Now Playing: POLTERGEIST OST, Music To Fight Ghosts

Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas (@peteramartin)
Now Playing: POLTERGEIST OST, Music To Fight Ghosts

Marc Streitenfeld's original musical score for Poltergeist made me extremely tense and nervous. Which actually made me feel better, once I realized it was the music I was playing and not my mind playing tricks with me.

I have no idea how Gil Kenan's remake will turn out, but "Poltergeist Openings" sets a good beginning point, with minor chords mixing into the predominantly major chords. The next two tracks, "They're Here" and "Angry Spirits" descend further into the spirit of anxiety and turbulence of emotion that one would expect from this movie.

After all, it's about a little girl who is snatched up by evil spirits from the loving embrace of a family home, to the frantic torment of her parents (Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt). So it's only natural and expected that the musical accompaniment will move quickly out to the far side of the musical spectrum. From there, the soundtrack is off to the races, with a good variety of instrumentation adorning some fairly twisted tracks that amp up the heartrate.

Composer Streitenfeld began as a musical assistant for Hans Zimmer before becoming a music editor and supervisor (Hannibal, Mission: Impossible II). As a film music composer, he began with work on Ridley Scott's A Good Year and has scored all of Scott's movies since then. He also composed the music for Joe Carnahan's The Grey, a very good thriller.

His work here appears to be his first for an out and out horror movie, but obviously there are very exciting moments that were driven by his music in, say, Prometheus. The new Poltergeist score definitely ups the ante with a good variety of dancing woodwinds, crashing strings, and booming percussion instruments without becoming overly repetitive in the rhythms.

The soundtrack features 20 tracks and is consistently haunting, mysterious, and nerve-jangling, all elements that I want to hear (and then sublimate) in a horror movie. Now, about that clown...

The soundtrack will be available Tuesday, May 19 via Sony Classical.

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Gil KenanMarc StreitenfeldPoltergeist

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