John Ottman

Portrait of Terror

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The title reads Portrait of Terror, but in fact this disc contains John Ottman's rejected score for John Carpenter's Halloween H2O. The music's elimination from the film seems to be more an issue of sensibility than quality -- Ottman's orchestral approach sharply deviates from the musical template established across previous entries in the Halloween series, with a strongly cerebral component at odds with the visceral horror of the slasher genre. While incorporating elements of Carpenter's landmark theme for the original Halloween, Ottman largely eschews tradition to fuse bursts of brass and choir with menacing electronic effects that successfully achieve a potent atmosphere of dread -- whatever its perceived failings as a Halloween score, Portrait of Terror is nevertheless successful as a work of horror music.

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