Drag Me to Hell

Composed By: Christopher Young

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            When loan officer Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) refused to approve Sylvia Ganush’s (Lorna Raver) mortgage extension in an effort to prove to her boss (David Paymer) that she could make tough decisions, she never realized that she was putting her soul in jeopardy.  But Christine has turned down the wrong woman and in retaliation, Mrs. Ganush has placed a curse on Christine which can plunge her into the depths of hell for all eternity.  There is only one way to save Christine’s soul, but can she pass the curse on to someone else in three days time or will she be doomed to suffer in hell forever?

            The musical score of the horror film Drag Me to Hell was created by American composer Christopher Young.  Toted as a composer who never repeats himself in any film score, Young has composed music for nearly one hundred films for quite a variety of genre.  His works include the soundtracks of Hellraiser, Swordfish, The Informers, Sleepwalking, Untraceable, Spider-man 3, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Ghost Rider, The Grudge and more.

            I have often said that a horror film’s greatest asset is its musical score.  The visuals can be gory or filled with special effects, but without the perfect soundtrack, they just don’t have the same impact.  Christopher Young knows the value of a good horror film soundtrack and he has pulled out all the stops with his composition of the musical score for Drag Me to Hell.

            From the very first track, aptly named Drag Me to Hell, one is immediately reminded of the horror films of old - Dracula’s castle, the Mummy’s tomb, the graveyard.  What brings us there?  The sound of an old church organ played in such a way that it sends chills up your spine.  Violins played at their highest pitch and fastest pace add to the creepiness with their screechy sounds reminiscent of nails on a chalkboard.  In his liner notes, Young reminds us that the idea of the Devil has often been associated with the violin and so the use of this particular instrument should come as no surprise.

            But Young doesn’t just employ the use of specific instruments to bring on the chills and cringes that are the associated reactions to horror film soundtracks.  He uses a number of tricks.  For instance, in Tale of a Haunted Banker, he lulls you into a sense of security with some beautiful, soft composition.  But the very next track, Lamia, blasts you with sound causing you to jump out of your seat.  Human moans and beseeching screams are heard in certain tracks, while strange noises like the rasping noise made by blowing leaves are found in others.

            If ever there was an album worthy of the Halloween season, the Drag Me to Hell Soundtrack by Christopher Young is that album!  The music is scary enough on its own, without the courtesy of visual effects, that this album would be absolutely perfect as the background music for a haunted house scenario.  Christopher Young has proven that he is the master of the horror musical score and I take my hat off to him for his composition of the Drag Me to Hell Soundtrack.  Well done, Mr. Young, well done!


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