Ennio Morricone
The Thing


4.5
superb

Review

by Zig USER (9 Reviews)
July 9th, 2020 | 32 replies


Release Date: 1982 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Maestro's unprecedented facet

In 1982, after its release, the film “The Thing” had such a negative reception with most critics categorizing it as “instant trash” and fiasco, even sci-fi fans hated it. Although the film was nominated for some Saturn awards, it was also nominated at the Razzie Awards for the worst soundtrack (huh !?). As a result of such a disappointing performance, John Carpenter lost confidence in some opportunities to make other horror films. Also known as “the most hated movie of all time”, “The Thing” has become one of the best works of horror and science fiction, and today it is definitely a cult classic, praised for its chilling moments, visual and creative effects , nihilistic tone and, of course, for his music.

"The Thing" is one of the few Carpenter films whose soundtrack is not composed by himself. So he left the honors to conductor Ennio Morricone, wanting a European musical approach. His decision proved to be a wise move, as what Morricone composed is undeniably a unique work in the history of horror composition. However, the musician produced approximately one hour of material that remained largely unused. The reason for this was that Carpenter felt that some pieces did not fit into the tension scenes, and as a result, the director ended up recording some sound effects for those scenes.

As for music, Morricone wrote for both orchestra and synthesizer, and in some cases for both. Very distant from the usual sound of the Italian composer, the music in “The Thing” is very intense and scary. In addition, there is almost no melody, the emphasis is on creating an exciting atmosphere, elevating the qualities of psychological terror.

In the orchestral part, it starts with Humanity (Part 1), a slow seven-minute piece that introduces the main theme of the film and sets the mood for the rest of the album. Not only does it focus on a dark atmosphere, but it also creates a sense of confusion with Contamination, which resembles the aesthetics of modern music, and creates a sense of emotional intensity with Bestiality, clearly influenced by Bernard Herrmann.

In the synthesizer part, Morricone mixes a minimalist approach with a baroque organ sound. When side A is about to end, there is the first electronic track Eternity, which starts with a single note that determines the rhythm and some electronic noises, then growing in a sea of ​​organs, creating a somewhat surreal aesthetic.

On the B side, there's Sterilization, which features a bleak progression of organ chords, along with a unique synth work that continues to add layers after layers of minimalist melodies. Then there is Humanity (Part 2), an electronic version reprise, but the Italian composer does not leave his organ out: an even darker view of the first track. That said, the use of synthesizers and some elements that resemble Iannis Xenakis or Karlheinz Stockhausen, make the whole sound very interesting and captivating.

In short, the soundtrack for “The Thing” is not only a good combination with the alien special effects, but the most important thing is that it skillfully puts the film's deeper meaning into music. Listening to music alone without the images can be a different thing, especially for those who believe that it works best in conjunction with the visual component, but not this time. Maestro Ennio Morricone intensified his game and ended up creating a minimalist soundtrack, with suspense, for one of John Carpenter's best films. Furthermore, it does not lose its effectiveness, as it perfectly captures the despair present in the work. One of the maestro's best works, for sure.



Recent reviews by this author
Os Mutantes A Divina Comédia ou Ando Meio DesligadoAnna von Hausswolff All Thoughts Fly
Various Artists (Tropicalia) Tropicália ou Panis et CircencisNovos Baianos Acabou Chorare
Chick Corea Now He Sings, Now He SobsCurtis Mayfield Superfly
user ratings (49)
4.3
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
Zig
July 9th 2020


2279 Comments


Underappreciated as hell

claygurnz
July 9th 2020


6218 Comments


Such a great film and score.

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
July 9th 2020


15430 Comments


This movie gave me the creeps when I saw it back in VHS days. I don't remember the score tho.

Digging: Fractal Generator - Macrocosmos

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2020


16735 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

how did this not have a review?

Zig
July 9th 2020


2279 Comments


“how did this not have a review?”

I’ve deleted my original review, all my reviews in matter of fact, to avoid self-plagiarism.

SteakByrnes
July 9th 2020


22031 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One of my favorite movies, the score always gave me the chills and fit perfectly

rockandmetaljunkie
July 9th 2020


9466 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fuck yes!

rockandmetaljunkie
July 9th 2020


9466 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Masterpiece!

rockandmetaljunkie
July 9th 2020


9466 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Have not read the review yet but it should be stated that the final score is NOT entirely Morricone's. Carpenter altered some of the material to a degree and he also added some electronic sound effects as well.

e210013
July 9th 2020


3158 Comments


I always liked this film. Besides I always loved Carpenter's style. But, I don't see the film for a centuries. And sincerely I don't remember very well of its soundtrack. But, I've in my memory the idea that it's great, which was usual with this great composer. Nice to see a review of this, especillay in this moment. Morricone deserved that. Nice work as usual, amigo. Pos.

SteakByrnes
July 9th 2020


22031 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You should watch it again brother it's still fantastic

e210013
July 9th 2020


3158 Comments


I know. I'm going to do so one of these days, surely.

hamid95
July 9th 2020


931 Comments


love this movie

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
July 9th 2020


6287 Comments


I didn't know Carpenter didn't compose the soundtrack on this one

Great movie, great soundtrack, great review

Digging: Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou - The Helm Of Sorrow

ChaoticVortex
July 9th 2020


1090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One of my favorite movies with an excellent soundtrack. Great review, pos'd.

rockandmetaljunkie
July 9th 2020


9466 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The movie is a masterpiece. It's so watchable even for today's standards.

notagenius
July 9th 2020


368 Comments


the movie is now considered an amazing B-movie, but I think the score was a perfect execution of the mainstream sci-fi features of that time for Carpenter's synth-wave music-style has a relative small soundstage and is not well suited to a sci-fi environment in my view.

two directions of scores for science fiction at that time, the traditional orchestral arrangements and the avant-garde music (pioneered by Bernard Herrmann in The Day the Earth Stood Still)

Actually this score used both of them. the orchestration in Humanity, the jazz improvisation in Contamination and the electronic keyboards in Sterillization, which were all very excellently executed. But to be honest, it's not groundbreaking stylistically.

TVC15
July 9th 2020


10688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

duhduh... duhduh... duhduh...

bloc
July 9th 2020


64367 Comments


THUM THUM

Source
July 10th 2020


18491 Comments


love that part when the dogs head splits open like a banana peel



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy