Composed By: Christian Henson
Distributed by: MovieScore Media
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In the 2012 comedic alien invasion film, Grabbers, Richard Coyle is Ciaran O’Shea, an alcoholic Irish policeman who resents his new workaholic partner Lisa Nolan (Ruth Bradley), especially after she volunteers them for temporary duty on remote Erin Island. After a number of mutilated whale corpses and mysterious disappearances, the officers and island dwellers learn that they have been under attack by tentacled, blood-thirsty, sea dwelling aliens. But there may be a way to thwart a full on attack using the one thing that these aliens cannot tolerate – alcohol!
The musical score of Grabbers was created by UK based composer Christian Henson. Training in classical piano at an early age, Henson completed his musical training on the road, performing for numerous bands around the UK and the world. He would eventually set up a recording studio where he would record, play and produce music by such notable acts as All Saints, The Freestylers, Roy Ayers, Lovestation and more. In 1997, he joined Air-Edel and began a lucrative career in television score composing. His first feature film score was Chasing Liberty in 2004. Since then, he has created musical score for Little White Lies, Severance, Scorpion, Malice in Wonderland, Storage 24 and more.
To create the score of Grabbers, Christian Henson dug deep into his own memories of 70s film scores: “This score is dedicated to my father and the Saturday afternoons we spent together watching all of those great movies of the 70's, an homage to my entire childhood film heritage. This score leaped off the page on first reading. It struck me that an immersive, thematic line was needed to help the viewer escape into the movie like the good ol’ days was what was required. We needed a shameless celebration of movie music and the sheer enjoyment of cinema.”
The resulting score is orchestral in nature, resembling the idyllic small town full of innocence. Mysterious and malevolent events are represented by darker tones and bursts of brass and percussion. The Grabbers Soundtrack also features some lighthearted comedic sounds, reminding us that this isn’t just your run of the mill horror/alien invasion film. Drunkenness is the name of the survival game in this film and this is expressed with woodwinds and horns that fairly sway as you picture the inhabitants of the island ossified in an attempt to thwart the alien invasion.
I found the Grabbers Soundtrack to be quite an enjoyable listen and a good addition to the MovieScore Media Discovery Collection, a collection aimed at unearthing overlooked quality scores.