Composed by: John Debney
Distributed by: La-La Land Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In 1987, no one could have imagined how popular the sci-fi movie about an alien hunter/killer on Earth could be, the Predator franchise has expanded over the years to include video games, comic books, fan films and numerous sequels. In 2010, a new addition to the Predator series has hit the theaters. Predators stars Adrien Brodie, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Walton Goggins, and Laurence Fishburne. In this installment of the Predator saga, Earth’s most dangerous killers are dropped on a planet being used as a sort of game reserve used to hone the skills of the mercenary hunter/killers known as Predators. It’s an all out kill or be killed sci-fi flick with plenty of psychological twists and adrenaline pumping action.
The musical score of Predators was composed by American composer John Debney. Beginning his musical scoring career after graduating from the California Institute of the Arts with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Composition, Debney scored big with one of his television projects, earning an Emmy Award for Best Main Title for Sea Quest DSV. In 1993, he secured his first feature film scoring job with Disney’s comedy Hocus Pocus. Since then, John Debney has amassed quite a diverse résumé of film scores including such notable films as The Relic, End of Days, The Princess Diaries, Spy Kids, The Passion of Christ, Chicken Little, Iron Man 2 and more.
In creating the score for Predators, John Debney decided to take a look at the original score for the first film. Having great respect for the musical score written for Predator by Alan Silvestri, John Debney decided to incorporate Silvestri’s themes in his own compositions. By doing this, Debney creates a sound that brings back the feel of the original film mixed in with new themes for the new characters and situations in the film. Of course, when I first listened to the Predators Soundtrack, I wasn’t sure that this was being done. I remember thinking, “Cool, they used some of the signature sounds that announced the Predator’s arrival in scenes from the old movie.” After reading the album’s liner notes, I was happy to see that Debney’s respect for a fellow composer’s work compelled him to pay homage to that work while still offering up his own style into the mix. It was definitely a nice touch.
The soundtrack of Predators brings about two distinct feelings. There are the quiet but spooky times when you have the distinct impression that you are being stalked. These are the times when the sounds that identify the Predator - the mysterious clicking and that metallic garble (for lack of a better description) - are used in conjunction with softer musical tones. Then there’s the adrenaline rush offered up in the action sequences on the album which are clearly defined by rocking guitars and amazing percussion.
As I listened to the soundtrack, I could imagine how perfectly each of the tracks created by John Debney worked in each scene. It seemed liked Debney had immersed himself in the Predator lore and was able to completely understand the alien and his prey. The Predators Soundtrack is one of those albums that works well as a stand alone album and as a musical score designed to enhance the visuals on the movie screen. Debney did an excellent job with this project and deserves every ounce of kudos headed in his direction.