Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2018 October 29 • Monday

With Halloween mere days away, we're going to make Halloween the 541st Soundtrack of the Week.

The title might be a bit confusing. This isn't the first Halloween, which John Carpenter scored as well as directed and co-wrote. As CinemaSins pointed out, that movie has an onscreen title of John Carpenter's Halloween even though we all know it's just called Halloween.

But we'll retroactively make it John Carpenter's Halloween so we can more easily refer to 2018's Halloween, which has a soundtrack by Carpenter, his son Cody Carpenter and his godson Daniel Davies (son of The Kinks' Dave Davies).

We saw those three on tour a year ago, playing Carpenter cues and new original material, and they were great.

It makes perfect sense for them to score a new Halloween movie. The music and the famous theme are a huge part of the experience. Ask almost anybody if they can hum something in 5/4 and you'll likely get a blank look (or perhaps the Mission: Impossible theme). Ask them to hum the theme from Halloween and they're likely to oblige—and they'll have just hummed something in 5/4.

The new Halloween movie is awful. Let's just get that out of the way. I almost walked out an hour into it just because I was so bored. Nothing in it makes sense or is even persuasive, not even by the rickety internal logic of the story itself.

There are too many infelicities even to begin to mention, and such a task would hardly be worthwhile. Let's just say it's the kind of movie that's so dull and absurd that I found myself absentmindedly wondering whether the killer was ambidextrous, since he seems not to favor one hand over the other for holding weapons. This is perhaps the most interesting thing in the entire movie.

Jamie Lee Curtis was excellent in it, however, though she had nothing worthy of her to do.

Also excellent and also outclassing everything on screen—even the photography was inconsistent and inappropriate—was the music, and that's our main concern.

I don't suppose I need to go over every cue. Obviously you hear the theme, you hear it lots of times, you hear lots of other themes that are variations on it.

It's a very keyboard- and electronic-driven score, with effective layering of percussion and some elements, such as distorted electric guitar lines, that actually work better just listening to it than they do in the movie itself, possibly since the movie is so stupid and soporific.


But this record is excellent, an entirely satisfying fusion of composition, excecution and presentation. The sound quality is terrific. If you buy this record, put it on, and make up your own Halloween movie in your head while listening to it, it will be a much better movie than the one this music accompanies in real life.