Music Composed by: David Julyan

Distributed by: Screamworks Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In the British psychological thriller from director Philip Ridley, Jim Sturgess is Jamie Morgan, a young outcast, thanks to a disfiguring birthmark across his face.  Wandering around abandoned yards in the rough streets of East London, Jamie comes across a group of thugs with supernatural qualities.  He eventually makes a deal with one of the leaders named Papa B - he will aid Papa B in his desire for chaos in exchange for the removal of Jamieís heart-shaped birthmark.

            The musical score of Heartless was created by English musician and composer David Julyan.  While attending the University College London, David Julyan began composing film score for short films.  It was here that he began working with director Christopher Nolan, scoring his first feature film, Following.  Although Julyan is best known for the dark scores featuring orchestral music shot through with electronic layers as those found in Momento, Insomnia and The Prestige, he has also created musical scores for heartwarming films like the Irish drama, Inside Iím Dancing.

            The score created for Heartless is more along the dark side thanks to the dark undertones of the film.  The Main Titles represent a quick synopsis of the film, first radiating an almost hopeless beauty via the orchestral string section and culminating in a score with heavy, dark undertones.  This theme is echoed quite a bit throughout the film score.  The most striking tracks, Papa B and Papa B Returns, feature some heavy percussion mixed with spooky electronic sound that fairly screeches at you in warning.  Run, Jamie, Run has a spooky quality and a sound that emulates a ticking clock, as the percussion kicks in, you have the feeling Jamie has quite a good reason to run and that his time on this Earth is about to run out.

            All-in-all, the musical score created by David Julyan for this film accurately reflects the darkness of the film.  Unfortunately, as I listened to the Heartless Soundtrack, I found it quite similar to the numerous horror film soundtracks Iíve reviewed in the past.  There was really nothing new to be found here - all horror film soundtrack composers are now using electronic sound infused in orchestral music, broken up by some disjointed noises designed to spook you.  While I felt that the score was well-suited for the film it was created for, I needed something more to find a reason to recommend purchasing the Heartless Soundtrack to my readers. 


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