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Soundtrack Review

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The Body Tree
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Navid Hejazi
Label: Plaza Mayor Company Ltd
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 16 March 2019

The Plaza Mayor Company releases the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to The Body Tree. In the film directed by Thomas Dunn (known for writing The Ungodly), a group of American college students travel to Siberia to honour a friend who has died, and get caught-up in a cat and mouse whodunnit. “Nobody leaves.” The music is composed, produced and performed by Navid Hejazi, who was charged with coming up with a minimalist approach to capture the essence of the location. The director wanted a thriller score, rather than outright horror, to highlight the heightening tension between the characters and punctuate the scary moments...

The track listing is: Opening Titles; Siberia; The Tree of Spirits; The Doll; Shamanic Rituals; The Ceremony; Memories of Kara; Forest Chase; Suspicions; Eric Becomes the Demon; Proof; Eric Attacks; Sandra Escapes; The Only One Left; When You Love Someone; and Alternate End Credits.

I’m sorry to announce that The Body Tree is one of the dullest, non-descript scores I have come across – certainly since Cradle of Fear. This could have been so much more. I fully understand the fundamental purpose of a film soundtrack is to enhance the atmosphere of the inherent scenes. But there needs to be music which the viewer/listener can latch onto, even if it’s subconsciously. If you haven’t got proper music then you can’t hope to put everyone at their ease. To my mind, this needs to be established for any subsequent change of mood and atmosphere to take effect. You can’t have one without the other, otherwise the eyes and ears of the audience will not feel that they have been dragged out of their comfort zone into a world of uncertainly and terror.

As there is no real music present, I would describe this score as sound design. The promotional blurb has it pretty spot on when they promote it as electronic and organic/ethnic. Each track is made up of a series of separate or flowing ambient, atmospheric and tribal noises. There are lots of dark, menacing rumblings, swarming sounds, fluttering sweeps, very low percussion, fuzz and background pagan activity. All of this may well prove effective in the film, but this is a review of the stand-alone soundtrack, and I can’t imagine many people being entertained by a series of unconnected noises.


Ty Powers

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