Soundtrack
The Conjuring


4.0
excellent

Review

by Alex Beebe USER (126 Reviews)
July 25th, 2013 | 15 replies | 3,370 views


Release Date: 07/16/2013 | Tracklist


If there’s anyone who has a certain talent for scoring modern horror films, it’s Joseph Bishara. The man consistently shows a great sense of knowing where to place the jump-scare cues at times where they’re the most startling and unpredictable, and even then he enhances the sheer shock of these sudden and abrupt cues by piling on the layers of distorted clatter so it really lunges out at listeners and viewers of the films he’s scoring. With the found footage craze at an all-time high in popularity, many modern horror films have taken advantage of deathly silence to achieve the effect of discomfort, and the horror films that do have an original score usually don’t boast much on a soundtrack. Either the ambient music will be kept in and the jump-scare cue music excluded, or the other way around. Bishara on the other hand, showcases on his original score for The Conjuring that he has the ability to make a collection of solely his music for the film just as frightening as the film without the aid of visuals.

Bishara’s score benefits from his inclusion of the scare cues throughout his compositions, as it’s very difficult to pinpoint when they’re coming, or even expect them to appear in the first place while listening casually. This makes listening to the The Conjuring an intense and more attention-capturing experience than even most regular soundtrack albums in general. Bishara can warp white noise to be vicious and foreboding, and manipulates the droning negative space around the track’s harsh shrieking mid-sections into uneasy and suffocating forms. He also toys around with the idea of distance in the compositions on The Conjuring, as tracks will either approach listeners from afar, surround and engulf them, or remain disturbingly complacent until they jarringly shift into a more violent tone.

To say the least, Bishara plays with different concepts of what makes music terrifying in the context of the film, and just as scary when listened to stand-alone. Some tracks will be quieter than others; baiting listeners into listening more carefully and closely before they are ambushed with a layered assault of grindingly disjointed noise at a breathlessly unexpected time. Most of the compositions suit the tone of the film and feel like a lengthy process of conjuring, as all the sounds lethargically gather together and collect into a pool of swirling anxiety before Bishara keeps listeners guessing by either striking them with a climactic jump scare, or sometimes just simply leaving them waiting for it, and its inconsistencies like that that maintains the score's shroud of uncertainty. Sometimes Bishara will start a shorter track off in the middle of a frantic and pounding cue, and then keep in as much as 10 seconds of silence within the track to keep listeners in a distraught state before the track goes for the throat once again.

All in all, The Conjuring succeeds because of obscure and offbeat composition structures that make it lethal and unnerving, and above all, something that musical albums in general rarely are: an unsettling and at times terrifying collection of tracks, which is everything a horror film soundtrack should be.



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user ratings (2)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
breakingthefragile
July 25th 2013



2935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn good film too. Much better than Insidious in my book. Actually kept me on edge unlike pretty much every other horror film this year.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2013



4337 Comments


I've been wanting to see this so bad. Everyone has been telling me it's great. Good review.

NightmareCinema16
July 25th 2013



2016 Comments


I, for some strange reason, wasn't really that excited about the Conjuring. Newer horror films just don't connect for me as well as older ones like the Exorcist or The Shining.

NightmareCinema16
July 25th 2013



2016 Comments


Great review, nevertheless.

Spec
July 25th 2013



26834 Comments


I still have to see this movie.

Ignimbrite
July 25th 2013



5228 Comments


movie ruled so hard

inb4 hate

greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2013



7162 Comments


Great review. Looking forward to seeing this flick.

Digging: Floor - Oblation

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
July 25th 2013



48540 Comments


jump scares r so cool

Digging: The Hotelier - Home, Like NoPlace Is There

PumpBoffBag
July 25th 2013



324 Comments


heading to see this soon, ace review too

SCREAM!
July 25th 2013



9576 Comments


Wasn't expecting much from the movie seeing as how lame possession movies have gotten but I was really surprised at how great the movie was at creating suspense and keeping you into it. Since someone mentioned Insidious I feel the need to mention that I didnt quite like it as much as that movie. There was something about insidious that just stayed with me even after the movie was done that wasn't there in the conjuring.

Anyway, the soundtrack definitely sounds interesting. Great review.

Ignimbrite
July 25th 2013



5228 Comments


Insidious was great up until the third act.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
July 25th 2013



6734 Comments


great movie, fitting soundtrack, excellent review Alex

climactic
July 25th 2013



17254 Comments


insidious was fucking dumb

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
July 25th 2013



19512 Comments


Insidious was great up until the third act. (2)

that stupid fucking cartoon demon ruined it for me.

Digging: Cult Leader - Nothing for Us Here

Gyromania
July 25th 2013



14647 Comments


^ couldn't agree more

good review alex, i've been meaning to see this movie



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