Something Wicked

Composed By: Kyle Newmaster

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Set in Eugene, Oregon, Something Wicked stars Shantel VanSanten and John Robinson as Christine and Jamie, a couple who have just graduated and are looking forward to taking that next step in life together.  But when Jamie asks for Christine's hand in marriage, her parents are not keen on the idea, upsetting the two lovebirds.  Shortly afterwards, the family is involved in a horrific car accident, killing Christine's parents.  Flash forward and Christine is trying to move on with her life, attending college while planning her wedding to Jamie.  Unfortunately, she finds herself being stalked, terrorized by an unknown psychologically tormented and obsessed individual set on destroying Christine's happiness. 

                The musical score of Something Wicked was created by American film composer Kyle Newmaster, a self-proclaimed Star Wars fanatic with a passion for music.  Earning a degree in Music Performance/Education from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a Masters in Composition for Contemporary Music from the Eastman School of Music, Newmaster got his first big break contributing music for the internet sensation Ryan vs. Dorkman 2.  This eventually led to the opportunity to compose additional music  for Star Wars: The Old Republic and the rest is history.  Since then, Newmaster has created a number of musical scores for film, television and video games, including Mythomania, Kinect Star Wars, Little People, Big World and more.

                Having the distinction of being the last movie Brittany Murphy worked on before her untimely death in 2009, Something Wicked has a spooky premise and a spooky real life background.  No doubt that the soundtrack will be just as spine-tingling.  The score of Something Wicked is what one would expect from a horror film, featuring the usual scare tactics such as loud bursts of music, screeching strings, strange sounds and an ominous low sound registry.  According to Kyle Newmaster,he "...had a blast scoring the tense more traditional horror moments in the film. I really enjoy writing tense, dark, orchestral music and combining it with other sounds and elements.  For these scenes I did quite a bit of recording with live orchestral musicians in which we recorded a variety of textural and aleatoric sounds."

                The Something Wicked Soundtrack features a sinister sounding piano and string theme that often turns up as background music, mainly as strings, throughout the score.  Though the entire soundtrack is bound to raise some goosebumps on your arms and send chills up your spine, there are some tracks that tend to stand out more than others.  Starting a New Life Together has a sweet sounding title and features a light and airy tone at first, but ominous undertones clue the listener on what the future brings for this couple.  Chasing the Suspect is a faster paced track featuring a clock-like tick-tock theme, letting the listener know that, whatever is happening in this scene, time is of the essence.  Sinister Thoughts features some really spooky whispers in the background that will have you looking over your shoulder.  The Evil Plan Unfolds, the last track on the album is somewhat a reprisal of the first track of the album.

                While the score of Something Wicked is somewhat expected, there are some standout tracks that make the Something Wicked Soundtrack an album worth checking out.  I hadn't heard much of Newmaster's work before this soundtrack, but I have a feeling I'll be hearing much more from this talented composer in the future.


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