POLTERGEIST SOUNDTRACK REVIEW

POLTERGEIST

Composed by Marc Streitenfeld      poltergeist                                                     

With a thirty year gap from the first Poltergeist film to this remake, it’s going to be difficult to not compare Jerry Goldsmith’s wonderful score to German composer Marc Streintenfeld’s interpretation of this simple ghost story. Streitenfeld wanted to take the ‘home feel’ into his soundtrack by developing ‘house sounds’. These noises he took from his old 50’s cooker, utensils and doors slamming etc.
The journey starts with the soundtrack covers. The 1982 score showing a picture of the young, abducted child with the palms of her hands on a tv screen.The Streitenfeld score shows the face of a sinister clown. Quite a different approach as is the score.

Poltergeist Opening combines the childlike factor with the sound of a children’s piano playing a simple 5 note backing with high strings sounding as if they are calling out, beckoning – it’s very effective.
Chilling electronic sounds with distorted static on They’re Here, the famous tagline from the first movie, together with chaotic steel sounds definitely tell you that they have arrived! Angry Spirits pulsates but then cleverly dissipates and returns creating movement to depict the spirits. There is a further sense of movement in Electronics Awakening with spirits and music and a feint sound of music from the tv, all swirling together.
The name of the next cue is scary – Into the Closet – and so is the music, truly scary. Maddy [instead of the first films Carol Anne] Is On TV evokes the sadness of Maddy being taken whilst Home Improvements is way too quiet and you just know something bad is going to happen, in it we hear the Poltergeists swarming like bees.

Let Her Go is a loud battle between the Poltergeist and Maddy with heavy brass and high pitched electronics together with driving strings, it’s a strong cue. Then we can breath as Home Free brings the child like tones but after a pause, the static pushes through and it ends with the child’s tune and the clown laughing.
Goldsmith conjured his horror with an orchestra, Streitenfeld relies more on ambient sounds and it works with chilling success. I miss the more homely sound of Goldsmith scores whilst Streitenfeld just goes for brief touches of a childlike piano but it takes nothing away from the new score which is measured and with it’s displaced, curved sounds, he creates a scary and ethereal back drop.

1. Poltergeist Opening
2. They’re Here
3. Angry Spirits
4. Electronics Awakening
5. They’re Not Pretend, Mommy
6. The Storm is Coming
7. Clown Attack
8. Into the Closet
9. Maddy is on TV
10. You Have to Get My Sister Back
11. A Poltergeist Intrusion
12. Home Improvements
13. Somebody is With Her
14. Take a Peek
15. I Feel a Little Braver
16. Into the Portal
17. The Other Side
18. Reunited
19. Let Her Go
20. Home Free

Sony Classical label

Also on Spotify

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