Telling Scary Stories Keeps The Witch Away
September 16, 2021
Michael Abels Scores Netflix’s NIGHTBOOKS – Digital Soundtrack Released
NIGHTBOOKS is a 2021 American dark fantasy film directed by David Yarovesky and written by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis. The film stars Winslow Fegley, Lidya Jewett, and Krysten Ritter. Based on the 2018 horror-fantasy children’s book of the same name by J. A. White, it was released September 15, 2021, on Netflix. The premise follows a young boy named Alex (Fegley) becomes the prisoner of a witch (Ritter); to avoid certain death, he convinces her to let him tell her a scary story every night. Upon meeting the witch’s servant, Yazmin (Jewett), the two must use their wits to escape her apartment, a magical labyrinth filled with various dangers, before the witch does away with them both.
The film is scored by Michael Abels, known for scoring Jordan Peele’s GET OUT and US, as well as BAD EDUCATION (2019), Stefon Bristol’s science fiction adventure drama SEE YOU YESTERDAY (2019), and Joe Robert Cole’s drama film ALL DAY AND A NIGHT (2020). Abels is currently scoring the horror film NOPE for Peele, scheduled for release in 2022.
Film music journalist Jon Mansell described Abels’ score for NIGHTBOOKS at MovieMusicInternational as superb, writing that “the composer once again has fashioned a foreboding sounding work which compliments and acts as an alluring but powerful accompaniment to the story and its many twists and turns… In the context of the film it works so well [that] it is at times rather elusive because one does not realize that there is music there until it hits just at the right moment, to either compact or to elevate a scene or maybe act as a full stop or musical comma to the proceedings unfolding on screen.”
The digital soundtrack has been released by Maisie Music Publishing (29 tracks, 1hr 8 mins), available from the usual sources. The album includes a cover of the song “Cry Little Sister” by the band CHVRCHES, which is used in the film.
Watch the film’s trailer: