No Escape

Musical Score By: Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders

Song By: Jim James

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the dramatic film, No Escape, an American businessman named Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson) moves his family to Southeast Asia to head up a new water project.  His timing couldn’t be worse – a violent political uprising overthrows the government.  As the rebels mercilessly murder tourists and other businessmen around him, Jack realizes his family is in danger, especially since the rebels are protesting the very project that Jack is heading up.  Can Jack get his family to safety or will they all fall victim to the rebellion?

                The musical score of No Escape was created by the film scoring team of Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders.  Marco Beltrami became famous with his innovative and non-traditional score for Scream.  Since then, he has been tapped to create musical scores for a diverse selection of film genres.  Some of his credits include Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, 3:10 to Yuma, The Hurt Locker, Soul Surfer, Fantastic Four, The Homesman, Snowpiercer, The November Man, Trouble With the Curve, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, World War Z, The Woman in Black and more.  Buck Sanders and Marco Beltrami have formed a partnership that has lasted almost twenty years.  The two have worked together on projects like Resident Evil, The Woman in Black, The Homesman, I, Robot, Warm Bodies, The Hurt Locker and more.

                The No Escape Soundtrack is an interesting palette of pianos, electronic sound, strings, and exotic instruments mixed in with sound effects.  The resulting score creates a sense of the movie’s locale, the family’s love for one another and an incredible sense of danger that only increases in intensity as events move forward in the film.  According to Sanders, “The palette of the score is mainly manipulated Asian percussion and modular Eurorack synths, with some string orchestra.  We played with the percussion sounds to really accent the ‘stranger in a strange land’ feeling in the film. We also used production recordings of some street musicians that were recorded on set. And I even recorded my daughter Roux doing a horrible, high-pitched scream and then slowed it down to help create a long, sustained ‘pad’ of wailing that channels the young girls’ screams in the film.”  The percussion becomes louder and more intense the more dangerous things get for the Dwyer family.  Their love for one another is expressed through strings and keys.

                The music of No Escape works for the movie’s format and I have no doubt that it works toward enhancing the drama and adrenaline rush of the visuals.  I loved the use of exotic instruments to help describe the locale.  The movie itself didn’t exactly do well in the box office, but it was not due to lack of an intriguing score.  I think that, whether or not you want to see the film, the No Escape Soundtrack is definitely worth the listen, though I would focus on the score and ignore the original song…it just wasn’t worth mentioning.


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