“Re-boots of iconic films can be very tricky,” says composer John Debney – referring to re-boots in general, but obviously referencing Predators, the latest entry into the Predator franchise on which he worked as composer. “I love Alan Silvestri’s magnificent score for the first film. So, I asked myself how in the world I could write a Predator score without utilizing themes and motifs from Alan’s masterwork. I decided that I would embrace the music that IS Predator and create a companion piece utilizing themes from the first score.”

Debney, an Oscar-nominated composer (The Passion of the Christ) who’s credits vary wildly from kid films (The Pacifier, Chicken Little, The Ant Bully) to more grown-up child fare (Iron Man 2, Sin City, Evan Almighty) has succeeded in doing just that – honoring Silvestri’s original scorework while creating a musical language all his own. Now a regular with Predators producer Robert Rodriguez (The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D, Machete), Debney seems right at home in the world of slightly campy action/horror that Rodriguez has begun to embrace.

From the opening track of his Predators Score (a fast-paced actioner named “Free Fall”) it’s clear that Debney “gets it” – he knows that audiences have come to be entertained by action-packed (and often excessively violent/gory) alien fight scenes and gives them the music to enjoy it by. Later, in the equally action-packed track “Hound Attack” Debney re-references some of the pounding themes from the first track, but finishes the track off with a sense of ominous, slow-building dread that flows nicely into the subsequent track “We Run We Die.” This track offers a nice summing up of the score as a whole, with a lot of atmospheric menace (imbued with some slow Predator-sounding rainsticks) that are surrounded by long sections of quiet, rather restricted build-up. About three minutes into the track, the music quickly rises to a crescendo that explodes into a muted drumbeat. This is the thrill of the chase and Debney has captured it perfectly in his music.

While parts of the score can come off a bit hokey and forced (listen to the explosiveness at the start of “Leg Trap” that fades into some repetitive brass), the majority of Debney’s work here is impressively driving and memorable. Fans of the the new franchise re-boot will likely enjoy the score on its own, while even those who are not living in a Predator-laced world should be able to enjoy the score on its own merit.

Zach’s Rating: B+
Perfect For: Fans looking for a Silvestri’s work… with a twist
Stay Away if: You want to keep Silvestri’s work pristine and untouched

To purchase the soundtrack for Predators, visit Amazon

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