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Deep In The Darkness by Matthew Llewellyn (Review)

posted Jun 25, 2014, 12:56 PM by Kaya Savas

Deep In The Darkness is a horror film about a doctor from Manhattan who moves to the quiet suburbs only to find out that the town is haunted by a race of creatures that live in the woods. The town’s history slowly is revealed as he must now protect his family from the evil that surrounds them. I don’t shy away my normal dislike for horror films as I find almost all of them to be predictable and formulaic. However in some cases the movie may suffer and the score excels, and this is an example of that. Luckily here we get something fresh and original from Matthew Llewelyn who decides to go a different route instead of following the formula. You’ll find that the score does some unique things to build suspense, and instead approaches the whole thing more like a dark fairy tale instead of cut and dry horror film. Matthew Llewelyn comes from a background of working with Brian Tyler so you know he will embrace the orchestral approach.

The score is orchestrated very wonderfully and has a lush feel to it from the get go. I immediately love how the score is telling a story as if you were sitting in a circle around a campfire. The lushness of the music is something you wouldn’t expect unless you were dealing with a Danny Elfman/Tim Burton production. Here it’s a breath of fresh air, and Llewelyn does a great job at constructing everything together. Instead of just throwing something up and seeing what sticks we get a very wonderfully woven musical narrative. By focusing on a theme and building around it, he makes the music resonate and have character. The fact that when things get intense and he still won’t bring electronics in make it a rather exciting score too. Llewelyn achieves some rather effective thrills with the orchestra, but the music is never intent on beating you over the head. The music doesn’t ramp up just to shake things up and scare you. The melodic structure builds to certain moments of tension, but it always keeps this aspect of intrigue and mystery behind it. The deeper we go down the hole, the more the music reveals. When we finally get to the end the score does a nice job of wrapping up in a somewhat expected fashion.

Deep In The Darkness isn’t a horror movie that will wow you, but Matthew Llewellyn’s score sure will. The orchestral approach without falling into genre archetypes helps make this score something special. The score treats it all as a dark fairy tale with suspenseful moments, one you’d tell around a campfire. In that sense you will find some predictability in the film’s narrative that the score reflects. The music also is a bit melodramatic at times and that sucks the suspense factor down a bit. However, the score never relies on formulaic tactics which makes it worth discovering.