Composer Christopher Young has made a name for himself among Hollywood composers as a horror composer extraordinaire. From the first two films in the Hellraiser series to The Dark Half to the more recent The Uninvited and Drag Me To Hell, it’s well known that Christopher Young can kick out a horror score. And this may partly explain why director Gregor Jordan tapped Young to compose the music for this film adaptation ofÂ the fairly unknown collection of Bret Easton Ellis short stories known as The Informers. Though the stories aren’t what anyone would call “horror,” they do share a similar sense of darkness, hopelessness, and even violence. And Young is the right man for this job, delivering a melancholy score rooted in an angsty rhythm masked by arrogant nonchalance – it’s almost as if Young has captured the essence of Ellis’s novels in his tracks.
Sticking mostly with quiet, patient, and almost repetitive piano and strings, Young’s 15 tracks give a subtle, emotional performance that manages to hide its true intensity – only occasionally letting loose in a burst of energy – as when the electric guitar riffs explode on the track “To Ryder, With Love” reminding listeners that there is a deep, untapped emotional core at the heart of these seemingly soulless characters – and this score as well. More often than not, though, Young keeps this boiling rage below the surface and only gives us brief glimpses of it – as in the near-crescendo at the end of “Hawaiian Dissonance” where the music builds to an imminent breaking point, but then falls back before reaching it, leaving the listener with a sense of unmet potential. Only in the final track (“Love is Love is Love”) does Young give a slight hint at true emotion – with a twist on the composition’s theme leaning a bit softer and slower before fading out, as we can assume the characters in the film do as well.
Overall, Young does an impressive job of providing a score that manages to be deep while implying a level of shallow vacuousness. It’s not an uplifting score by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a score that will remind you why they put scores out on albums.
Zach’s Rating: A-
Perfect For: A particularly melancholy day – especially if you’re rich and depressed by your own wealth
Stay Away if: You’re looking for something similar to Young’s recent work on Drag Me To Hell
To purchase the score for The Informers, visit Amazon
For more on music from The Informers, read Zach’s review of the soundtrack for the film