- Review by Kaya Savas - October 11, 2018
The Predator is one of the most popular movie monsters of all-time thanks to three things. We have a fantastic creature design, some of the most quotable one-liners in action filmmaking, and Alan Silvestri’s iconic score. What also made Predator stand out was that it was an action film rather than a horror film. The movies have horror elements, but at their cores they are action films. The Predator is no exception, this new chapter keeps this cherished B-movie franchise going. Stepping into the music role is Henry Jackman who delivers a wonderfully energized homage to Alan Silvestri’s original.
If you’ve listened to/watched our interviews with Henry then you’ll know of the story of how Henry’s love for Alan Silvestri started. When he was in boarding school, he and his friends snuck out of their bedrooms to go steal the VHS player to watch Predator. It was during this where the thrill of sneaking out to watch an R-rated film faded away to Henry being fascinated with the music he was hearing in the movie. He remembers seeing the name Alan Silvestri in the credits and made sure the name burned in his memory so he could study him later.
So let’s fast-forward to 2018, and now we see Henry scoring The Predator which is written and directed by Shane Black. Henry does a wonderful job at carrying Silvestri’s Predator sound into this new adventure. While the film was generally panned by critics, it really is another great entry in this franchise. Predator was never a "great" film, it has survived on some really crucial core elements and survives as one of the best B-movies out there. This new one definitely keeps that alive.
The score is definitely heavy on Silvestri, and that can be argued as either good or bad. John Debney’s score for Predators definitely didn’t shy away from Silvestri either, but it could be one of those “don’t mess with it” type of scores. While Henry does inject some of his own voice into this one, it definitely bows down to Silvestri’s stylings. It’s not really till the third act where some crazy chaos ensues that Henry lets his musical stylings flourish a bit more. That’s not to say the entire first two acts are all Silvestri though. There are pockets of Henry that shine, especially in track 8 titled “The Loonies”.
The Predator is nothing too fancy, it’s a movie you’d expect to watch on TBS on a Saturday afternoon and it gets the job done. Henry’s score definitely helps sell Black’s hokey script and some absurd plot points. It’s tons of fun to hear Henry sink his teeth into the score that made him want to be a film composer. Since we know that info, we can understand why Henry chose to go heavy on the original’s score. This isn’t Henry Jackman trying to make Predator his own, this is Henry Jackman celebrating one of the greatest movie themes and paying homage to one of his favorite personal heroes. In that sense, the score is a blast of fun. It has some pacing issues and lacks an overall new identity, but overall The Predator has enough of a nostalgic orchestral feel to make it worth your time.