My Cousin Rachel

Musical Score By: Rael Jones

Distributed by: Sony Classical

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


               In My Cousin Rachel, the dramatic thriller adapted from the gothic romance novel by Daphne Di Maurier, Sam Claflin is Philip, a young Englishman who plots to take revenge against the woman who he believes murdered his guardian.  But upon meeting his cousin, Rachel (Rachel Weisz), Philip finds himself becoming infatuated with her.  Falling quite hard for Rachel, he finds a duality in the way she behaves toward him.  When he falls ill, Philip becomes suspicious of Rachel.  Could it be that he was right about her involvement in Ambrose’s death all along and will he discover the truth before it is too late?

               The musical score of My Cousin Rachel was created by London-based Emmy nominated multi-instrumentalist and composer Rael Jones.  In addition to performing on tour and in television appearances as a guitarist, Jones has created a number of musical compositions for such notable works as Harlots, Kids in Love, Still the Enemy Within, Everest, Horrid Henry: The Movie and Island.

               My Cousin Rachel is supposed to be a gothic, romantic thriller, but when I first listened to the musical score created by Rael Jones, I was convinced I was listening to that of a horror film.  Believing I might be misinterpreting the music, I played it for a friend without telling her what the film was about, or even the name of the film for that matter.  As she listened, she commented, “And then the ghost comes out and takes its revenge on everyone!”  That’s when I knew I was right about the feel of this score.  The music is performed by strings and other orchestral instruments, but always at the forefront is a somber, almost creepy piano theme.  Most of the tracks have a somber approach to them or a feeling that something is off.  There is a distinct sense of suspense in the air and tracks like Broken Pearls contain high pitched violins for that added high intensity effect.  There are very few light tracks of music – Christmas is one example of light fare to be found on the album.

               Overall, the My Cousin Rachel Soundtrack has a haunted flare that will cause the listener to believe they are listening to some film involving the supernatural.  In truth this is a gothic romance, but the characters are a tad haunted, are they not?  The tone of the score made me look up more information about the film and I intend to see it some time soon - the mark of a well-composed score is that it has inspired me to see the movie it was created for.  Well done!


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