Broken Horses

Musical Score By: John Debney

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the dramatic film, Broken Horses, Anton Yelchin is Jacob Heckum, a young music prodigy who left his hometown and his brother as a child after the death of their father.  About to be married, Jacob is contacted by his older, child-like brother Buddy (Chris Marquette) who wants to help celebrate his upcoming nuptials with a gift.  When Jacob asks his brother where the money for the gift came from, he learns that Buddy is working for a notorious drug gang, used because he blindly will perform any action the ruthless boss sends him to do.  Jacob, feeling guilty for abandoning Buddy, knows that the only way he can repay his brother is to rescue him from the monsters who are using him.

                The musical score of Broken Horses was created by renowned American composer John Debney.   After studying musical composition at the California Institute of the Arts, John Debney went to work at Disney Studios, writing music and orchestrating music.  Winning his first Emmy for the main theme of The Young Riders, John Debney’s career soon took off.  Since then, he’s created musical score for a number of projects, including Iron Man 2, Predators, Bruce Almighty, Valentine’s Day, Princess Diaries, Sin City, No Strings Attached, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Hocus Pocus, Stonehearst Asylum, The Cobbler and more.

                The Broken Horses Soundtrack is a mix of orchestral and electronic, the opening track starting off in idyllic western style – you can almost picture a beautiful open field with horses galloping through – and ending with a distinct feeling of danger brought on by darker tones and reverb.  Particularly spooky are tracks in which a distorted version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star play.  These tracks, including The Memory, make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.  Where there is beauty – violins, pianos, even a waltz, there is often some note of danger – lower registry sound, electronic distortion and reverb.

                I’ve listened to many a John Debney score in the past – mostly quirky comedic film scores, but a few horror scores as well – but the score for Broken Horses had me most intrigued.  Listening to the music Debney created made me want to know more about this film.  The dichotomy of beauty versus danger in this score made me want to know exactly what was going on in this film.  I wanted to see the visuals that Debney created score for and that is the mark of a great soundtrack.  John Debney has done it again with his score for Broken Horses.  I can’t wait to see this film!


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