Across the River
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In the Italian horror film, Across the River, Ethologist Marco Contrada (Marco Marchese) finds himself in the woods on the border of Italy and Slovakia while conducting a wildlife survey. Placing cameras on wild animals is run-of-the-mill work for Contrada…until he begins finding butchered animals and his camera recordings lead him to a remote village. Trapped in the village, knowing about the supposed curse that was placed on it, Contrada is about to learn that the curse he had heard about…the mysterious sisters haunting the village…they were not the things of legend, but truth.
The musical score of Across the River was created by Italian composer and musician Stefano Sciascia. Beginning his foray into music by learning to play the double bass at sixteen, Sciascia became a featured soloist in orchestras all around the world. Having created his own music for the double bass, Sciascia became versed in musical composition. Across the River represents his first foray into film score composition.
The music of Across the River is orchestral, featuring a blending of both common and exotic instruments. Various sounds are also added to the tracks, creating quite a unique score. The Temple features running water and rain, offering a feeling of tranquility. Scotland the Brave features bagpipes and snare drum rolls. Orior features some sort of horn sounding, reminiscent of the horn used to celebrate during international soccer matches.
Bass drum slams, dark and ominous string pieces and strange sounds sent shills up my spine and my hair standing on end. My very first words after listening to the Across the River Soundtrack were: “Wow, that was a <insert expletive here> spooky soundtrack!” This is a horror film with a unique style and sound and one well worth listening to. I loved the nature sounds inserted into the musical score, offering the listener a sense of the surroundings of the film. The unique use of the instruments…not the usual scraping of violin strings or bursts of loud music – made the Across the River Soundtrack a much scarier listen than I was expecting. I have no doubt that this score is perfect for the film it was created for and look forward to hearing more from Stefano Sciascia.