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Soundtrack Review

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Bad Dreams
Original Soundtrack from the Short Film


Composer: Oscar Fogelström
Label: N10Y Records
Release Date: 20 November 2020

Swedish composer Oscar Fogelström announces the digital release of his short film score for Bad Dreams (2018). The film is based on a short story by Andy Jones and directed by Stuart Fryer. It tells the tale of a child who believes in monsters and then becomes one as an adult. The make-up effects are by Pinhead creator Cliff Wallace. The director wanted a straight-up horror score to emphasise the true nature of the monster, whilst tackling the serious issue of sexual abuse...

'Childhood Memories' has a scrabbling of violin strings which cuts in and out, with an accompanying slamming. 'Like Any Normal Day' incorporates violin at a leisurely pace. It is replaced in short order by a more bass hearty sound. 'Meeting Harold' incurs a sense of impending doom that quickly clears away to leave tentative cello and violin strings which flutter and weave. A plaintive melody attempts to play through the centre. 'You Need a Shave' has a warbling with thumping and distortion. Imagine a waking giant. I’m excited by a stomping blare of trepidation in 'Bad Dreams'; however, it’s disappointingly short-lived as a low-key level piece takes over.

Much as the age of streaming and downloading music files has encouraged the releasing of short-film soundtracks, it’s virtually impossible to invest sufficient enthusiasm in a score so brief it ends virtually before it has started. The entirety of the music lasts no more than six minutes and twenty seconds. Divide this by five tracks and it averages one minute and sixteen seconds. As I’m certain everyone and his dog can appreciate, there is next to no time to instil the required emotions of a longer suite. Had these tracks been drastically diverse, perhaps it may have been more acceptable. Of course, I appreciate this was written for a short film, but as a standalone piece I’m afraid it falls far short of a pleasurable experience. Perhaps releasing this with other material would prove more attractive.


Ty Power

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