You’re Next is one of the smartest, scariest and downright satisfying slasher films that has been released in the last 10 years, and just like all the very best horror movies, it has a kickass soundtrack to match.
Death Waltz & Mondo (the twin giants of pushing beautiful pop culture paraphernalia on to us braying fans who had no idea we even needed the Pet Sematary soundtrack or a 1/6 scale model of Baby Hellboy) have just released a gorgeous LP of the You’re Next score, composed as a group effort by Kyle McKinnon, Jasper Justice Lee, Mads Heldtberg, and director Adam Wingard. It’s pressed onto 180g ‘Bloody Bedsheets’ coloured vinyl and limited to 1000 copies.
And as I am truly a slave to my own wants and desires, I bought one.
If you’re a long-time reader of Methods Unsound, you may recall an article I wrote about my favourite horror movie soundtracks in which I basically question why the hell I spend a fortune on horror movie vinyl, when really they’re only good for soundtracking the dismemberment of a sorority house rather than a rip-roaring 34th birthday party (apologies to my wife) or a romantic dinner for two (again, apologies to my wife).
However… and this is a big ‘however’… every so often a horror soundtrack comes along that not only provides a perfectly fitting and terrifying score to the movie, but is also relatively fun to listen to at home. Think the work of John Carpenter or the recent It Follows soundtrack.
The You’re Next soundtrack hasn’t been available before on any other format and we’ve been clamouring for it since the film’s release in 2011, so this is a pretty exciting event. But the important question is: what’s it like listening to the You’re Next soundtrack at home? Does it work or does it make you seem like a fucking psychopath?
Let’s get the most pertinent thing out of the way first. Yes, it contains the track ‘Looking for the Magic’ by the Dwight Twilley Band, and yes… it is the best thing on the album. The tremendous 1977 soft-rock classic is an integral part of the film, as well as being tonnes of fun to sing along to at home. It’s also really hard to find in any other format (it’s not even on Spotify), so the album is totally worth getting for that alone.
As for the rest of the score? Let’s take a journey through industrial ambient hell….
The score itself begins with ’An Ill Wind’ and ‘Shadow Thoughts’, which are both just atonal scene-setting. There are a few scratches here, some brooding synths here, it’s not until you get to ‘Invisible Villains’ when you feel a real sense of danger. The bass throbs while some horrible brass instrument wails and metallic strings are scraped. It definitely presages It Follows’ main theme with its pulsing, rhythmic dread. So yeah, perfect for an 8 year-old’s birthday party. Later, ‘Arrows Through Glass’ sounds like artillery fire in the distance, and as soon as you think it has faded, it then attacks with greater vigour. The cheerily titled ‘Death Awaits All’ is also an unsurprisingly downbeat affair.
By the time I’m two-thirds of the way through I’ve sort of lost the thread of track breaks and track titles. All I know is that after a period of quiet, a rasping demonically possessed party-streamer shit me up good and proper.
Side 2 follows pretty much the same trajectory, only it’s MORE terrifying. It’s basically the sonic equivalent of walking through your house and uncovering a corpse every time you open a door or look around the corner or move a fucking jam jar in the fridge.
But then… just before the end… there’s ‘Run Motherfucker’ which is a taught, frenetic dash of a track that almost sounds like Endtroducing era DJ Shadow mixed with Goblin. It’s definitely up there with the best of John Carpenter and therefore totally worth it the effort.
If you’re a limited edition horror soundtrack aficionado then You’re Next is an absolute smash. It’s terrifying, it’s evocative, it’s exhilarating in places. It’s also a beautifully packaged LP and Dwight Twilley is a fantastic bonus.
As for me and my aforementioned problems? Well the trouble is I’ll keep buying these fucking things as long as I’m a horror movie fan, a synth music fan and a fool who apparently hates retaining money. Mondo and Death Waltz have me right where they want me and I’m trapped.
You can still escape though… Just take this pen-knife and torch and make a run for it… Go now! Move! Yes that’s it… RUN!
Oh. Oh no. Oh dear. the razor-wire got you. Shame. 4/5