Music By Joseph Bishara
"Family Theme" Composed By Mark Isham
La-LaLand Records LLLCD1265
25 Tracks/Disc Time: 46:10
"The Conjuring" was the surprise hit blockbuster thriller of the summer that really caught critics and audiences alike by surprise with outstanding reviews and excellent box office. The film is horror director James Wan's ("Saw". "Insidious") penultimate horror masterpiece according to many who have seen the film which has just been released on Blu-Ray and DVD. The film begins in 1971, Carolyn and Roger Perron (Lili Taylor, "The Haunting" and Ron Livingston, "Office Space") move their family into a dilapidated Rhode Island farm house and soon strange things start happening around it with escalating nightmarish terror. In desperation, Carolyn contacts the noted paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, "Insidious" and Oscar and Emmy nominee Vera Farmiga, "The Departed", "Bates Motel") to examine the house. The Warrens discover that the whole area steeped in a satanic haunting that is now targeting the Perron family wherever they go. To stop this evil, thee have to call upon all their skills and spiritual strength to defeat this spectral menace at its source that threatens to destroy everyone involved. The film has a magnificent visual style that is very reminiscent of the films that were shot in the 1970's and with a thrilling script by writers Chad Hayes and Carey W.Hayes, it's easy to see why the film was such a success all the way around.
After working with the late Shirley Walker on "Final Destination" as well as Charlie Clouser on "Saw", Director James Wan went in a different direction on his surprise hit horror film, "Insidious" enlisting newcomer Joseph Bishara, who also returned to do the sequel "Insidious: Chapter Two". I had never heard of him until these last few films and he has a rather interesting style that does appeal to the sound of horror and terror. The question is when it came to "The Conjuring", a full blooded atmospheric and orchestrial score that really adds to the films' menacing evil presence terrorizing the Parron family and Warren's battle with the force that's resisting their positive cleansing. La-LaLand Record's release of the score is one that is mostly atmospheric and really puts its concentrated voice on pure terror. It is a very very moody score that does exactly what it intends to do within the film, but outside of it, is another story.
The score is very moody and it is chilling from the onset from the opening track naturally called "The Conjuring" that adds a haunting choir into the mix which plays out later on. The rest of it really lays on the suspense and thriller aspects quite perfectly as you might expect with the tracks "Witch Perch", "Black Bile", "Sleepwalker", "Water Corpse Vision", "Murderous Offering" and "Ritual Casting". Bishara's talents fully on display here and does a good job with them with their final solid finish in "Annabelle" which was a very good highlight. The score proper closes with "The Family Theme" which was not written by Bishara, but by jazz trumpet legend and Grammy winner Mark Isham, who from the looks of it was originally slated to score the film and had written what would've been the main theme to a full blooded score if had been available to have done it. It's a terrific theme that is two steps above of Bishara's music which isn't always a good thing.
I always seems to have problems with horror scores and the few that have worked for me like "Halloween", "Poltergeist", "The Omen", "An American Werewolf In London" and the "Evil Dead" remake have featured something that scores like "The Conjuring" is missing and that is a powerhouse main theme and a full blooded complete score that really stays with you long after the film is done. Unfortunately, despite all of the solid attributes that composer Joseph Bishara has come up with it feels like an incomplete work unlike the film which is complete as a whole. I love Mark Isham's contribution and I really felt that he should've scored this in the end as the same thing I stated with Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" a year ago with Harry Gregson-Williams' solid work. I will barely recommend this score and primarily for Isham's work, Bishara's is definitely above average for a horror score which shouldn't disappoint fans of the genre.