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Soundtrack Review

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You Might Be the Killer
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Andrew Morgan Smith
Label: ScreamWorks Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 14 December 2018

Screamworks Records releases the film soundtrack for the horror film You Might be the Killer, directed by Brett Simmons. In the movie, camp counsellor Sam (played by Fran Kranz of The Cabin in the Woods) wakes after a series of blackouts to find himself surrounded by murdered bodies. Along with horror movie buff, Chuck (played by the lovely Alyson Hannigan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the American Pie sequels), he concludes that he must be the killer. But is he the guilty party? They are literally waiting for the next incident. The music is composed by Andrew Morgan Smith who worked on Zombie Shark, A Deadly Affair and Jeepers Creepers 3. He describes the film as a purposeful send-up of the classic slasher horrors of the 1980s, and agreed with Simmons that it should pay tribute to the scores of that decade, Jerry Goldsmith, Alan Silvestri and, of course, John Carpenter...

When I first saw this in my review batch I was intrigued, as Andrew Morgan Smith’s soundtrack for Jeepers Creepers 3, which I reviewed in 2017, was a solid and entertaining enhancement to the film. This one comes racing out of the traps in suitable style with 'Bloody Facetime' (a nice play on words). From the outset it’s dramatic and pulse-racing, before hankering down to more quiet, subtle and creepy moments with use of strings, keyboards and strangely pagan sounding horns.

'Kaywacked' opens with bells and screeching; this translates as more of an underlying menace snatched straight out of the 1980s, before turning to proper music melody just long enough to lull you into a false sense of security. 'Beyond Traumatic' is more of a linking string piece, with an underlying Jaws feel to it. It threatens to turn into a full orchestral piece before slamming you with noise and offering an operatic-style close. 'Last Summer' is a retrospective piece with piano and strings which becomes fully orchestral. A very nice segment of music (imagine a more fleshed-out version of that scene in the original Friday the 13th when the sole survivor drifts across the lake in a boat).

'Splitting Headaches' has the horn section introducing a jaunty piece that you just know is going to be smashed aside by a heavy, otherworldly and slightly off-kilter patchwork of sounds which come and go. Very dramatic it is too. I can imagine something similar to this track being used in an H.P. Lovecraft story, with the coming of Dagon or Cthulhu. 'Campfire Tale' calms things down a bit. It goes for eeriness, with building and dissipating strings. 'Plot Holes' (nice title) conveys a feeling of intrigue which builds and concludes before it actually goes anywhere.

'Face Off' features mainly brass and strings, with a ringing-in of keys, slamming and the realisation of a threat portrayed with low bass and fluttering. 'Taking a Stab At It' is another of those calm introductions which is suddenly ripped away from you with an almost demonic dramatic orchestral piece, the balance of which you can’t quite get a hold of. 'Final Girls' is a grand whole comprised of smaller sections different somewhat in style, but with the horn section ever present. Finished It has intriguing high-pitch strings and a ringing which feels like the aftermath of something.

The soundtrack concludes with 'You Might Be the Killer', a very entertaining end credits 1980s-style electronic song by HARLO (check it out on Youtube). Although by 'Final Girls' I was beginning to tire of the proceedings, overall this is another solid and effective score from Andrew Morgan Smith that mixes age-old horror cliché sounds with modern techniques.


Ty Power

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