low rumbling, leaving the listener waiting for the inevitable clash of sounds. There is eerie music with electronic background bells and generally loud electronica. 'The Toolbox End Titles' starts like the 'Main Titles', and is reminiscent of a ghost story. There is a running sound going on in the background, which is like the needle running over an old vinyl record with scratches.

Overall, it’s a good soundtrack. There are some newly-used tricks here, but also some which have been reused from Ruin Me. Furthermore, although it doesn’t happen repeatedly as in some film scores, the 'Main Theme' is returned to more than once. The Toybox music isn’t as instantly gratifying as the excellent Ruin Me. But it has its moments.


Ty Power

Buy this item online

Each of the store links below opens in a new window, allowing you to compare the price of this product from various online stores.

Digital album
iTunes GB
Digital album
Digital album