June 22, 2017

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and the new SUSPIRIA score

Director Luca Guadagnino’s remake of Dario Argento’s classic giallo SUSPIRIA (1977) is slated to be scored by Thom Yorke, an English musician and composer best known as the singer and principal songwriter of the alternative rock band Radiohead. The film’s director issued a statement to Variety last month, saying that having Yorke on board was “a dream come true.” He added: “Our goal is to make a movie that will be a disturbing and transforming experience: for this ambition, we could not find a better partner than Thom.”

In clips from an upcoming BBC Radio 6 interview quoted at, Yorke discussed writing the score, calling it “absolutely terrifying.” He said the new SUSPIRIA would be a “very different film” from the original, but clarified that, in keeping with the music from the 1977 movie, we shouldn’t be expecting Jonny-Greenwood-esque string arrangements from Yorke. “It’s hard because I’m way out of my comfort zone, and I can’t read music so it’s not like I’m writing for orchestra,” he explained. “I’m building it all myself.”

Not that he’ll be following in his footsteps, particularly, but Yorke also described how Vangelis’s music for BLADE RUNNER inspired him in terms of what can be done with electronic soundtracks: “Vangelis, it’s his hands that made that. Which encouraged me. Because that was the thing I was finding most daunting. Normally [scoring] a horror movie involves orchestras, these specific things. But Luca [Guadagnino], the director, and Walter [Fasano], the editor, are very much, like, find your own path with it. … I just have to find a way into it.”

SUSPIRIA recently wrapped filming and is currently in post-production, noted Variety in its May 10 report. The production’s Music Supervisor Robin Urdang (HOLLOWS GROVE, HORNS, PIRANHA 3D) played a key role in negotiating the deal to secure Yorke’s involvement

June 16, 2017

Sneak Preview: Michael Giacchino’s SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING Suite Shared

Michael Giacchino has been nice enough to share via Twitter a six-minute-plus suite of music and themes from his score for Marvel’s upcoming SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING movie. The composer’s mastery of elegant themes and rhythmic, adventurous melody seems to serve the score very well. The official score soundtrack album will be released by Sony Masterworks on July 7.

Listen to the suite on YouTube below:

June 15, 2017

Syfy has announced that SHARKNADO 5: GLOBAL SWARMING will premiere on Sunday, August 6, 2017 at 8:00 P.M. The plot of this one involves a “global sharknado” arriving to obliterate the entire planet.  Anthony Ferrante once more directs, with Chris Ridenhour and Christopher Cano supplying the score (they’ve composed all the films starting with SHARKNADO 2 – read my interview with Chris Ridenhour about scoring SHARKNADO 2 here)


June 14, 2017

Danny Elfman to score JUSTICE LEAGUE; Junkie XL moving to TOMB RAIDER; James Newton Howard moving to…?

According to a breaking news report this afternoon in The Hollywood Reporter, Danny Elfman has been signed on to compose the score to JUSTICE LEAGUE. It’s likely related to Joss Whedon  having replaced Zach Snyder as director after Snyder stepped aside due to a family tragedy (Whedon worked with Elfman, along with primary composer Brian Tyler, on THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON).

Junkie XL (Tom Holkenborg) has been signed to score JL but is now reportedly moving over to score TOMB RAIDER (which had previously announced James Newton Howard as its composer, so it looks like this move has caused some assignment shuffling in major projects this week.

Read the full story here at The Hollywood Reporter

UPDATE: Tom Holkenborg sent this tweet out in his Twitter page:

June 8, 2017

Rise of the Classic Movie Monsters: A Glimpse Into Universal’s Dark Universe

IMDB Originals has posted a short video all about the Dark Universe, Universal’s franchise of rebooted classic horror characters that include the Mummy, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, the Phantom of the Opera, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Invisible Man, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and more. It’s like the Marvel or DC Cinematic Universes only with the classic Universal monsters that launched the horror movie boom in the 1930s and ‘40s. The video lays out Universal’s plans for reboots of their classic monster films over the next four or five years, starting with this month’s THE MUMMY (2014’s DRACULA UNTOLD was to have launched it but plans were changed and it was left as a standalone feature). With Brian Tyler’s terrific score for THE MUMMY offering both a homage to classic mummy movie motifs and a theme-driven score in the classic mold, the forthcoming movies may bold well for orchestral horror movie music. We shall see.  But color this spiritual child of Ackerman looking forward to it all.  -rdl

Watch the IMDB Originals short video The Dark Universe Explained here

May 23, 2017

Giona Ostinelli: From CARNAGE PARK to TV’s THE MIST

Giona Ostinelli is composing the music for the upcoming Spike TV event series THE MIST, based on the Stephen King novella. With a career spanning over a record number of 120 film festivals, Ostinelli is a frequent guest at Sundance, Tribeca, Cannes and SXSW. Over the last few years he has been acclaimed for scoring a number of festival favorites, including the 2016 horror film CARNAGE PARK, Screen Media’s 2016 horror film DARLING starring Lauren Ashley Carter (soundtrack released by Lakeshore on CD & digital, Mondo on vinyl; Dread Central described it as “One of the most effective scores of recent times.”) and 2015’s POD – each of which was directed by growing genre fave Mickey Keating (as was 2013’s RITUAL, Ostinelli’s first score for the director). His efforts on these scary movies gave him a pedigree that was ideal for THE MIST’s incarnation as a 10-episode series.

giona ostinelli

With THE MIST, King’s novella, first filmed by Frank Darabound in 2007, has been reimagined for television by executive producer and writer Christian Torpe (RITA) and produced by the Academy Award winning Weinstein Company, starring Frances Conroy (AMERICAN HORROR STORY, SIX FEET UNDER),Alyssa Sutherland (VIKINGS) and Morgan Spector (ALLEGIANCE). The series focuses on a small town family, recently victimized by a brutal crime. As they deal with the fallout an eerie mist rolls in, cutting them off from the rest of the world and harboring something unknown within its foggy vapors. THE MIST will premiere on June 22, 2017 on Spike TV. The newly-released trailer can be seen here.

For more information on the composer, see 

May 18, 2017

Mark Isham to Score Marvel’s CLOAK AND DAGGER

The upcoming series CLOAK AND DAGGER, created for Freeform by Joe Pokaski, is based on the Marvel Comic Characters of the same name, and follows the story of two teenagers from very different backgrounds who find themselves burdened and awakened to newly acquired superpowers while falling in love. Isham has created critically acclaimed scores for over 100 films, including CRASH, THE MIST, and A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT, for which he received a Best Original Score Oscar® nomination. Isham’s recent films include the Ben Affleck action drama THE ACCOUNTANT and upcoming film projects include Christopher Jenkins’ DUCK DUCK GOOSE, an adaptation of Lauren Kate’s #1 New York Times bestseller Fallen and Megan Leavy, the story of a young Marine Corporal whose discipline and relationship with her military combat dog saved many in Iraq.


May 1, 2017

IT COMES AT NIGHT: Brian McOmber (Ex-Dirty Projectors) Scores Upcoming Horror Film
Synths Meet Lonesome Strings & Percussion On Unsettling Score

Imagine the end of the world— Now imagine something worse.

IT COMES AT NIGHT is an upcoming horror film directed and written by award-winning filmmaker Trey Edward Shults. The original score was composed by Brian McOmber, the former drummer of Dirty Projectors (who played on albums such as Bitte Orca and Rise Above, among others). 

The soundtrack will be released on June 9th from Milan Records

IT COMES AT NIGHT is a horror film following a man who learns that the evil stalking his family home may be only a prelude to horrors that come from within. Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, the tenuous domestic order he has established with his wife and son is put to the ultimate test with the arrival of a desperate young family seeking refuge. Despite the best intentions of both families, paranoia and mistrust boil over as the horrors outside creep ever-closer, awakening something hidden and monstrous within him as he learns that the protection of his family comes at the cost of his soul.

McOmber’s score utilizes synths, lonesome strings, and thundering percussion, which conjure a kind of primal darkness in the music that is both foreboding and deeply unsettling. Having previously collaborated on Shults’s 2015 debut feature KRISHA, McOmber is a rising presence in the film score world. “After shooting the film and as it evolved in the edit, we started to think about melodic and textural themes and how these themes could reoccur at different times throughout the film,” McOmber said. “And even though it was to be a horror film score that would indulge some genre-specific musical approaches, we wanted to expand the music beyond the realm of horror. We wanted the music to also be beautiful, sad, hopeful, and painful… not just scary.

Brian McOmber (via Terrorbird Media)

“We had talked about incorporating strings early on, but I also started to send Trey videos of musicians who I thought would be a great fit for the score. From there, I set out to assemble a small group of core collaborators, as I prefer to work directly with musicians early on in the process. Typically, I like to start by working in a loose, improvisatory setting and let the music take shape as we go. We didn’t do this for all of the music, but many of our themes came about by accident, where a musician played something off the cuff that later – through editing and processing – became an essential element of the score.”

IT COMES AT NIGHT is set for release in theaters on June 9th, with the soundtrack being released the same day on Milan Records. A vinyl edition will follow in the summer.

– via Terrorbird Media

Watch the trailer below:

For more details, see:


IFMCA Award Winners 2016 Recognize Many SF/Fantasy Genre Scores


The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) has announced its list of winners for excellence in musical scoring in 2016, in the 2016 IFMCA Awards: James Newton Howard’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” wins for best sci -fi/fantasy/horror score; Jóhann Jóhannsson’s acclaimed score for the sci-fi hit THE ARRIVAL (a score disqualified for an Oscar) won Score of the Year; and Michael Giacchino won composer of the year, in recognition of four sci-fi/fantasy scores – DR. STRANGE, STAR TREK BEYOND, ZOOTOPIA, ROGUE ONE. Christopher Young’s Asian fantasy score for THE MONKEY KING 2 won for best Action/Adventure/Thriller, and GAME OF THRONES won for best television score; while La-La Land Records won for best archival collection for John Williams’ Jurassic Park Collection.

For details, and full list of all winners, see:

For full list of 2016 nominees, see:

SOUND OF FEAR to Examine Horror Film Music Via Podcast – Crowdfunding Sought for Ongoing Series


Everybody loves scary movies, and one of the most important elements of a good horror movie is the music. But where does the music come from and why is it so effective? Charlie Brigden, film music journalist writer and a former editor on Films on Wax and allows us to dive into the sonic scary with THE SOUND OF FEAR, a series of podcasts that looks at the scores behind the scares, from Alien to Zombie Flesh Eaters.

“I was inspired by seeing a documentary series on BBC about film music and it made me think that horror music (and films) always get a short shrift despite sound being so important – traditionally few respect the genre,” Brigden told us. “Music and sound is so crucial to horror being effective and suggestive, so I wanted to highlight that as well as give some time to some really wonderful music.”

The first episode is already completed and is available to view as a proof of concept on Brigden’s Patreon site that hosts his crowdfundung campaign. Brigden hopes the campaign will bring in some additional funding here and there “to be able to turn this into an ongoing series.”

Currently, the initial run of THE SOUND OF FEAR is set into six episodes, which will look across some broader areas of the horror genre including the Universal monsters, slasher films, science fiction in horror, and more. “If this series is successfully completed then we can look to concentrate on some of the music we’ve had to skip over, including specific episodes on composers and franchises, as well as producing some bonus material such as interviews with composers and directors.

“So what we’re asking is for money to go towards the running costs of the podcasts.”

For more information, to watch Episode 1, or to support THE SOUND OF FEAR, see:  

Basil Kirchin: The forgotten genius of UK music has posted a very interesting profile of UK composer Basil Kirchin, best known in film music circles for scoring THE SHUTTERED ROOM (1967),* THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES (1971),** and THE FREAKMAKER (1974; aka US: THE MUTATIONS)*** but was far more prolific in recording experimental and ambient music.  Read the profile at

Basil Kirchin horror soundtrack albums

Basil Kirchin horror soundtrack albums

* Kirchin’s SHUTTERED ROOM score remained an obscure non-release until 2012 when England’s Trunk Records released a prestige vinyl edition of Kirchin’s score in an expensive limited edition of only 29 copies.

** At the time of its release in 1971, a vinyl LP was released by American International Records, that contained songs from the film plus 5 minutes of music in three tracks from Kirchin’s score. In 2003 Perseverance Records, in association with the composer, released the first score album of the PHIBES music (now sold out).

***Kirchin’s avant garde music for THE FREAKMAKER was preserved on an extremely rare 19-track digital album from Master Cylindar Records (no date), described as a mixture of “straightforward film score music, messed-the-hell-up film score music, and electronically treated/created proto-dark ambient pieces.”

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