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A PERFECT GETAWAY – Boris Elkis

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A honeymoon on an idyllic Pacific island turns deadly in A Perfect Getaway when two pairs of newlyweds – Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich, Timothy Olyphant and Kiele Sanchez – discover to their horror that a serial killer is stalking and murdering tourists on their holiday hideaway. Written and directed by David Twohy, the man behind the Chronicles of Riddick, A Perfect Getaway was an unexpected box office success; it also marked the mainstream debut of Russian composer Boris Elkis, a classically trained composer who previously worked as a synth programmer and arranger for Graeme Revell for many years.

The opening cue, “A Perfect Getaway”, introduces the main theme, a slurred, insistent, rattling string motif accompanied by various electronic enhancements and synthesized effects (including a synth choir), which gives the piece a sense of impending dread. Some of the string and piano textures in cues such as “Wedding”, the upbeat “The Island”, the lush “Secret Falls”, the dreamlike “Mall Flashback”, and the conclusive “Kauai Sunset” are quite pretty, although even here the music tends to have an ominous undertone, and this carries through to the bulk of the score proper, which oscillates between low-key orchestral textures augmented by electronics, and all-out action and thriller cues during which, more often than not, the orchestra takes a back seat to Elkis’s drum loops and industrial-style sound design.

Cues such as “Crazy Nick” build the tension, “Goat Hunter” breaks it with almost a comedic scherzo that stands at odds with the rest of the score, but the likes of “Killers Captured”, “Gina Runs”, “Nick Gets Shot” and the ballsy “Nick Resurrected” raise the stakes with thrusting action material, propulsive electronic enhancements, a relentless tempo, and occasional vocal embellishments. It’s a shame that most of the action material is dominated by electronics when Elkis clearly has solid orchestral chops, but budgetary constraints and director’s wishes always come first.

It’s not original, but it’s certainly effective, and really that summary best describes Elkis’s score as a whole; by and large it’s better than most of the action music Graeme Revell has produced in recent years, and if Elkis can break out into different genres, and showcase his orchestral writing while leaving his synths at home, in time I can see him having a decent future in the industry.

Rating: **

Track Listing:

  • A Perfect Getaway (2:07)
  • Wedding (2:45)
  • The Island (2:12)
  • Hitchhikers (1:10)
  • Secret Falls (1:35)
  • Cidney Undresses (0:45)
  • Kale’s Pack (1:04)
  • Crazy Nick (1:51)
  • Cidney’s Story (2:41)
  • Cliff Attacks Ranger (1:01)
  • Goat Hunter (2:08)
  • Cliff & Cidney in a Tent (1:24)
  • Killers Captured (3:11)
  • Trail End (2:22)
  • Wedding Pictures (1:02)
  • Gina Runs (3:10)
  • Killer Flashback (2:35)
  • Mall Flashback (2:38)
  • Pier & Beach Flashback (2:32)
  • Crazy Love (1:09)
  • Nick Gets Shot (1:47)
  • Gina Looks for Cliff (1:55)
  • Cliff Climbs the Cliff (3:24)
  • Nick Resurrection (1:09)
  • Nick & Cliff Fight (1:11)
  • Sniper Showdown (1:41)
  • Man in Full (1:50)
  • Kauai Sunset (1:17)

Runnign Time: 53 minutes 26 seconds

Relativity Media Soundtracks (2009)

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