Dark Encounter

David Stone Hamilton

" Dark Encounter goes for Emotional Kills "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the download only release

This could be David Stone Hamilton's breakthrough year, and after listening to Dark Encounter it really should be. The movie is definitely not enjoying its most critical run, but I for one really liked it. Not only is it an alien abduction movie, but it's an atypical alien abduction movie. And guiding us through a never expecting twist is Hamilton's music. A roller coaster of cold harsh thrills and deep emotional chills. You start listening to Dark Encounter ("Opening") and you can't help but notice it kinda sounds like Signs in parts. Intentional or not, it luckily never strays off towards a full blatant temp-track. And by that the tone has been set. Signs like piano sets "One Year Later" into motion, never pulling us away from James Newton Howard's masterful score (honestly IT'S NOT A TEMP TRACK SCORE), but soon going into darker territories with "Lights in the Sky". It's in "Forest Encounter" that you get the first small taste of what's really good about David Stone Hamilton's score. In the midst of the alienating sound effects there is also a sense of wonder, something "Road Encounter" does even better. Because after wonder lies awe. A terrific moment in the film that shows perhaps for the first time this is not your typical alien abduction film (plus it has hints towards The Abyss).

Because between the wonder, there is also cold harsh chaos ("They're Still Here"), once again awe "Through Time" and then the twist that suddenly turns this whole alien abduction movie upside down. You may dislike the path this film takes us now in, but my god it does give David Stone Hamilton a canvas to work with. "Dark Encounter" explains every harsh detail with incredible violin solos, "Transience" goes for the emotional kill with a candidate for the track of the year. Honestly, I was on my guard for this film (considering the poor reception it's receiving), but it are scores like these that keep elevating movies like that. And it may be an atypical abduction movie concerning aliens, at least it goes for an emotional kill music wise. That combined with wonder and a hefty sense of cold eeriness keeps this score way above par. Luckily I checked out the movie beforehand, you will be lucky when checking out this score. Another winning release of MovieScore Media. And a special mention to Connor Warren Smith for those haunting solo vocals.

A dark score carrying a hefty doses of melodic emotion. It can be done!
Various tracks go to great lengths to bring more than just ambience. Once again directors it CAN BE DONE!
The finale houses a pair of great tracks, including a track of the year candidate.
No matter the bad reception the film is getting, I believe this score makes the movie a hell of a lot better.
Taken away of the film's effectiveness, the harsher cues can sometimes diminish the listening experience.

Track Listing

1. Opening (1.43)
2. One Year Later (3.22)
3. Lights in the Sky (3.20)
4. Forest Encounter (7.50)
5. Grief is Blinding (2.48)
6. They're in the Basement (4.59)
7. Something is Happening (2.31)
8. Road Encounter (2.25) Excellent track
9. Olivia (1.00)
10. They're Still Here (2.07)
11. The Sheriff (2.00)
12. Through Time (2.17) Excellent track
13. Dark Encounter (7.32) Excellent track
14. Repercussions (2.30)
15. Transience (12.00) Excellent track
16. End Titles (3.05)

Total Length: 61.32
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Released by

MovieScore Media MMS19031 (download only release 2019)