Two Themes to Halloween

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (whom I really want to call ‘Atticus Finch’) are individually two talented instrumentalists/composers (the latter’s soundtrack for The Book of Eli is particularly good) and lately they’ve been working together for movies like The Social Network.

Most recently they tackled John Carpenter’s Halloween theme and…it’s okay (and certainly different). 

For sake of comparison, here’s Carpenter’s theme. What’s worth noticing is how–relatively speaking–simple it is.

It moves with a relentless repetitiveness, evocative in some ways of Michael Myers himself, with the mood made by a contrast between synths and piano.

While Reznor and Ross’ version is another matter entirely.   After around 50 seconds (!) of silence it starts up with a dull, mechanical drone. When it gets going it sounds more complex, more layered than the original.  

Though it loses quite a bit of tension–mainly due to the aforementioned drone–before it leads into the more familiar terrain of Carpenter’s original. 

When all is said and done, it’s effective in its own way, thouughnot nearly as sharply focused (or as iconic) as Carpenter’s.

Though things really go to heck around the 6:10.mark, where it turns into a pretty uninteresting techno song.


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