Alejandro Amenábar, the Spanish director of acclaimed horror film, The Others, also composed the score -- which makes him one of a select few indeed (Mike Figgis, of Leaving Las Vegas fame, is another). As he states in the liner notes, "It was my avid listening to soundtracks as a child that inspired my interest in movies. I then started writing and composing melodies for my little stories." In other words, the composing came first, then the directing. This instrumental soundtrack, performed by the London Session Orchestra, is as subtle and sophisticated as his World War II-set feature, which doesn't rely on special effects or gore for its shocks, but is more of a psychological thriller in the vein of The Innocents or The Haunting (with Nicole Kidman as the strict, but loving English mother of two frail children). For the most part, the music is spare and restrained with occasional eruptions into lushness and drama (as in "They Are Everywhere," a reference to ghosts, and "Communion Dress," an article of clothing that at more than one point resembles a shroud). The emphasis is on woodwinds and strings, with percussion kept to a minimum. Removed from the visuals, the soundtrack is rarely scary, but more often eerie and even a little otherworldly. Amenábar also composed the music for Open Your Eyes, the Spanish-language inspiration behind Cameron Crowe's Vanilla Sky, featuring Tom Cruise, who co-produced The Others.
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AllMusic Review by Kathleen C. Fennessy
|The Others, film score|