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Vacancy (Original Soundtrack)

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Album Review

Vacancy, directed by Nimrod Antal (Kontroll), is a low-budget horror movie in which the largest expenditure seems to have been the salaries of stars Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale. The film is a cross between Psycho (it is set at one of those far-from-the-Interstate motels) and less-sophisticated slasher fare, with a plot in which a lost couple find themselves pursued by maniacs intent on slaughtering them while filming the carnage, then adding it to their collection of snuff-film videos. The score is by Tangerine Dream member Paul Haslinger, who has come up with a highly electronic effort that is at times practically indistinguishable from the sound-effects tracks for the movie. Haslinger can't have had much of a budget himself, and the only ordinary musician he has employed is violinist/violist Jacques Deregnancourt, who joins other performer/contributors credited with programming, sound design, and processing. Haslinger does get to come up with some interesting scoring on "Vacancy Main Title Theme" and "Vacancy End Credits," which nod toward both Bernard Herrmann and John Carpenter; in between, in short cues with titles like "David Stabbed" and "Amy Attacked," he mostly settles for the usual quietly ominous and eerie sounds meant to set up the shocks and loud, harsh percussion effects meant to accentuate those shocks. The last 18-plus minutes of music are not really included in the 85-minute movie. They are remixes of some of the scoring by Michael Fakesch, Christoph Harbonnier, and Lustmord. The soundtrack to Vacancy is a modest effort that is more impressive than the film it accompanies.


Born: 11 December 1962 in Linz, Austria

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Paul Haslinger is an Austrian composer and electronic musician known for his involvement with legendary German group Tangerine Dream, as well as his countless film, television, and video game scores. During the 1990s, he also released a few solo albums (three under his own name and one as Coma Virus) that explored various ethnic influences as well as industrial, dark ambient, and trip-hop. He has collaborated with Nona Hendryx, Jon Hassell, Lustmord, Fennesz, and many others. Trained at the Academy...
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