VacancyAlthough Vacancy as a film isn’t too exciting, the soundtrack on its own is surprisingly intense. Paul Haslinger (of the German electronic group Tangerine Dream) has crafted an expertly thrilling action/suspense soundtrack here. The movie itself is more along the lines of suspense/horror, but that becomes a trifling matter once you pop in this eerie musical ride combining traditional classical instruments with electronic music. Billed as a soundtrack, this is really a completely non-vocal score. And a good one too.

It’s no surprise that Haslinger’s soundtrack is both suspenseful and action-filled: he’s the mastermind responsible for the scores of “Underworld”, “Crank”, and “Turistas”, as well as the upcoming Clive Owen/Paul Giamatti action vehicle “Shoot ’em Up”. It seems he’s classicaly trained in the art of action.

With tracks bearing such names as “Rats in the Tunnel” and “Killed By a Beamer”, it’s sometimes surprising to hear what’s coming out of the speakers. But Grammy-nominated composer Paul Haslinger isn’t one to let the quality of a film effect the quality of his score. Haslinger said of the score, “I believe the resulting soundtrack makes a statement about our time, about our ability to mix and match across periods and styles, and to do so in a way that is both eclectic and forward driving in its creative design.” Now, I don’t know about all that, but I do know that he’s created an intricate, creepy, very listenable score to accompany a bland, unscary, annoying horror film. That in itself is a real accomplishment.

While the tracks that play during the opening titles and the end credits are distinctly more spy-thrillerish, the majority of the score is made up of alternating hard-hitting, fast-paced, action sequences with quieter, eerie, flowing tracks building to a false sense of security. The emotions portrayed in the tracks are clearly evident and the pacing picks up and slows down based on the scene. The final three tracks are not from the actual score but are remixes by various people with the most memorable being the powerful Lustmord remix (“Transmutation Void”) that closes out the cd. The nine-minute track takes the listener through the emotions of the entire film and leaves the ears ready for more.

Zach’s Rating: B+
Classical Musician’s Rating: B
The Guy Using This as a Soundtrack to Break Into Your House’s Rating: A+

To purchase the Vacancy soundtrack, visit Amazon
To view Zach’s review of the film, visit

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