Featuring Track by: Greta
Duration: 71 Minutes
Label: Varèse Sarabande Records
The Newton Brothers are Andy and Taylor, accomplished composers for film and television with works including Wayne Kramer’s dark comedy ‘Pawn Shop and Tony Kaye's ‘Detachment’. The brothers now bring you the original motion picture sound track for the horror film Oculus. Oculus is directed by Mike Flanagan, the story of a family haunted by a disturbed past, leaving Tim convicted of his parents’ savage murder. Tim's sister Kaylie tracks down the suspected culprit, the supernatural Lasser Glass, an antique mirror and unleashes the nightmarish consequences. This sound track is released by Varèse Sarabande Records, digitally on the 8th of April and on CD on the 22nd of April 2014 and contains 36 accomplished rancid tracks.
This composition is classical in feel, but there are synths lurking in the shadows and it is jam packed full of unearthly sighs and pounding heart beats, what hath God wrought? Highlights include the relative tranquillity and pounding heart-beat of “History of the mirror” which is at contrast with “Fingernails”, setting you on edge, as fingernails drag across blackboard. “This isn’t real” pounds steadily before shocking with a sudden grating onslaught of tension and “I’ve seen the devil and he is me” unrelents as the heart beat evolves into a screaming shriek and discordant piano. The haunting choir and piano of “Oculus” is another outstanding creation while the pulsing bass of the mirror intertwines throughout the work, pounding the listener with living horror of the mirror and its all pervading evil.
This music will be relished by horror film devotees, would unnerve unwanted neighbours if played at midnight or would make a good back drop if you are holding a satanic ritual. The score delights in lulling you into a false sense of security and then giving you a swift punch in the cochlear. This sound track is not for fun, if you are looking for easy listening, stay under your covers, leave the light on and don’t press play. The score comprises of metal scrapes, broken glass, detuned instruments mixed in with choir, fifty piece string section and synthesisers creating an eerie soundscape immersing the listener into the tormented world of the Lasser glass.
The work comes to conclusion with two bonus tracks “Oculus Remix”, remixed by Paul Oakenfold and “Oculus of Glass” remixed by Paul Oakenfold and featuring Greta, providing a slightly lighter feel to the end of the composition, which compared with the rest of the music could almost be considered light. If you want the original score for a horror film, this is the place to come and for most, this stands out as something very different and I would recommend a listen, if just to widen horizons.
Review by William J. Old