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By James Whittington, Thursday 14th October 2021
Renowned composer/director John Carpenter and his creative foils Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies have announced details for the impending release of the original motion picture soundtrack for the fiercely anticipated second installment in the new Halloween trilogy, Halloween Kills, from Universal Pictures, Miramax, and Blumhouse, directed by David Gordon Green and starring horror icon Jamie Lee Curtis. The soundtrack will be released in conjunction with the film release on October 15th through Sacred Bones in a wide range of variants.
In 2018, David Gordon Green's Halloween killed at the box office, becoming the highest-grossing chapter in the four-decade franchise and setting a new record for the biggest opening weekend in history for a horror film starring a woman. And the Halloween night when Michael Myers returned isn't over yet.
From the returning filmmaking team responsible for the 2018 global phenomenon, Halloween Kills the movie is written by Scott Teems, Danny McBride and David Gordon Green, based on characters created by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. The film is directed by David Gordon Green and produced by Malek Akkad, Jason Blum and Bill Block. The executive producers are John Carpenter, Jamie Lee Curtis, Danny McBride, David Gordon Green and Ryan Freimann.
Like the film itself, Carpenter's score stays true to the spirit of what made the 1978 original great while bringing it firmly into the present. The music is unmistakably Carpenter: the sinister vintage synth tones, the breath-stealing sense of menace that's conjured with just a few dissonant notes. But with a broader sonic palette, new digital techniques at his disposal, and a deeper sense of musicality, the Halloween Kills score is the work of a master artist who, nearly 50 years into his career, continues to push his creative limits and find new ways to thrill and terrify his fans. The trio have shared an advance taste of the album with Unkillable one of the most unsettling cues in all of Carpenter's oeuvre.
By now, John Carpenter's hypnotic theme to his 1978 horror masterpiece Halloween has embodied slasher-stalker anxiety for generations of filmgoers, and woven itself so into pop culture that it's become musical shorthand for the entire horror genre. It's just five notes plucked out on a piano, so sparsely arranged that it feels like barely more than a sketch, so simple that an untrained player can easily pick it up, but it's one of cinema's greatest musical accomplishments. In 2018, Carpenter returned to the franchise his iconic creation spawned for the first time since 1982's Halloween III: Season of the Witch, erasing the 40 years of sequels and reboots that happened under other filmmakers, and returning the story to his original vision. While directing duties for the new Halloween and its sequels have been turned over to David Gordon Green, Carpenter has stayed on to provide them with their unmistakable sonic identity, as integral to Halloween as Michael Myers' death's-face mask and glimmering butcher knife.
Carpenter has been composing and recording his own scores since he created the soundtrack to his first film, 1974's Dark Star, on a EMS VCS 3 modular synthesizer. While originally a cost-cutting measure, he continued scoring most of his films even after he started making multiplex staples in the 80s and 90s, with the soundtracks to the Halloween series, They Live, and Escape from New York becoming classics in their own right. Over the past two decades, Carpenter's directed only one feature (The Ward in 2010), but during that time he's come to be recognized as much for his musical vision as his filmography. His boldly assertive compositions and pioneering use of synthesizers have inspired musicians in cinema and far beyond. His influence has been felt from the underground to pop radio, and played a foundational role in the modern synthwave movement. Underpinning Carpenter's renaissance as a musician has been his collaboration with Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies, with whom he has composed and performed as a trio since the first Lost Themes album in 2015, fostering an intuitive interplay that borders on creative mind meld.
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