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The Grey by Marc Streitenfeld (Review)

posted Feb 7, 2012, 8:46 PM by Kaya Savas   [ updated Feb 21, 2012, 8:50 AM ]

Marc Streitenfeld is by far one of the most talented young composers working today. He took over Hans Zimmer's spot as Ridley Scott's go to composer, and in fact has worked with Ridley Scott on every single score he's ever composed. His only other non Ridley Scott directed film besides The Grey was Welcome To The Riley's, which was directed by Ridley's son Jake Scott. Ridley Scott did produce Welcome To The Riley's and he and Tony also produced The Grey, which is why Marc is scoring here. For The Grey we get a very somber score with beautiful execution.

The music evokes a sense of isolation, but a sense of loss and dread as well. Streitenfeld's signature sounding strings paint a pessimistic mood that slowly changes into impending danger. Once the wolves are introduced we get some very awesome tension building music. This isn't run of the mill horror stuff here, but instead the music bends and flows to craft some hair raising moments. In the track "Wife Memory" we hear a piano echoing the main motif very gently. The music becomes contemplative and aware of the situation of the characters. We feel the stillness and we feel the racing thoughts. Where the score goes for the second half is extremely dark. Not only do the wolves play into the danger within the music, but overall the music is emotionally dark. The atmospheric harshness of the score becomes unsettling in "Lagging Behind" and it's a great tension track that makes me wish Prometheus would get here sooner. The final few minutes of the score are haunting, and I mean very chillingly beautiful pieces of music. They close out what is a very tense and brooding experience.

The Grey is the first great score of 2012, and when I say great I mean great. This is a simple score done with perfection. The emotion is straight forward and shoots straight to the gut. This is the polar opposite of what Jerry Goldsmith did in The Edge. We don't appreciate the grandness of the wild here, we fear the harshness of it. It's an existential thought on our own existence as we go into the fray. Marc Streitenfeld has displayed some great pieces here that make me eagerly anticipate what he has in store for us with Ridley Scott's Prometheus. The Grey is a fantastic experience that won't brighten up your day, but it's a simple score with a profound deepness.