The Thing Soundtrack Review

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Reviewed by Chris McEneany, 28th November 2011.
Whatever your opinion on the prequel to Carpenter's classic masterwork of SF/Horror – and, personally, I found it really enjoyable - there can be no disputing the fact that composer Marco Beltrami has more than come up with the goods and created something special to illustrate The Thing's wild rampage at the bottom of the world. Strident, exhilarating action sits alongside tense moments of pure dread and suspense. The evocation of the Antarctic wastes is acute and the new themes, for both the human struggle and for the alien, itself, are wonderfully sly new additions to the mythology of The Thing. It should be applauded that Beltrami didn't merely opt to rework what Ennio Morricone, Carpenter and Alan Howarth devised back in 1982. There are a couple of respectful nods, but this is a score that strikes out on a vastly different tack. Eric Heisserer's screenplay is more relentless and action-packed, and therefore debut director Matthijs van Hiejningen needed music that would set the pulse racing. He couldn't have found anyone better than Beltrami, as far as I am concerned.

This surely won't be remembered as fondly as the original's score, which is now iconic, or be as instantly recognisable. But this is the nature of the beast. You play the Morricone album and you are dropped into a cold and frosted isolation tank. Your mind gets scrambled with suspicion and distrust, and your blood is profoundly chilled. It is a cold and alienating experience. With this score, you are taken on a ride that is altogether more emotional, visceral and frantic, and more genuinely thrilling. It suits the movie to a tee, and it makes for a terrifically bravura experience as an album. Plus, that new Thing-theme is an excellent addition to the musical mythos of one the SF's most macabre monsters.

Definitely recommended for Thing-fans, Beltrami devotees and score-lovers in general.


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