The Closer: Season 3
While She Was Out
Composed By: Paul Haslinger
Distributed by: Lakeshore Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
While She Was Out is a Christmas horror flick starring Kim Basinger as Della Myers, a housewife living a less than idyllic life in the suburbs. Following an argument with her abusive husband (Craig Sheffer) on Christmas Eve, Della heads out to the local mall to make some last minute purchases. Unfortunately, she has difficulty finding a parking space. Frustrated, she leaves a note on a car taking up two spaces calling the driver a selfish jerk. Leaving the mall, she discovers that the car is gone, only to have it return as she attempts to leave the mall. In trying to get away from the car’s occupants, Della crashes the car in developmental area in a nearby, desolate forest. With only the toolbox from her car and a strong will to survive, Della must face four murderous thugs on what is supposed to be one of the happiest days of the year.
The soundtrack of While She Was Out features music composed by Paul Haslinger, two songs by Joy Division and Roxy Music and a version of I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Kim Basinger. Paul Haslinger is Austrian-born musician and composer with an impressive résumé. Classically trained in Salzburg and Vienna, Haslinger expanded his musical knowledge by studying electronica as well. He joined the pioneering group Tangerine Dream, releasing four albums and collaborated on numerous film projects over five years. After leaving Tangerine Dream, Haslinger became a programmer for composer Graeme Revell, working on films like Blow, The Negotiator, Tomb Raider and more. In 2000, Haslinger composed the musical score for Cheaters . Since then, he has worked on scores for Crazy/Beautiful, Blue Crush, Into the Blue, Underworld, The Italian Job, Crank and more.
The soundtrack begins with the eeriest version of the Twelve Days of Christmas I have ever heard. Young children sing the song slightly out of tune to ominous music on the first track of While She Was Out entitled First Day of Christmas. What follows is a musical score that sends chills up the listener’s spine. Ominous undertones are present throughout the soundtrack mixed with a sense of urgency that underscores Della’s will to survive. Mixed in with the musical score are two hard rock tracks – Day of the Lords by Joy Division and In Every Dream Home a Heartache by Roxy Music. Both songs are dark lyrically as well as musically and perfectly reflect the mood of the movie. Kim Basinger’s version of I’ll Be Home for Christmas is actually a wasted track that shouldn’t have been included in the album.
Although I am not a fan of Christmas horror films, I do often enjoy movies from the horror genre. The music of the horror genre has a great deal to do with how scary the movie is going to be for its viewers. If the music isn’t ominous enough - if it doesn’t send chills up and down your spine – the visuals won’t have the same effect on the viewer. I believe the While She Was Out Soundtrack achieves the desired results that every horror soundtrack strives for. It instills a sense of unease in the listener without visuals that will work even better alongside the visual horror effects. Therefore, I find the While She Was Out Soundtrack to be a successful horror soundtrack.
Now the real question – would I buy this soundtrack as a stand alone album? The answer is “no”. The While She Was Out Soundtrack really has nothing new to offer and therefore will not earn a place on the shelf containing my movie soundtrack collection. Certain tracks would probably enhance the effects of a haunted house on Halloween, but other than that, I find no reason to purchase the entire soundtrack.