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Antiviral by E.C. Woodley (Review)

posted May 21, 2013, 5:36 PM by Kaya Savas

The film Antiviral poses some interesting ideas about fanaticism and celebrity and definitely opened up some interesting possibilities for music in the film. Unfortunetly, E.C. Woodley’s score fails to do much with the space it was given. Antiviral is sadly a wasted opportunity to really work with some tones and dissonance, and in the end you feel no different than before you listened to it. 

This score is for the most part shapeless. And off the bat that means you’re going to have a hard time grasping onto the concepts or approach that is going on. It’s all dissonance and tones that rarely changes pace or amounts to anything. Like a flatlining heart monitor there is no life to the score. It tries to be subtle and quiet when it should have been bolder and more dynamic. I’m not against dissonant tones and electronic soundscapes as I always point to Yamaoka’s Silent Hill game scores as my favorite horror scores. However, I did not pick up any sense of dread or foreshadowing or really anything. I got that the music was trying to create uneasy tension, but the effort was lost on me. Only here and there did I get any sense of structure, and only rarely did the score step on the gas pedal to up the ante. In the end, at least for me this was a frustrating listening experience.

Antiviral’s score feels like a wasted or even failed opportunity at doing something great with electronic ambient scoring. Take a look at Chris Young’s Sinister for example. That score will disturb the hell out of you, it achieves so much with so little. So as long as I know scores like that exist then scores like this will usually disappoint me. I can understand the goal and approach to be subtle to service the film, but I like scores that take risks and emotionally connect. Antiviral doesn’t do much except fill in space.