Wow! A bit surprised by Steven A. Kennedy's review of this score on this month's FSM Online where he gave this score the lowest rating "1-star" complaining it focus on repetitive rithms, that the ideas do not connect and concluding it is "more of same electronic-inspired horror that once defined a genre. Unfortunately, the approach, oft-imitated in recent years, now feels tired, with this version feeling particularly random and uninspired"(!)
I could not disagree more. I think the album is a great listen, the recurring themes are treated in interesting ways and the few new themes and ideas introduced are good. I don't think this particular 80's synth style of scoring has been oft-imitated in recent years - IMO electronic horror scoring continues to be more in the harsh, sound-design mode with jump scares than this approach, minimalist but filled with thematic ideas that Carpenter and his partners managed to do so well in both this film and Halloween 2018. I'd consider this score a **** effort (or at minimum a *** score when compared with the superior Halloween 2018)
The last few tracks "Unkillable", "Payback" and "Michael´s legend" are awesome tracks along with "Rampage", "Hallway Madness" and "It needs to die". I think the movie worked best after repeated viewings as I at first did not like how it ended (too much WTF), but now I´m looking forward to Halloween Ends. Michael was at his most Jasonesq with his killings and Carpenter delivered at the score department. The side characters could have been better written , but I did love the flashback to 1978 scenes the most.
On a series with little muscial variation it is difficult to do a ranking. I generally like the scores and think they work great in most of the movies. Here is my ranking - what's yours?
1) Halloween III – Season of The Witch (Carpenter/Howarth): My favorite in the series and among my favorites ever from Carpenter. The classic Halloween themes are not used on this episode as the story does not involve Michael Myers but it is the most atmospheric score in the series on which most tracks are great. The AHI release sourced from tapes that Alan Howarth had has some sound and program issues and is not complete. Would love a complete edition with improved sound of this one.
2) Halloween II (Carpenter/Howarth): With Carpenter mostly unavailable involved on "The Thing", Howarth took the themes he composed for Halloween and gave them a more “polished” sound. I think it improves over the first score, specially with more variation on the themes. The slow variation of the Main Theme that opens the film/album is great and was even adopted by Carpenter on the latest installments.
3) Halloween 1978 (Carpenter): Incredibly effective with fantastic themes that work very well in the film. Not as good to listen to on album due to the fact that it becames a bit repetitive as the themes are repeated without any variation during the film and album.
4) Halloween 2018 (Carpenters/Davies): Carpenter return to scoring is great. With his co-composers he updated the sound and created great new themes (the theme introduced in Shape Hunts Allyson and Prison Montage are among my favorite music from the series).
5) Halloween 4 (Howarth): Howarth continued the great job he did on the second sequel in this one and added a very good theme for Jamie (that unfortunately he underused on Part 5).
6) Halloween H20 (Ottman): I think it was refreshing to hear an orchestral approach in the series – clearly influenced by Scream. I really like this score, which is probably one of the more listenable on album, but unfortunately it was treated poorly in the movie with large portions replaced by Beltrami’s music from Scream and Mimic which were very distracting while watching the film. Tracks like “Face to Face” are very good but were not used.
7) Halloween Kills (Carpenters/Davies): I liked it a lot but not as much as Halloween 2018, the new theme used for Michael on his most ‘bad ass’ moments (“Unkilable”) works wonderfully in the movie.
8) Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (Howarth): Howarth updated the sound for the franchise on this score, specially for the rescored Theatrical Cut which includes the more modern version of the Halloween Theme using electric guitars and percussion.
9) Halloween Resurrection (Lux): Lux does a good job on this sequel with possibly the best recording of the Halloween Theme – with the classic piano sound but adding some interesting modern percussion effects as the track progresses.
10) Halloween 5 (Howarth): An ok score on which my main disappointment is that Jamie’s theme is underused by Howarth and nothing stands out as new.
11) Halloween II (Bates): I didn’t like Tyler Bates scores for the Rob Zombie’s movies. A bit hash sounding. Not something I return to listen to.
12) Halloween 2009 (Bates): Score unreleased. But same hash sound Bates uses on II. I did not particurlarly liked it.