Halloween: 20 Years Later / 1998 Composed

# Title Duration
Main Title 4:26
Laurie 2:17
Narrow Escape 1:57
Advice 1:38
Rest Stop 1:41
Disposal 3:08
The Evening Begins 2:17
Seventeen 5:11
Face to Face 6:02
Letting Go 1:02
Here's Company 4:14
Sonata for Molly 2:01
Death of a Nurse 3:56
Final Confrontation 4:34
He's Dead 1:52
Road Trip 2:02
Farewell, Michael 2:55

John's Thoughts

Taking John Carpenter's themes and -isms and giving them new life orchestrally was what inspired me to do H20. I thought it would be fun to let my hair down and do a horror score and show how a film bordering on the absurd could be scary if it were believable and if it drew upon Carpenter's music which has an immediate creepy cultural association to horror. Also, the more character-driven the score, the more believable the film would be. I peppered the score with subtle references to other themes of Carpenters from Halloween. These I felt would get under the audience's skin. I adapted them to the orchestra: the most notable being Carpenter's incessant "pounding" theme originally played on piano, but here growing with tension with the whole orchestra. As they approached the gate in the climactic "face to face" scene, I never let up on this as it got more and more hand-sweatingly intense. Alas, all that remained of it in the film was a brief moment when Michael picks up the dropped keys. (The integrity of this and other Carpenter notions sort of went by the wayside in the final product, as it was declared too "thoughtful." BUT, the music's ALL there on the "Portrait of Terror" CD! Listen carefully for the references.)

Back to the beginning of the process: Because I had less than three weeks of time to write and orchestrate 70 minutes of score my legs would shake when I got up because I had been in my chair so many hours per day. Although he had conducted smaller projects for me in the past, this was Damon's first major conducting assignment, and we pretty much blazed through it in record time. The entire process was a love-fest until the poorly-mixed final dub was sent via video tape to Miramax brass. Then all hell broke loose, which is by now a well-told story.