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Soundtrack Review

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Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Elia Cmiral
Label: MovieScore Media
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 01 June 2018

Feral is a horror film directed by Mark Young. Scout Taylor-Compton and Olivia Luccardi play two young women on a camping trip that separates them from the rest of the group. A mutated virus from the forest turns former friends into cannibal zombies. Composer Elia Cmiral was born in Czechoslovakia but moved to America. He famously scored the music for Ronin, but is no stranger to horror with soundtracks created for Stigmata, Splinter, Wrong Turn, and the remakes of the Pulse trilogy. Feral marks the fourth time Cmiral has worked with Mark Young. This time there is a string ensemble with piano and contemporary electronica.

'Journey Into the Forest' is a nice, quiet, ambient piece to introduce the story. 'Jules Encounters a Feral' has a ticking background bass which builds the tension towards quiet menace. 'Alice' has a retrospective feel, with melancholy piano and string. 'Camper Chaos' incorporates a ringing sound, building to a slamming noise, as if in pursuit. 'Jules Tricked' could well be the best track on offer here, using a clattering as in John Carpenter’s Escape From New York. The music lowers to a whisper before slowly building once more. 'Caught in the Act' is a sad-sounding piece, but threaded with menace. 'Fight to the Death' returns to the clattering. 'The Trek to Recover Jesse' is a montage of previous sounds. 'Helpless' creates a calm before the storm; an atmospheric false sense of security, using cello and keys.

'Gina Attacked' is the promised storm, with a drum-driven build-up. 'Alice Tells a Story' returns to retrospective piano and organ. 'Brienne Is Changing' follows a transformation; low undertones and then drums again. 'Talbot’s Story' consists of low organ and cello. 'The Cellar' uses low rumblings. 'Run For Your Life' is quiet until halfway through, before becoming a relentless chase sequence. 'Goodbye' is the longest track. It’s slow and melancholy music much like the first track, and so very good. 'End Titles' resurrects the John Carpenter-like clattering piece.

Without having seen the film yet, I found the soundtrack to Feral to be quite entertaining without knocking my socks off. ' Journey Into the Forest' and 'Goodbye' are particularly nice, as is 'Jules Tricked'. It’s just varied enough without losing its central thread. Every score should have a main theme to return to, after all. It’s about striking a balance between enjoying a film theme and returning to it too often. Elia Cmiral is no slouch though, and avoids the common pitfalls.


Ty Power

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