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Fog, The (Soundtrack)

Composed by Graeme Revell

Released by Varese Sarabande


If you didn’t enjoy the recent remake of The Fog – and judging by the reviews and responses from Horror Channel residents, you didn’t – don’t blame Graeme Revell.

Who is Graeme Revell? He’s one of the world’s most well-known and well-respected composers of major movie scores. His haunting score for The Fog remake was recently released through Varese Sarabande records, and while the remake of the John Carpenter/Debra Hill classic may have been a disappointment, Revell’s score certainly is not.

Although the New Zealand-born composer has scored such movies as Out of Time, The Negotiator, The Crow and Pitch Black, Revell’s Fog score was one of his first ventures into the pure horror genre. Revell, who began his scoring career while working in a mental institution in Australia, is actively recognized as a pioneer of the “industrial sound.” The combination of the unusual sounds of the institution’s patients with atmospheric noise became the foundation for his industrial rock band, a band that scored the movie Dead Calm (which won Revell the Australian Film Award for Best Score).

For his Fog score, however, Revell seemed to move away from his industrial roots to explore more of a classic horror movie sound. Like many horror movie scores, the aural presence of a piano plays a prominent role here, and is employed with great effect throughout. Tracks like “The Hallmark,” “Statues” and “Island History” all create a very haunting mood, as the sounds of the piano can effortlessly conjure feelings of sadness, remorse and even pain.

Revell is also highly successful here at lulling—almost tricking—the listener into a sense of calm and relaxation. Tracks such as “Anchor Lockup,” “Burned Image” and “Elizabeth” are less music than they are sounds, hiding almost beneath the surface, creating a sense of lurking dread. But then, just as you feel safe… the music rises quickly, angrily. Violins screech and drums pound in tracks like “Boathouse” and
“Lights Out,” as you can almost feel the terror within the film’s characters.

The score’s climactic moment seems to come in the track “Tragedy on the Elizabeth Dane,” where Revell appears to add the sounds of men briefly moaning in agony. You feel an entire range of emotions in this, the score’s longest track—the anger, the dread, the fear, the pain, the need for vengeance.

Like a good roller coaster ride, Graeme Revell’s score for The Fog leaves you guessing, unsure as to what lies around every turn. Just when you begin to relax—even for a second—you meet a plunging drop or screeching turn. And, like that roller coaster ride, until the final notes of the score’s final track “Epilogue” are through reverberating, that suspenseful feeling, that fear, doesn’t leave you.

4 ½ out of 5

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