Home > Reviews > SCREAM 3 – Marco Beltrami

SCREAM 3 – Marco Beltrami

February 4, 2000 Leave a comment Go to comments

scream3Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s one of Hollywood’s greatest ironies that Scream 3, the final instalment of Wes Craven’s self-aware horror trilogy, has slowly become that which the first instalment spent so much time lampooning. With overly elaborate death scenes, characters who do stupid things at the wrong time, and a killer who just won’t lay down and die, the word of mouth on Scream 3 prior to it’s European release has not been good. The surviving cast members – dim-witted deputy David Arquette, spunky reporter Courtney Cox and troubled teenager Neve Campbell – have this time been joined by genre stalwart Lance Henriksen and fresh faces Parker Posey, Emily Mortimer, Matt Keeslar and Jenny McCarthy in a film which – are you ready for this? – takes place on the set of a film recounting the events of the second film’s film-within-a-film, which was itself based on the events of the FIRST film. Oh, my head hurts.

Also returning to lend his not inconsiderable talent is composer Marco Beltrami, who has slowly been carving out a niche for himself as the horror composer of the late nineties. Of today’s young film music composers, Beltrami is one of the few whose output has been of consistent high quality, Although much of his work has been confined to the horror and thriller genres (Scream, Mimic, The Faculty, The Minus Man), he has also been actively pursuing work outside the confines of this arena, with scores such as 54 and the Emmy-nominated David & Lisa. This is very much to Beltrami’s benefit, as horror typecasting can be a difficult mantle to shake off, but even so – it does no harm to keep your foot in the proverbial door.

His work on Scream 3 is in keeping with the first two scores, but fans will be delighted to find over half an hour’s worth of original music on Varèse’s CD, giving the true reflection that their earlier Scream/Scream 2 compilation did not. The score makes use of a large orchestra mixed in with Beltrami’s familiar modernistic electronics, and several fraught action cues (‘Cotton Gets Picked’, ‘Doppelgailer’, ‘Ghost Attacks’, ‘All In The Family’, ‘Last Call’) immediately capture the attention with their whooping brasses, savage strings and furious dissonance. The whimsical guitar theme for Dewey makes an appearance in ‘Dewey Mobile’, although it is almost totally obscured by host of Psycho-style strings, while the ultra-contemporary Woodsboro theme that opened the entire series gets a brief rendition in ‘On The Set’. Rounding things off is the bittersweet choral theme that acts as a leitmotif for the pivotal character of Sidney, the soothing performances of which in ‘Home Sweet Home’, ‘Piéd a Terror’ and ‘Sid Wears A Dress’ are a welcome respite from all the carnage.

One small thing that intrigued me was the fact that Beltrami used seven orchestrators while writing this score: Pete Anthony, Bill Boston, Jon Kull, Kevin Kliesch, Frank Bennett, Kevin Manthei and Jeff Atmajian. What the reasons for this are, I really have no idea. Usually, this level of support is only needed when composers are asked to come on board at extremely short notice, and as a result are subject to enormous time pressures to get the job done. As far as I know, Beltrami was attached to Scream 3 from the word go, so unless he was asked to re-write some of the music by Wes Craven, I wouldn’t have thought he would have needed them. This, if course, is merely speculation on my part. Overall, this is a much more satisfying listen than any of the previous Scream incarnations, mainly because its length allows the listener to appreciate the full scope of Beltrami’s efforts. The excitement of the violent stalk-and-kill cues and the shock-jump ferocity is nicely balanced with the more reflective moments, resulting in a well-rounded, highly enjoyable album that more than does justice to the film it represents.

Rating: ****

Track Listing:

  • Here We Go Again (0:44)
  • Cotton Gets Picked (2:20)
  • Dopplegailer (1:28)
  • On the Set (0:49)
  • Home Sweet Home (2:03)
  • Comparing Photos (1:23)
  • Mother’s Watching (1:52)
  • Dewey Mobile (1:08)
  • At the Station (1:53)
  • Ghost Attacks (3:22)
  • The Fall Girl (0:48)
  • Roman Around (0:50)
  • All In The Family (0:35)
  • Piéd a Terror (1:45)
  • Sunset Pictures (1:46)
  • Last Call (3:19)
  • Gail Force (0:55)
  • Stone Cold (0:31)
  • Sid Wears A Dress (2:38)
  • Sid’s Theme (Reprise) (0:49)

Running Time: 35 minutes 54 seconds

Varèse Sarabande VSD-6116 (2000)

Music composed by Marco Beltrami. Conducted by Marco Beltrami and Pete Anthony. Orchestrations by Pete Anthony, Bill Boston, Jon Kull, Kevin Kliesch, Frank Bennett, Marco Beltrami, Kevin Manthei and Jeff Atmajian. Includes extracts from “Red Right Hand 2” written by Nick Cave, Mick Harvey and Thomas Wydler. Recorded and mixed by John Kurlander. Edited by Adam Kay, Bill Abbott and Denise Okimoto. Mastered by Erick Labson. Album produced by Marco Beltrami.

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