The Strangers

Musical Score By: tomandandy

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            On the night of February 25, 2005, Kristen McKay (Liv Tyler) and James Hoyt (Scott Speedman) attended a friend’s wedding reception.  What was supposed to be a night filled with celebration turned into a night of dread.  Returning to the Hoyt family’s summer home, Kristen and James never suspected that, on this night, they would find themselves fighting for their lives.  But on this night, three strangers will change the lives of Kristen McKay and James Hoyt forever.

            The movie, The Strangers, is everybody’s nightmare - strangers invading and terrorizing your home, putting everyone you love in danger.  The soundtrack accompanying this horror film is provided by tomandandy.  When Andy Milburn and Thomas Hadju met at Princeton University, it was a match made in media heaven.  They began writing music together, creating short pieces comprised of bits of disjunct sounds that they dubbed “blasts”.  Discovering that the “blasts” did not translate well in concert halls, but were perfect when combined with television images, the duo, now tomandandy, moved to New York and began writing for television and film.  Credits include soundtracks for such notable films as The Hills Have Eyes, The Mothman Prophecies, Arlington Road and The Rules of Attraction.

            The soundtrack created for The Strangers is performed by the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra.  Each track is more dark and ominous than the first.  Even the wedding reception scene music contains an ominous undertone to it.  Reverberation and disjuncted noises help to create an incredible spooky feel to the music that leaves the listener suffering from a serious case of goosebumps. 

            While I believe that tomandandy created the perfect soundtrack to accompany the movie, I don’t find it incredibly enjoyable as a stand alone soundtrack.  Don’t get me wrong – tomandandy did their jobs.  They created a soundtrack filled with dread and terror which was perfect for the movie setting.  But taken out of that setting, all you have is a spooky track that one might want to use as background music for their next Halloween party.  However, I doubt anyone would want to listen to this soundtrack again and again as if it were some musical masterpiece.  The Strangers Soundtrack is perfect for the purpose it was created for – as accompanying music to a horror film.  As a stand alone soundtrack, this is one soundtrack that most people will simply pass by in the music stores.


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