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Thursday, October 15, 2009


Trick 'r Treat
Music by Douglas Pipes
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1103 (US)
18 Tracks 59:18 mins

Back in 2006 Douglas Pipes received favourable reviews and award nominations for the animated Monster House, but then nothing seemed to happen - until now, that is. Pipes is back with his score for first-time director Michael Daugherty's Trick 'r Treat, a seasonal horror anthology in the finest Creepshow and Tales of the Crypt traditions, all four tales being set appropriately on Halloween night. The cast includes the much in demand Anna Paquin (True Blood, the X-Men films), who of course worked for Trick 'r Treat's producer Singer on the latter franchise.
If you're a regular visitor to this blog, you are probably aware by now that I am not easily impressed by contemporary horror scoring, but at least this score is orchestral, aided by both adult and children's' voices, and more in the old Hollywood traditions where scores could be scary whilst still maintaining strong thematic elements, here even utilising the familiar children's taunting chant "nah, nah, nah, nah, nah" (for want of a better description). The accompanying booklet features an extensive note from the director, who very much approved of Pipes' approach to the score, seeming to be almost as bored with today's horror scoring trends as I am.
The album opens with the propulsive "Main Titles," which immediately pays homage to the late, great Bernard Herrmann, with its Psychoesque strings, whilst also introducing variations on the aforementioned kids' chant. Of course, over the tracks that follow, there's still a good helping of the eerie and suspenseful, as one would expect, though outbreaks of menacing and quite frenzied action enliven things; but there's also a somewhat tongue-in-cheek element, particularly in the use of that kids' chant.
A touch of sentiment is added here and there, as in "Father and Son;" "Meet Rhonda," with its tinkling piano melody and Elfman-like vocals, more of which can be found in the opening of "The Halloween Schoolbus Massacre;" and the waltz-like "Laurie's First Time."
The "End Titles" brings the album to a close, with the composer expanding his "Main Titles" music, with some impressive variations on the children's chant, and more of the piano theme.
Go to for samples and to order your copy.

you’re in for some of Jeremy Soule’s most intense work to date."


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