10 Cloverfield Lane
Musical Score By: Bear McCreary
Distributed by: Sparks & Shadows
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
The last thing Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Windstead) remembers before waking up chained to a wall in a concrete room is a phone call from the fiancée (Bradley Cooper) she'd just broken up with. Now, battered and broken, Michelle finds herself the guest of a mysterious man named Howard (John Goodman) who insists that he saved her life. But the chains suggest otherwise and Michelle is terrified at the thought that she may be held prisoner by an insane sex offender. Still, Howard insists that what is outside his bunker is more terrifying than what's within.
The musical score of 10 Cloverfield Lane was created by much sought after American composer Bear McCreary. Making a name for himself with the musical score of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, Bear McCreary has become a household name, creating musical score for a number of well-known television series, films and video games. Some of his works include the scores of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, The Walking Dead, Outlander, Defiance, The Forest, The Boy and more.
When McCreary set out to create the score of 10 Cloverfield Lane, he wanted to compose music that would enhance the emotions of the film - the drama and tension: "Walking out of our first meeting, I had the sensation that J.J. [Abrams] had just given me permission to write the score I’d always wanted to write...And Dan [Trachtenberg] knew intuitively that the music could help provide an emotional core to the story, support the tension coming from threats both inside and outside the bunker, and give an epic sense of scale." To that end, Bear McCreary assembled a number of ensembles - a 90-piece orchestra, a 45-string ensemble, a grouping of 30 celli and 8 bass and a string quartet. He also used two unusual instruments - the Yayli tanbur and the Blaster Beam. According to McCreary, "When I first saw the Blaster Beam, I could barely believe my eyes! I was giddy! It can best be described as a 15-foot-long pedal steel guitar, resembling an alien spaceship that lumbered off the pages of Heavy Metal magazine in the 1970’s. As soon as Craig [Huxley] played it, my imagination went into overdrive."
As I prepared to listen to the 10 Cloverfield Lane Soundtrack, I was stoked. Bear McCreary has a knack for creating horror scores and the score of 10 Cloverfield Lane is no exception. I loved that he didn't use electronics and that the score he created isn't a bunch of sound effects threaded together. He employs some classic horror cues like lower registry tones, screeching violins and blasts of music to enhance the creepy in this film. The main character's theme is dark classical, offering up a hint of innocence and that theme is present throughout the film. As Michelle comes closer to the truth of her captivity and what is going on outside of the bunker, her theme becomes more heroic...almost superhero-like. The final track, presumably used for the final credits of the film, features a mix of all the themes found in the score with a little more musical complexity added in.
I had seen promos of this film and wondered about seeing it in theaters. After listening to this score by Bear McCreary, I have no doubt that I will want to see 10 Cloverfield Lane. Bear McCreary has done it again - created a musical score that has inspired me to see the film. Another excellent musical score by the master!