James Newton Howard

Dreamcatcher [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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James Newton Howard's score for the film adaptation of Stephen King's novel Dreamcatcher is aptly dark and atmospheric, evoking a sense of slow-creeping but inevitable dread in pieces like the main title, "Animal Exodus," "Becky Bleeds," and "What Are You Up To?" The mix of orchestral and electronic elements in the score works well for the most part, with one flowing seamlessly into the other on "Curtis and Owen Battle," which builds from ominous drones into a tribal drumbeat and sharp stabs of brass and strings. Slight nods to Native American percussion and melodies throughout the score tie the music back to the film's setting, but Howard's real accomplishment is how well he builds up and releases tension in pieces like "Henry Returns to the Cabin" and "The Weasel," which use the tried and true, soft-then-loud dynamics of horror film music in slightly unexpected ways. Dreamcatcher is a moody and taut score, which is more than can be said of the movie that inspired this music.

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