• Film: Cabin Fever
  • Soundtrack composer: Nathan Barr & Angelo Badalamenti
  • Original year of release: 2003
  • Number of tracks: 32
  • Soundtrack duration: 76 mins 30 secs
  • Tracks with vocals/distracting aspects: 11 Tracks (18 mins 14 secs) (Tracks 1 - 6, 9 – 10, & 27 - 29)
  • Film score duration (with distracting tracks removed): 58 mins 16 secs
  • Suggested suitable book genres: Creepy, Eerie Horror
DLS Summary:
Here we have another La La Land soundtrack which has clearly been compiled with all the usual love and attention to detail you come to expect from these purveyors of quality soundtracks. It’s a soundtrack for fans of soundtracks, as well as fans of the ‘Cabin Fever’. As such, the whole presentation of the soundtrack is excellent, with some great sleeve notes included within the booklet, comprising of a relatively lengthy write-up from director Eli Roth and then a shorter note from film score composer Nathan Barr.

The soundtrack itself starts (and in a small way ends) with a few songs and sound clip quotes taken from the film. However, for the main part, the soundtrack is a somewhat textbook, and in some places cliched, horror film score.

There’s all your usual suspects within this, such as slow, eerie synthetic soundscapes overlayed with short sections of screeching violins, as well as cellos providing some mounting intensity similar to that classic title track for ‘Jaws’ (1975).

All in all, this is an okay soundtrack for reading to, as long as you skip or cut out the eleven above listed ‘distracting tracks’. The remaining score is a pretty standard affair, but yeah, not a bad one.

DLS Review:
The CD opens up with three songs by three different bands, with sound clip quotes taken from the film inserted between each one.

The film score itself begins on Track 7 with the eerie ‘Main Title’ score, which instantly injects a sense of dread into the musical piece. This therefore creates a quiet and atmospherically eerie opener that seems to bleed tension and effectively sets the scene for the eerie horror score to come.

Following that we have an equally creepy second track to the score, which would probably also feel at home within ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ (1974). This one’s again, quite quiet and reserved, with hints of subdued and almost distorted banjos interspersed within the fog of haunting horror music.

The next track is a wacky banjo piece that is definitely too distracting to sit shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of the eerie score (especially if you’re using this soundtrack for reading to). Track 10 is again a weird, warped banjo piece that should also probably be skipped if using this soundtrack for reading with.

However, with Track 11 we’re back into the quiet, reserved, but ever-so-eerie score which makes for great background music for reading. Track 12, although much more sinister sounding, is of a similarly quiet vein. Again, great music for reading with, especially with the suspense this creepy track provides with the classic tension-building screechy violin parts and the growing momentum on some subdued bongos. Indeed, all of this eventually leads to a segment in the score that would perhaps sounds more at home in a ‘Jaws’ sequel.

Track 13 sticks with the quietly evocative and underlying eerie sound previously exhibited. Gentle sound effects provide an effective and sinister backdrop for this wonderfully chilling track. Track 14 delivers a similarly creepy sound, here with what I presume to be a quietly plucked harp amongst a backdrop of distorted and eerie reverb, before the wobbly, screechy violins return for some more cliched horror antics.

Next, we have a funky lounge track that sounds like it’s been taken straight out of ‘Twin Peaks’ (1990). This is essentially a slightly subdued, finger-snapping piece of lounge music, with no vocals or anything of that nature, but instead just a track that kind of takes you a tad out of the eerie soundscapes of the previous tracks within this score.

Track 16 is then back to the quietly subdued score, here with quite a peaceful track instead of the eeriness of the previous pieces. That is until around two minutes into the track when the feeling within it shifts and it becomes decidedly creepier with the introduction of strings played in a way to create a feeling of mounting and all-encompassing tension.

Track 17 starts out as a quieter track, which builds up momentum until it edges back into more of the same eerie and creepy stuff, continuing along with the same general theme of strings, a few scatterings of rhythm-driven bongos, over an underlying fog of an atmospheric soundscape.

Track 18 is a similar eerie affair, whereas Track 19 delivers a more pronounced audio piece, with stronger notes and ambushes of musical dominance jumping out at the listener. Again, not too dissimilar to the build-up of John Williams’ famous title track for ‘Jaws’ (1975).

From here we’re back again into a far more standard, textbook horror score, which for the next few tracks plays around the same sort of audio themes as before, peaking and dropping with different degrees of intensity within each track. There’s a lot of recurring themes throughout these tracks, although often returning to those pesky screeching violins for relatively short bursts.

These latter tracks on the score are perhaps the better ones to accompany reading a good horror book with. Track 25 in particular makes for a perfect backdrop for a horror novel, with nothing too dramatic or distracting in the music, but enough to mask any background hustle and bustle with a busy commute. The main score essentially ends with Track 26, which is a similarly atmospheric piece of horror music to the previous tracks, not exactly brimming with originality, but nevertheless perfectly suited to the film’s requirements.

Then with Track 27 we’re back into a sound clip taken from the film before leaping into a final song from the film – this a delightful banjo rendition of ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ (here just named ‘Swing Low’) before a final sound clip ends the main soundtrack portion of the CD.

After this we have three ‘Bonus Tracks’ all of which are by Angelo Badalamenti. These are each quietly evocative horror pieces. The final track (Track 32) is an extended version of the ‘Red Love’ track which was Track 16 within the main score. The track and indeed the whole CD ends with shouts of “pancakes, pancakes, pancakes!” which I guess must have been in the film, but I can’t quite put my finger on where this clip appeared!

As a soundtrack for reading to:

The soundtrack as a whole:

© DLS Reviews

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