Poltergeist

Jerry Goldsmith

 
" There is peace and serenity in the Light. Yeah Right! "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

20 years after this CD release, and 35 years after the film release, listening to Poltergeist still gets me goosebumps. The work of a professional, for a professional fun and scary film. It's weird but how can a scary film be also fun? Well, just insert humor and drama into it, something effects can't. One of the many reasons the remake failed so miserably. Another reason is this type of music. Fun, sweet, dramatic, grotesque, horrific and scary. So much in one sound, something sound design can never reach. Because this isn't sound design, but big and bombastic horror, mystery and dramatic music. Listen to "Twisted Abduction", "Rebirth" and "Escape from Suburbia" and you'll discover the very thing that makes dreams and nightmares real. Big religious choir over an already emotionally drenched nightmare. These big religious cues are in contrast to the often frenetic and raw horror pieces which Goldsmith unleashes upon the family. They are mean and nasty, and represent well the terror the Freeling family is going through. Sure, they aren't the easiest to accept, but you'll sure appreciate the technical detail and power of it. In that contrast is Carol Anne's sweet lullaby theme, always appearing in one form or another. And if that isn't enough, I just adore the 2 motifs that form the other side, unleashing their power in the rollercoaster cues "It Knows What Scares You" and "Rebirth". The other side theme and the family love theme are wonderful together and form one of the strongest pairing of cues Goldsmith ever wrote for such a big finale. Eat your heart out Marc Streitenfeld. In general, though Poltergeist is not easy to get along with (I blame the pesky poltergeists for that), Goldsmith wrote and excelled his only Oscar win of his career. If The Omen did receive its acclaim, I wonder why Poltergeist didn't receive more. Because for me it's the perfect horror score of Goldsmith's career, one that doesn't forget to add a bit of emotion and fun to it. Now, where's my remote control to switch it back to "Rebirth"?

The Omen might have received an Oscar, but for me this is Jerry's crowning horror achievement.
Carol Anne's lullaby is the sweet and lovable theme of the film.
"Rebirth", what a humongous track. Full of power and emotion. Unleashing everything but the kitchen sink.
Plus, if you think of it. Tracks 9 and 10 glued together make for some of the most amazing 16 minutes of Goldsmith's career.
The horrific action music is big and nasty, but above all rhythmic. Jeezus, what a propulsive rhythm is fueling its rage.
Damn you children for scaring me at the end of the CD time and time again. Damn you!
The horrific action tracks are amazing, but also pretty brutal. It won't be for everyone.

Track Listing

1. The Star Spangled Banner (1.30)
2. The Calling / The Neighborhood (Main Title) (4.08) Excellent track
3. The Tree (2.27)
4. The Clown / They're Here / Broken Glass / The Hole / TV People (5.15)
5. Twisted Abduction (6.58) Excellent track
6. Contacting the Other Side (5.12)
7. The Light (2.07)
8. Night Visitors / No Complaints (9.06)
9. It Knows What Scares You (7.37) Excellent track
10. Rebirth (8.26) Excellent track
11. Night of the Beast (3.52)
12. Escape From Suburbia (7.13)
13. Carol Anne's Theme (End Title) (4.19) Excellent track

Total Length: 68.10
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(total of 2 votes - average 5/5)

Released by

Rhino Music / TCM Turner Music LC 0542 (regular release 1997)

Conducted by

Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrations by

Arthur Morton