Perhaps you’ve seen the film – I’ve not – but either way this soundtrack should give you every clue as to the picture’s horrifying content: Melbourne-based producer François Tétaz has crafted the kind of score that could raise hairs tall on the head of a bald man, such is its hauntingly disorientating menace, rich in alien-sounding effects and no-one-will-help-you-now silences.
It’s fair to state that many soundtrack releases serve little purpose: absolute aficionados will buy them to complete their whatever-movie collection, but irregular cinema-goers rightly overlook them. More often than not, with context shifted and visuals shorn, the material makes little to no impression. Tétaz, though, could clearly contribute handsomely to the output of the Kranky or Constellation labels: his shifting, scratches-on-a-blackboard soundscapes are laced with the chilling sounds of telegraph wires resonating in an eerie Outback wind, poles bending and creaking, moaning like whale song; traditional instruments – a string quartet, especially – are used sparingly and effectively. The first track of any significant length (most incidental pieces clock in at around two minutes), the four-minute ‘Abysmal Horizon’, is a great representation of the album as a whole: beautiful in its decay, atmospherically macabre yet as mesmerising as the most perfect classical suite. Certain titles, though, allude astutely to the film’s graphic violence: ‘Head On A Stick’, ‘Arcane Menace’.
Tétaz has said that writing music for the movie’s scenes of torture made him feel physically unwell; his OST, though, is unlikely to have all but the queasiest of listener reaching and retching. Although it is a difficult record for the purely melody-minded to digest, full of previously unheard sounds deployed in ways designed solely to emphasise discomfort and distress, there is elegance enough here to ensure that any horrors encountered along the way remain on the screen, not in your speakers.
Wolf Creek OST is a powerful, emotive piece of work, and one that really doesn’t need the addition of bloodstained celluloid to have an effect on its audience.
8Mike Diver's Score