Hardcore Henry Soundtrack and Score

Musical Score By: Dasha Charusha

Songs By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Sony Records Masterworks

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Hardcore Henry is an action film shot in the style of a first person shooter game.  Seeing everything through Henry's eyes, you can easily imagine that you are him, just brought back from the brink of death by your wife (Haley Bennett) who is kidnapped shortly after you awaken.  Though uncertain of who you are or why the people who have taken your wife want you dead, you embark on a mission to get her back and, in the process, discover who it is you really are.

                In April 2016, Sony Music Masterworks released two albums featuring music from the film.  The Hardcore Henry Soundtrack features songs from the film by various artists like Queen, The Drums, Biting Elbows, The Sonics and more.  The Hardcore Henry Score features musical score created by Russian singer, songwriter, pianist, actress and composer Dasha Charusha.  Born Daria Borisnova Simonenko, Charusha grew up with a passion for music and theatre.  She attended the Moscow Conservatory at the age of eighteen and studied to become a composer.  Married to Ilya Naishuller, frontman of the punk rock band Biting Elbows and director of Hardcore Henry, it seems only logical that she would be chosen to create the film's musical score.

                I remember seeing the promos for this movie and thinking that it was a promo for a video game at first.  Once I found out it was a movie, I thought it made for an interesting concept.  I expected to hear a great deal of adrenaline pumping action music and heavy metal tracks.  I was half right.  The score created by Dasha Charusha was perfect, featuring electronic and ambient sound, what I like to call acid rock - rock with a caustic sound like the hiss of acid hitting metal.  Action sequences are fast paced with heavy percussion.  Slower and quieter tracks coincide with hiding and sneaking around.  The powers that be picked the perfect person to compose the score for this film.

                It was the soundtrack that I was completely surprised by.  The songs found on this album run the gamut in genre.  I started laughing when I heard Queen's Don't Stop Me Now (a much less lethal song than Another One Bites the Dust).  The old school rock sound and the "having a good time" lyrics were so utterly unexpected that I found myself cracking up with the absurdity.  This is followed by love songs - Let Me Down Easy by The Stranglers and My Girl by The Temptations.  I incredulously stared at the CD player as I sang along, wondering when the slamming heavy metal or rap sound was going to hit my ears.  When Down By the Water by The Drums started playing, I was really starting to wonder about this album.  But then I heard Strychnine by The Sonics, the hard-rocking songs by Biting Elbows and the industrial metal sound of Caustic by Micro and I realized that the initials songs worked you up to the heavy hitting action tracks later in the album.

                I loved every ounce of music on the two Hardcore Henry albums and also enjoyed the bits of dialogue interspersed in between the songs, giving you a taste of what goes on in the film and the crazy people Henry meets on his quest to find his wife and his identity.  The Hardcore Henry Soundtrack and Score are both great listens and would be a terrific addition to any movie aficionado's collection.


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