The Bye Bye Man
Composed By: The Newton Brothers
Distributed by: Sony Classical
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Based on the chapter “The Bridge to Body Island” in Robert Damon Schneck’s novel, The President's Vampire, The Bye Bye Man is a supernatural horror film that begins with a 1969 murder spree. A man systematically kills each and every one of his neighbors on his block, forced to do so by a mysterious entity known as The Bye Bye Man. Now, decades later, three college students move into an old house off campus and unwittingly unleash this entity as soon as they discover his name. Now The Bye Bye Man preys on them as they struggle not to think of this name they have discovered. “Don’t say it, don’t think it”…or else you may end up dead!
The musical score of The Bye Bye Man was created by the composing team of Andy and Taylor Newton, otherwise known as The Newton Brothers. Raised on opera, radio, concerts and movies, the two decided to work on a career that would combine their love of music and film. Multi-instrumentalists, the brothers often combine their classical training with electronics, manipulated sound and the unlikeliest of instruments. Some of their works include Pawn Shop Chronicles, Setup, Detachment, High School, Oculus, Proxy and Life of Crime.
The Bye Bye Man Soundtrack features electronic sound and sound manipulation. Keyboards strikes have an echoey quality which amps up the spook-factor. Track 30, The Bye Bye Man, is the most put together track featuring percussion and synths, complete with a fast pace and a sense of foreboding. I found the addition and manipulation of various sounds to be quite clever. In the track, The Train, the music actually reminds me of an express train barreling through the station in New York City. Seance features crashing sounds that may or may not have been caused by striking strings on a bass guitar. Car Crash features the sound of glass exploding into splinters. Loved Ones starts of soft and sweet, but quickly turns ominous.
The Train Song, featuring Richard Patrick on vocals, is really interesting with those soulfully sung lyrics: “Tragedy…remind me when I’m home again. For I can see…the train is off the rails again. Don’t blame me for following for following it to the night.” This song sort of signifies what the college kids are going through. Here they are, full of hope for the future and then tragedy strikes and they find themselves just hoping they can survive one more day of this nightmare.
The Newton Brothers have done it again, creating a fairly lengthy musical score that amps up that horror fear factor to the nines. Fans of The Bye Bye Man will definitely want to get their hands on this score that is edge of your seat spooky to say the least.