Movie director Sam Raimi is sometimes cited by critics for his ability to make genre films that are better than the genre as a whole, particularly the horror genre. It's something of a thankless talent, since horror fans don't necessarily appreciate the distinction, and people who don't care for horror aren't likely to be drawn into theaters because a particular horror film is "above average." Film composer Christopher Young, who has worked with Raimi extensively, has something of the same problem. His music is routinely described as better than the movies in which it appears, but most people don't go to movies to listen to the background scores, either. And that brings us to Raimi's Drag Me to Hell, with a score by Young. Once again, at least some critics ranked the film a cut about most demonic possession pictures, and once again, Young has done more with the music than might have been expected. To be sure, he conforms to the demands of the plot, often revving up his music to coincide with something particularly grisly on screen, with a tendency to create chaotic crescendos that are reminiscent of the one in the Beatles' "A Day in the Life." But the score also contains delicate keyboard-based themes ("Tale of a Haunted Banker," "Familiar Familiars"). In a sleeve note, the composer states that the prominent violin heard in several of the cues is meant to represent the Devil. He also reveals that, through the magic of overdubbing, the violin sometimes boasts ten fingers on the fretboard, playing passages that would be impossible for a single human being to replicate. Charlie Daniels, you have been warned.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
|Drag Me To Hell, film score|