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Riddle by Scott Glasgow (Review)

posted Apr 5, 2013, 10:21 PM by Kaya Savas

Scott Glasgow has composed some excellent scores in his career. He always manages to infuse the films he writes for with lots of depth, character and emotional layers. Riddle is no different. The suspense thriller about a teenage girl searching for her missing brother in the town of Riddle allows Glasgow to craft an intriguingly textured hero's journey. The deeper we go the more we uncover as the music balances the perfect amount of tension, suspense and pure adrenaline. This score is an amazing listen when experienced all at once.

We start out in calm waters in the beginning. We teeter the edge with the track "Prelude" as the music lures us into the shadows, and we go willingly. I was pretty much walking into this score bind so I wasn't sure what surprises Glasgow had in store. The music takes us deeper into the shadows as we inch down the slope careful not to slip. The music dances elegantly as it sets up the action all the while creating an uneasy atmosphere. We really are taken into the mind of our hero who must keep digging deeper into the town's secrets to find answers. We finally move down the figurative slope far enough where we just keep sliding into the belly of the whale. From this point on we are taken on a masterfully crafted suspense ride. I was so impressed with how the score was able to create pockets of suspense that didn't feel forced or cliched. Several effective techniques are used to get your heart pumping, and the emotions that are evoked are very organic. The score does not move in a predictable fashion even though the techniques Glasgow uses are tried and true. They are supremely effective and when told through his unique voice as a composer come out incredibly fresh. The soundscape is very claustrophobic, which also adds to the suspense. You feel the world closing in around you when things ramp up as if you were being chased in a tunnel and you have only one direction to run. This is not a horror score so don't expect the predictable sound blasts to make you jump. Glasgow effectively structures the music to build rising and falling suspense. The final act is a mad dash to the finish and when we finally escape from the darkness it almost feels like we can breath for the first time. The score wraps up very nicely in a flourishing conclusion.

Riddle is a fantastic score from Scott Glasgow. His ability to craft suspense, add layers and infuse character into the music is undeniable. This is a very impressive score and one I will revisit often. I think it's definitely one of his best scores in terms of structure and approach. The music manages to hook the audience and pull them on a dark and thrilling journey. It's very rare to find scores like this that do it so well without going overboard. The score can be loud at times but it's never overbearing. The music will definitely give you a thrilling rush and is worth seeking out. Make sure to get your copy from Varèse Sarabande as this release is only limited to 1,000 copies.