I wanna play a game…
It’s almost Halloween you frightful lot and you know what that means. Time for the Annual Scary Picture of Emma (contrary to popular belief – NOT a photo taken first thing in the morning). You can check out past efforts here – 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Now that unpleasantness is over with:
Saw 2004 – soundtrack review
Being Halloween soon – and seeing it second-hand at a reasonable price (about a fiver) – I thought I’d treat myself to the Saw CD soundtrack. I’ve always really liked the main and highly recognisable score called ‘Hello Zepp’ – which has appeared in all eight Saw movies and probably the best thing to come out of the franchise.
Hello Zepp was written by Charlie Clouser, who, apart from being in Nine Inch Nails, has been involved with quite a few movie and TV scores. I’m sure some of you would be rather interested to know he also wrote the American Horror Story theme music.
One pretty cool thing is he worked on EVERY Saw soundtrack. So rather than someone else taking over and mixing his original idea, we have his own, personal attachment evident on every OST. With eight movies (so bloody far…), it’s rare to see someone credited with the same role from start to finish.
And though I say the score appears in every film, some of them are slight variations of course – e.g. in Jigsaw (2017), it’s actually called ‘Zepp Eight’ and though not identical, also very hard to distinguish from the original (unless perhaps you listened to them back-to-back). If you remember, the original played in full, in Saw (2004) right at the end when the big twist was revealed. I think bits of it play four or five times leading up to this moment but it’s played in its full, uninterrupted glory at the very end – which is perfect for all the revelation and drama.
So before buying and listening to the Saw soundtrack I definitely would have said I was mainly buying it for Hello Zepp. But having now bought it and having listened to it, I can safely say that NO MATE – I bought it entirely for Hello Zepp. The rest of the soundtrack is, umm, what’s the word I’m looking for. The rest of the soundtrack is absolute shite. Roaring death metal and the kind of thing all those racist weirdos liked listening to in American History X. Urghhhhh.
Actually on reflection I shouldn’t have been surprised, the Saw movies are known for their fast-paced torture scenes – set to heavy music. So, yeah, makes sense really. Recognise any? I hope for your sake, you do not.
And I’m not sure if the ‘Zepp Overature’ at the end is a typo or not? I thought initially it might be some ‘quirky’ thing but Wiki lists it as the correct spelling of Overture. I have seen misprints on CD listings before, so who knows. Who cares.
Happily, the main score is GREAT ENOUGH to merit owning the whole CD. There are a few little snippets scattered through-out but really it’s about the whole main shebang and as a further treat – the track placed immediately after is an orchestral version (Zepp Overature) which is just as good, if not a little better with loads of dramatic violin-ing!
The beginning of this piece also blends perfectly with the end of Hello Zepp – so the two pieces of music put together make for a really impressive classic piece.
I’m a fan of the Saw films anyway, though I can appreciate they got really, really dumb after…..maybe Saw 4? And that’s pretty generous. But fan or not, this really is a marvellous horror score that I honestly think should be respected and remembered.
It’s not as creepy as say, the Halloween theme, or as downright frightening as the Jaws music. But it’s extremely well written and VERY dramatic. Absolutely perfect for the franchise and a true modern classic cheapened only by the films that followed (but couldn’t we say that about Halloween as well?).
Listen to all variations here –