The Hallow

Composed By:  James Gosling

Distributed by: Screamworks Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Originally titled The Woods, The Hallow is a British-Irish horror film set in a remote Irish village surrounded by a large forest.  British conservationist Adam, his wife Clare and infant son Finn have been experiencing some strange things since moving here, like stumbling on an abandoned house with an animal carcass inside, smashed windows, odd movements in the woods and more.  The family soon learns that their new home is more than they expected as they find themselves in a fight for their lives against demonic creatures living in the woods.

                The musical score of The Hallow was created by British composer James Gosling.  Having studied composition with John Woolrich and Peter Wiegold and piano with Thalia Myers, Gosling completed his masters in Music for the Screen at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield.  Shortly afterward, he worked on projects like the HBO miniseries John Adams, Merlin, Atlantis and Lego's Nexo Knights.  His score for The Hallow would represent his first full length feature film composition.

                The Hallow begins with an intrinsic beauty, the Irish landscape described through the use of an Irish fiddle.  But all the while, there is a sense of foreboding, a darkness lying beneath the beauty.  The score features a blend of horns, strings and piano with percussion added in to intensify scenes fraught with danger.  Horror cues include screechy strings, blasts of music, heavy percussion, and quick, hard jabs at lower registry piano keys.  Haunting, echoing voices accompany the music in some tracks, but they are fairly intelligible, adding to the fear factor.  By the track entitled Claire, the music becomes lighter and calmer, as if the characters have reached the light at the end of the tunnel.  The final track features a song called The Woods by Sea Read.  The song basically tells the story of the movie: “The woods are barking at my heels and I don’t want to die.”

                The Hallow Soundtrack is classic horror, manipulating actual instruments to create a dramatically spooky score rather than using electronic sounds and violin screeching to create sound effects.  This is an actual score worthy of the horror film genre and definitely the perfect addition to any horror film score aficionado’s collection.


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