From the first trailer showcasing Sam Raimi’s Drag Me To Hell, it was clear that Raimi was taking a break from the multi-billion dollar web-slinging franchise and heading back into the horror genre to give audiences a little reminder of where his true roots lie. And Drag Me To Hell was appreciated by audiences everywhere this summer as a masterful presentation of what American horror can be. The relatively simple story of a bank teller who unintentionally gets on the bad side of a vengeful gypsy woman and finds herself haunted by a devilish lamia, Drag Me To Hell has comedic timing, spine-tingling moments and gross-out effects galore, but as the icing on the cake, Raimi was able to rope in his Spider-Man 3 composer, Christopher Young.
Now one of the most recognized composers in Hollywood, in the 1980s Young started out scoring horror films, including The Dorm That Dripped Blood, A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2, and two Hellraiser movies. As virtually everyone knows, Sam Raimi started his career in a similar fashion, with such cult classics as The Evil Dead and Evil Dead II. Since the ’80s though, both Raimi and Young have expanded their repertoire, with Raimi heading into drama with A Simple Plan and For Love of the Game, and more auspiciously to the Spider-Man series while Young has scored films across the board, from drama (The Shipping News) to comedy (Bandits) to action (Swordfish) . For both of these prolific creators, Drag Me To Hell comes at a perfect time and with the perfect horror-laden themes to make use of their strongest skills.
“For somebody who is perpetually fascinated by the unusual in film, there has been nothing more rewarding than to get the chance to score a Sam Raimi movie,” Young says in the liner notes. And from the work Young does on the score, it’s pretty clear why: Raimi has created a movie so wild and, to use Young’s own word, “insane” that the composer has all the room in the world to expand his score and make it as powerful and memorable as he wants. From the opening notes of the very first track (the title theme “Drag Me To Hell”) it’s abundantly clear that Young is having fun here. With a powerfully full orchestra and stirring violin solos peppered throughout, Young continuously ups the ante (even adding his own screaming vocals to the action-packed “Loose Teeth”). This is a horror score for the record books and one that even non-musical audience members have walked out of theatres talking about.
In 14 songs and just under an hour of music, Christopher Young’s soundtrack takes you through the course of Sam Raimi’s over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek horror romp, and reminds listeners why he’s stayed in the business for so long. For those that enjoy a good thrill while listening to music, Drag Me To Hell is an unbeatable work of composition. Just don’t listen to it too many times lest the sounds attract a horde of lamias.
Zach’s Rating: A
Perfect For: Anyone looking for a high-powered horror score
Stay Away if: You’re satisfied with a quiet, passive score
To purchase the Drag Me To Hell soundtrack, visit Amazon