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Creepy Girls and Lullabies

January 25, 2023

What do Christopher Young’s The Offering and Anthony Willis’ M3gan have in common? The clue’s in the title folks, please do pay attention! How scary are these girls and their respective creepy cradlesongs?

Christopher Young’s The Offering only contains four cues…totalling nearly forty minutes though. It all starts with a creepy girl singing a creepy lullaby. Standard horror material, and you’ll hear something similar in M3gan (more about that one later). The vast majority of The Offering revolves around human voices, but make no mistake… Young distorts it, twists it, detunes it, reverses it, slices it, plays it so low it’s merely a grunt and so on. It’s incredibly uneasy to listen to. The human voice is one of the most recognisable sounds to us, that’s just how nature works. So to f*ck with it, contort and torture it, sounds disturbing AF. The third cue introduces…something resembling an orchestra. I’m not sure if it’s sampled, but again it’s mangled, with big braams attracting attention. The solo voices have grown into a choir, still haunted though. And the orchestra eventually churns out a melody, but it feels pained, as if it has to fight its way past evil forces. This melody takes centre stage in the melancholy fourth cue. It has a whiff of Horner about it, I think, and provides a gentle ending to a really difficult score. Sure, it’s scary as hell and that’s the main objective, but I’m not sure I want to, or even dare, listen to this again any time soon. (4 tracks, 39m.)

Anthony Willis’ Megan (or “M3gan” for the cool kids) is a blend of creepy lullaby-type themes, some retro-sounding funkiness, plenty of eerie suspense music, and all-out horror (of the action-variety rather than the atonal abstract type). During the funky cues, you can really hear John Powell’s influence on Willis (they work together, in case you don’t know). The lullaby-stuff, complete with creepy girl’s vocals (courtesy of Holly Sedillos, I presume), is effective if somewhat cliché; and the action/horror material is impressive. Willis let’s rip with full orchestra, really packing a punch and occasionally conjuring up memories of Chris Young. Elsewhere, M3gan delivers a freaky version of David Guetta’s song “Titanium”; and there’s also an original song by Willis and Jenna Davies called “Tell Me Your Dreams”, which conjures up images of Disney’s glory days…which just makes it all the more unnerving. Of course, and again, it’s a horror score and thus deliberately unsettling, but as these kind of works go, M3gan is a solid score and surprisingly listenable on album. (29 tracks, 62m.)

Article by Pete Simons (c) 2023 Synchrotones

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