Composed by: Danny Elfman
Distributed by: Sony Music and Madison Gate Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Based on the popular R.L. Stine children’s horror book series, Goosebumps stars Dylan Minnette as Zach Cooper, a teenager who is upset about his family’s recent move to a small town from a big city. There are some high points to the move – a beautiful next door neighbor named Hannah (Odeya Rush) and a new friend named Champ (Ryan Lee). But there are some drawbacks, like the fact that his next door neighbor’s father is actually R.L. Stine (Jack Black) and that his horror creations that made his stories so famous are actually real. Suddenly released from their manuscript prisons, it’s up to Zach, Hannah, Champ and Stine to wrangle all of these monsters back into the books they came from in order to save the town.
The musical score of Goosebumps was created by former Oingo Boingo lead singer and songwriter Danny Elfman. Famous for his music with the alternative rock band, Elfman has also established himself as a versatile and accomplished composer for film. Over the last thirty years, he has created a number of scores for such notable films as Milk (earning an Oscar nomination), Good Will Hunting (another Oscar nomination), Big Fish (Oscar nomination), Men in Black (a fourth Oscar nomination), Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Batman, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, Fifty Shades of Grey, Big Eyes and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
The Goosebumps Soundtrack features a score that is orchestral with bits and pieces of electronic sound. With a “PG” rating, it’s no surprise that the music starts off somewhat quirky with none of that doom and gloom darkness associated with “Rated R” horror films. The Goosebumps main theme appears throughout the soundtrack and is prominently featured in moments of action. Lighter orchestral tracks are used to depict moments in which Zach tries to adjust to his new home. Ferris Wheel is one of those tracks in which we can feel Zach’s sadness in his new environment and yet, there is an air of hopefulness that he might find some positives in this new situation.
Action sequences in which the characters are fighting or fleeing monsters are depicted with past-paced music featuring trumpets and other brass instruments, strings and percussion. Often times, a musical saw is used to create that spooky ghost sound…other times, the same sound is performed by a female vocalist.
The Goosebumps Soundtrack features twelve bonus tracks in addition to the seventeen regular tracks, adding to the musical experience that Danny Elfman has created for this film. I had a great deal of fun listening to this album, smiling during what I could only imagine as awkward moments for the main character of the film and reveling in the fast pace of the action sequences. Fans of the Goosebumps movie are definitely going to want to get their hands on this soundtrack, an incredibly enjoyable experience that will no doubt garner more award nominations for Danny Elfman.