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Soundtrack Review

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Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Ben Worley
Label: Plaza Mayor Company
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 09 April 2020

Plaza Mayor Company Ltd releases the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to the horror movie Apparition. Directed by Waymon Boone, whose previous projects include The Devil’s in the Details, and Sunrise in Heaven – the film is about an app that connects the living with the dead. Young people are lured to an abandoned castle which has a dark past tied to each of the people present. The music is composed by Ben Worley, who has turned in soundtracks for Pizza Time, Willing to Lie, and Red Water. This was his first feature film. He thoroughly enjoyed working on but, by his own admission, wasn’t paid very much. As a consequence of being brought in late to the project, Ben only had a fortnight to complete the score. He had only just moved to Los Angeles and so the remit was simple instrumentation. These limitations were extended to keeping motion throughout the piece, and not to allow the audience a moment to relax.

Having knowledge of the backstory to writing and composing the score, the big question we need to ask is has he succeeded in his intentions against the odds? Well, no, not really. I can understand that time was pretty much of the essence, and working from his apartment reduced his options (what? – he couldn’t fit the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in there?) – but there isn’t even any music present. Nothing to latch on to; no suites or musical interludes. The entire score consists of noises. No, let’s be kind and call them soundscapes. Across ten tracks we get a standard format of strings, discordant piano and intermittent screeching – accompanied by a throbbing beat, often reminiscent of Red Indian drums.

If anything, the composer shows his hand too early, throwing all of his available tricks into the first couple of tracks, so that those thereafter sound dull and repetitive. I’m certain that this could have incorporated more variation through use of easily attainable music samples. Just throwing in some oddities like electronica, guitars, pan pipes or any number of instruments would have made this much more interesting. Whilst appreciating that this is here solely to enhance the emotions of the film, as an isolated soundtrack it achieves nothing of real interest – not even a main theme for the movie. I couldn’t use a lot of the notes I made while listening to the score, because they consisted primarily of descriptive words such as rumbling, screeching, throbbing, rattling and thudding. The only track with any continuity to the sound is '#contact', which resembles complaining neighbours banging on the wall! This score proves to be a disappointment after so many excellent examples which I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing: Killer Klowns From Outer Space, and Ruin Me – to name but two.


Ty Power

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