Way back in 1979 John Carpenter revolutionized the horror film when he introduced the world to one of horror cinema's most enduring killers. Michael Myers was born that year, and from that moment on, he would go on to haunt the dreams of many a young child who dared stay up late on dark and stormy nights watching Halloween. It would go on to spawn a series of sequels of varying quality that would never live up to the original masterpiece. Now, nearly 30 years later, the horror loving populace will be subjected to a remake of said classic. A daunting task to be sure. One that a lesser man would curl up in a dark room and whimper. Not Rob Zombie, he took on the task, and in addition to writing and directing the film (with approval from John Carpenter), he also took on piecing together a soundtrack to his new vision.
In addition to writing and directing the original, John Carpenter was also the composer. To this day the Halloween score remains one of the best ever recorded. One listen and you will know why. It is terrifying in its simplicity, in the way it can build suspense and dread even when you aren't watching the movie. I doubt that anyone will be able to match what he was able to accomplish. For the remake, Tyler Bates has taken up the compositional duties. He is coming hot off of his work for Zack Snyder on 300, and has previously collaborated with Rob Zombie on The Devil's Rejects.
This soundtrack is not a score album, but it does contain two pieces by Tyler Bates. I have read rumors that a score album will be released this October. I hope that is true, as I liked what I heard here. The first piece is a reworking of John Carpenter's original theme music, music that even those who haven't seen the movie are familiar with. The track is simply called "Halloween 2007." It does not match up to the original, but it does a pretty good job of retaining that old school sense of dread without merely duplicating it. The main lines are still there, but there is a bit more of a synth feel to it with some underlying ambiance added to the mix. The other track is from the climax and it is called "The Shape Stalks Laurie." First, I am glad to see the credit of the Shape remain, hopefully that is how the end credits will read. As for the piece itself, it is an ambient piece with lots of industrialized noises. It is far from your traditional orchestral score sound. It has a slow build as a variety of sounds build up to a violent crescendo. I like it. It brings in flavors of Carpenter's work, but is definitely a new take for the new film. I cannot wait to see how it fits with the film.