Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark (2011)
Music Composed And Produced By
Marco Beltrami And Buck Sanders
Conducted By Marco Beltrami
Lakeshore Records LKS 342372
21 Tracks – Running Time: 45:22
To Be Released On October 18, 2011
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is the latest production by renowned Director Guillermo Del Toro, who produced the film was well as wrote the screenplay with his friend and partner Matthew Robbins. The film directed by Troy Nixey and starring Guy Pierce, Katie Holmes, Bailee Madison and Jack Thompson is a remake of a 1973 TV film which was about a young girl named Sally (Madison) who is sent to live with her estranged father Alex (Pierce) and his girlfriend Kim (Holmes) at their new home. Alex has plans to spruce up the home with the help of Kim, who’s an interior decorator. The previous owner of the home was a famous painter who mysteriously disappeared and Sally, soon discovers the cause of the painter’s disappearance. The film was a modest little hit thriller in spite of its low budget, but unfortunately came and went just as quickly.
Scoring the film is Guilermo Del Toro’s friend and co-hort, Marco Beltrami, who previously worked him on Mimic, Blade 2 and Hellboy. Beltrami, who’s style has continued to evolve in the last five years has added Buck Sanders as his partner in exploring an expansion of his established grandiose and exciting sound. They were both nominated for an Academy Award for Kathryn Bigelow’s tremendious film, The Hurt Locker and Beltrami himself was nominated for his brilliant Spaghetti Western homage score to the underrated 3:10 To Yuma remake starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale during this time. Beltrami who made his motion picture debut with Wes Craven’s Scream fifteen years ago is no stranger to the genre and has since pretty much mastered it with Mimic, Dracula 2000, Cursed, Joy Ride, and the upcoming prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing opening in a few weeks.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is a score which really surprised me in a lot of positive ways and mainly because I wasn’t really expecting much out of it to be honest. The more I did listen to it, the more and more enjoyable it was which is extremely rare for a horror score. It is a very pensive and intellegent score. It takes its time to build up the mood of the film, but also really doesn’t give you cheap stingers or frights that I guess you would associate with horror films. Beltrami and Sanders work really well here and succeed in creating a melodic and accessible score as well as sound that would make his mentors Jerry Goldsmith and Christopher Young proud. The album starts off with the terrific “Grammaphone Lullaby” which is a melodic and accessible lullaby which is a precursor to “Sally’s Theme” and the score’s central theme with lush strings and woodwinds. The Main Title is dark and a little brooding with some aggressive moments that pay off in the latter half of the score. The first half of the score is almost like a calm and tranquil sound highlighted by “Sally Arrives At Blackwood Manor”, ” Sneaky Sally”, “Silly Sally” and “Toothfairy’s Gift” until the first rumblings of fright really start to take over the score with “Gardener; Get’s Snipped” where some really dark and aggressive, jabbing brass instruments start signal more ominous things to come. Of course mayhem ensues and with the music gets more aggressive and exciting with the tracks “Goblins In The Garage” and “Goblin Trouble” ,this is a fun pair of tracks and excellent highlights of the album, “Return To Blackwood” is somewhat a somber track, but also very reflective in its melody and orchestration. “Voices From the Pit” is a reprise of the “Grammaphone Lullaby” which leads you to think a possible sequel maybe?
GIve credit to Lakeshore Records for releasing another one of Beltrami And Sanders more solid scores which includes The Hurt Locker as well. This is a record label that does release solid soundtracks and good ones most of the time, this one is no exception.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark may have come and gone but Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders’ excellent score won’t. Definitely worth playing during Halloween which is just around the corner.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is available for pre-order from Amazon and will be available locally at Barnes & Noble and J&R Music and Computer World in Lower Manhattan when it’s released on October 11.
2.Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark Main Titles
3.Sally Arrives at Blackwood Manor
4.Lamb Lamp Lambency
7.Into the Basement
10.Tooth Fairy’s Gift
11.Gardener Gets Snipped
13.Don’t Turn Out the Lights
18.Goblins in the Garage
20.Return to Blackwood
21.Voices from the Pit
– Danny Gonzalez
Film Music Examiner New York-NYC