Music By Fernando Velazquez
Quartet Records QRSM022
18 Tracks/Disc Time: 61:22
The film, Mama was a surprise hit when it was released not too long ago so far grossing over 70 million dollars at the domestic box office and mostly to the appeal of Academy Award nominee, Jessica Chastain, who continues her streak of impressive box office performances that include Lawless and Zero Dark Thirty, the latter a Best Picture nominee and earned her a well deserved Oscar nomination. Andres’ Muschetti’s film stars Chastain as Annabel, who along Lucas (Nikloaj Coster-Waldu) are given the task and challenge of raising his young nieces that were apprently left in the forest alone for five years. Soon they discover that they may have not been alone during that time, which could bring terrifying results to the family.
For those who know who composer Fernando Velasquez is, well his music has been starting to more and more impossible to resist with film such as The Orphanage, Devil (one his more exciting and brilliant horror scores) and Lo Impossible (The Impossible) which garnered alot of acclaim in the last year. Velaquez is a up and coming composer who’s style is very infectious in terms of his orchestrations and melodies. His music has texture that really does stay with you long after the film. Mama is a score that is no exception and you can say follows up his work on Devil, in terms of scares, suspense and energy. Aside from that, there is some feelings of warmth with a bit of a lullaby effect to it complete with a chorus (“The Encounter And Main Title”) to counteract the usual horror brass stingers that a score like this would feature.
Velazquez carefully picks his moments to counter the suspense material with a more subtle and tense atmosphere (“What Happens Now?”, “Observation Room”, “The Painted Wall / The Doll”, “Scare And Lucas Wake Up”) that do have some hint of warmth inside the horror brewing inside the shell of horror with lush string work and a lush piano. The score’s major highlights include “Desange Folder”, “Last Hypno”, “Mama Fight” and “Final Reel”, which all bring out the best in Velzaquez’s material and particularly the latter is a lengthy thirteen-minute track that he just really cuts loose and unleashes a terrifying fury of both lush musical beauty and terror, that makes the score one better horror/suspense score’s I’ve heard in quite a while. Mama is a masterfully balanced score that shifts from darkness to light and light to darkness within a musical note and it has a quiet and potent energy that really sneaks up on you the more you listen to it. The problem I do have with this one is, that it is a bit repetitive at times and the brass stingers do get to you after a little while as with all horror scores. Regardless of this, this is a very solid effort from one of the emerging stars of film music and if Velazquez keeps writing scores such as this one, there’s no doubt that every director in Hollywood will start to call him up. A strong effort and a solid recommendation.