Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Underworld: Awakening (Original Score) by Paul Haslinger - Review

Underworld: Awakening (Original Score) by Paul Haslinger - Review

Underworld: Do Not Disturb
Review by Edmund Meinerts

Attracting something of a cult following and consistently performing well at the box office despite scathing critical reviews across the board, the UNDERWORLD series proves that all you really need to earn money in Hollywood these days is Kate Beckinsale in a tight leather outfit. Throw in a few battles between supernatural creatures – vampires, werewolves, the usual types – and the result is a series of films where style is clearly prioritized over substance. Fortunately, films such as this would seem to offer ripe ground for a composer to let rip with some equally stylish horror music – unfortunately, that’s rarely the case with this series, and the fourth entry is hardly an exception to that rule.

To take a hybrid approach to the UNDERWORLD film scores would seem to be a logical move, considering the similarly hybrid creatures battling it out on the screen. Therefore, PAUL HASLINGER was approached to score the first film. HASLINGER, a former member of the electronic music group TANGERINE DREAM, has been dabbling with film scoring ever since that group’s own forays into the genre in the 80s, before lending his electronic programming services to GRAEME REVELL’S scores in the late 90s and early 00s. UNDERWORLD represented HASLINGER’S first exposure to the mainstream, and he responded with a primarily industrial score that offered both the necessary grungy drive for the fight scenes, and a handful of compelling softer ideas. It was never the most refined of scores, but the modern approach worked for the franchise.


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