The Tall Man

Composed By: Todd Bryanton, Joel Douek and Christopher Young

Distributed by: Screamworks Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In The Tall Man, Jessica Biel stars as Julia Dunning, a small town nurse whose husband was the town’s doctor before his death.  The local town folk have a legend that explains the disappearance of many of the town’s children.  Apparently, The Tall Man took them.  No one can really explain who exactly The Tall Man is and no one can actually describe just what he looks like, but Julia gets a chance to become up close and personal with the mysterious abductor after her own son is taken.  Can Julia get her son back and, when confronted by The Tall Man’s true identity, can she handle what she learns?

                The musical score of The Tall Man was created by the combined efforts of composers Todd Bryanton, Joel Douek and Christopher Young.  Born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, Todd Bryanton has been composing music for movies and television since 2002.  His résumé includes musical scores for Surveillance,, Corner Gas, Insecurities and more.  Award-winning composer and instrumentalist Joel Douek has been composing since the year 2000, creating musical scores for commercials, television, documentaries and feature films.  He is known for delving into his collection of rare and exotic instruments and blending those sounds with dramatic orchestral sounds to create unique musical scores.  His résumé includes musical scores for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Movie, Jack the Ripper: Case Unsolved, Predator X, Frontline and more.  Born in Red Bank, New Jersey, Christopher Young was a jazz drummer before an introduction to the musical scores of Bernard Herrmann inspired him to enter a realm he never knew before.  It wasn’t until Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge that Young began receiving critical acclaim for his movie scores, but since then, Christopher Young has become one of the premiere film composers.  His impressive résumé includes the scores of Hellraiser, Flowers in the Attic, Species, Copycat, Urban Legend, Bless the Child, The Grudge, Ghost Rider, Untraceable and more.

                The Tall Man Soundtrack is strangely arranged.  It begins with an interesting orchestral track with a heavy focus on strings.  Just when you’re thinking, “Not bad,” you get to the part where you start to wonder why this soundtrack was released.  You pass into a bunch of tracks with music played in low registry featuring blasts of disjointed and ambient sounds denoting moments of surprise and danger.  These tracks are incredibly boring, but I urge you to keep listening because, due to the strange arrangement of the musical score on this soundtrack, the best is yet to come.  When I say strange arrangement, I mean that the music does not appear on the album as it did in the film and the End Credits music actually appears on Track 15 of the 22-track album.

                The best music takes place during and after Track 11, Miss Johnson, and the score keeps getting more and more interesting with each successive track, featuring beautiful piano and guitar pieces and orchestral tracks that will wow the listener.  You’ll find yourself wondering why these tracks weren’t mixed in with the spookier tracks on the album as these were much more enjoyable.  This is not the fault of any one composer, although longtime veteran Christopher Young has the most enjoyable music featured in the last five tracks of the album. 

                All-in-all, if you can make it through the first half of The Tall Man Soundtrack, you are really in for a treat music-wise with some incredibly beautiful composition waiting for you just after Track 10.  If you are one of those folks that are inclined to judge an album by its first ten tracks, then The Tall Man Soundtrack will be one of those albums you might want to skip out on.


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