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Claustrophobia by Cato (Review)

posted Feb 6, 2011, 10:58 PM by Kaya Savas

Claustrophobia is a small independent thriller about a deaf man trapped in his house by his neighbor who plans to murder him. The score itself is aimed to be an atmospheric electronica score. At least that's what I'm guessing the original intent was. If you're looking for any structure, thematic material or even suspense then you probably want to look elsewhere.

I'm not going to beat around the bush. This score fails. Nothing about it has any real appeal or any emotional effect. It feels hallow and empty with no substance. I'm not saying that because it's an electronic score. I love electronic scoring. However when the score functions more or less as experimental sound design it doesn't do much for the audience or the story. Throughout the listen I never found myself being affected by the score. I never felt tension building or rising and there was certainly no climax. It's very easy for a score to feel synthetic when using solely electronics and this is the case. I had to sift through many electronic based composers when selecting one for my short films. My problem was that none of their music felt organic. And yes it's possible for synth based music to be organic. When I picked my composer who I've maintained a collaborative relationship with it was because his music sounded organic.

The score to Claustrophobia feels like a hollow version of Akira Yamaoka's Silent Hill scores. If there is any better example of ambient electronic horror scoring then it's Yamaoka. He is a master of crafting ambience into thematic and terrifying storytelling. This isn't a score many will seek and I can't really recommend it.