Steve Jablonsky

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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Steve Jablonsky returns as composer for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, the 2006 prequel-to-the-2003 remake of the original shocker. His new score stands in about the same relationship to that of the original, which featured music by Wayne Bell and director Tobe Hooper, as the new films bear to Hooper's original: it is competent, canny, and reasonably scary, and it admirably avoids overplaying its hand, but it in no way resembles the startling, creepy, brilliantly economical creation that the sound design of the original film was. Jablonsky throws in gloomy low tones, a snatch of the "Dies irae" melody, an allusion to the shark music from Jaws, and other horror standbys; he manages to fit his music into the closed circles of references that characterize the horror genre of recent years without being campy about it, and his timing in generating little shocks is quite effective. It's not the Bell/Hooper score, which could set your nerves on edge even if you didn't look at what was happening on the screen -- but then, as Camel cigarette ads used to say, it doesn't try to be. The CD is stingy at 46 minutes and 16 seconds; perhaps a nostalgic look back at Leatherface and his various musical representations would have been a way to avoid cutting the program off.

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