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Death Wish by Ludwig Göransson (Review)

posted Mar 9, 2018, 1:38 PM by Kaya Savas

Ludwig Göransson follows up his fantastic score to Black Panther with Eli Roth’s remake of Death Wish. The score for this one is pretty much a surface level score, but Göransson’s talents and ability to create fantastic textures make this a fully functional thriller.

There isn’t too much to analyze with Death Wish. The story is a pure pulpy revenge action-thriller starring Bruce Willis. The music here is meant to evoke a certain tone and add lots of propulsive motion to the narrative. Tone is definitely a big part of this score. Göransson treats everything as organically as he can. The score keeps a serious and dark feel throughout that is evoked through the electronic textures and strings.

The music broods and bubbles under the surface, very much like watching a pot of water slowly rise to a rolling boil. Structurally, everything moves with ease and the score does a great job of building suspense with a few moments where the score opens up for some action. We resolve the whole thing with a dissonant piano that plays over the end credits.

In the end this is a fully serviceable and functional thriller score, but like the movie itself it doesn’t do too much to become unique or do something new. Göransson is probably one of the most talented young composers working today and that’s been evident across all his music. But you can definitely tell that the inspiration flows more freely when he works with a director like Ryan Coogler vs Eli Roth. Death Wish isn’t a wholly original and inspiring piece of cinema so I’m sure we’re getting Göransson in autopilot mode here. However, this wouldn’t have been as engaging or functional if it were in the hands of someone else. Göransson still makes this worth taking a look at.