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THE EYE – Marco Beltrami

February 1, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The remake of a very good Thai horror movie from 2002, directed by David Moreau and Xavier Palud, The Eye stars Jessica Alba as a young woman named Sydney Wells, blind from birth, who undergoes a revolutionary new surgical procedure to transplant her corneas, which successfully restores her eyesight. However, before long, Sydney begins to realize that, in addition to having to readjust to life in a sighted world, she has something else to cope with: she can see ghosts.

The film, which also stars Alessandro Nivola, Parker Posey and Rade Serbedzija, features an original score by Marco Beltrami, who is very good at this sort of thing. It begins with a contemporary main title for guitars, strings and voice, the latter cooing seductively over a rhythmic backing which, despite its modern sound, remains on the ‘chilling’ side. Some cues, such as the horrifying “Bruja”, stretch the limits of music and sound design, literally scraping and groaning and creating a thick, oppressive atmosphere.

Beltrami is one of the few composers whose dissonant sound effects scoring I can actually listen to and appreciate, and this is no exception. The straight-out horror cues, such as “Apartment on Fire”, “Report Card”, and the end of “Who Is She?”, snarl and gnash their teeth, with spidery string writing, low-end piano chords, boo-jump stingers, and various other bits of orchestral carnage ratcheting up the tension. Beltrami’s been writing this kind of stuff for years, in Mimic and the Scream scores, but it never loses its impact.

Elsewhere, Beltrami lays on the delicate atmospherics with misleadingly attractive cello themes in “Rain”, soft synths in “To See Again”, and even a hesitantly warm piano theme in the false finale, “The Drive Home”, counterbalancing the more horrific elements of the score well. The true finale – “Roadblock” – is the score’s one full-on action cue, and sees Beltrami injecting rapid percussion elements and a sense of fast movement into his palette.

Then, to throw us completely off guard, the thing ends with a lush, classically rich virtuoso violin piece, “The Concert”, which reminds what a great thematic composer Beltrami can be too. This is good stuff, effective in context, and interesting to listen to, if you can tolerate a fair bit of angry dissonance, and if you can find the promo.

Rating: ***½

Track Listing:

  • The Eye Main Titles (1:34)
  • Bruja (1:53)
  • Rain (2:42)
  • Not My Eyes (3:05)
  • To See Again (1:32)
  • Apartment on Fire (1:37)
  • Taking Mrs. Hillman (2:11)
  • Road to Mexico (2:03)
  • He Is Dead (2:54)
  • Bedridden (3:19)
  • Report Card (1:52)
  • Who Is She? (1:56)
  • Mirror Mirror (3:02)
  • Mrs. Martinez (4:10)
  • Walkthrough (1:42)
  • Retribution (3:02)
  • The Drive Home (1:49)
  • Roadblock (4:45)
  • The Concert (1:53)

Running Time: 47 minutes 12 seconds

Promo (2008)

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