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Soundtrack Review

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Paper Spiders
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Ariel Blumenthal
Label: MovieScore Media
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 07 May 2021

MovieScore Media presents the quirky yet haunting dramedy ensemble score for Paper Spiders by Ariel Blumenthal. The film follows the comically eccentric mother-daughter relationship of Dawn and Melanie. Their bond has grown even stronger following the passing of Melanie’s father - but their lives get disrupted by a menacing neighbour hell bent on tormenting Dawn. With no evidence left for the crimes, not even the police can help - but Melanie also wonders if the strange stories are true or a figment of her mother's imagination...

The score to Paper Spiders is touching, sweet and at times beautifully melancholic. However, it did feel like a thousand and one similar scores. Basically, it ambles along nicely, but with very little that is noteworthy.

This is fine, and lovers of subtle, beautiful scores will get a lot out of these 14 tracks (26 min, 32 sec) but it is very short. Sweet, but short.

For composer Ariel Blumenthal, finding the shifting dynamics of the relationship became the cornerstone of his score which uses a small ensemble to cover a wide range of emotions. As he puts it: "To mirror the disintegrating mother-daughter relationship at the heart of Paper Spiders, I was called to compose a musical theme that can morph from a loving and warm beginning to eminent hostility and tragedy. Three raw and exposed string instruments reflect similarly raw emotions, and to bring forth the crushing alienation caused by mental illness we added sound design elements that are screeching - yet almost silent."

It's not a bad collection of themes, and no doubt works well in the movie, but there's not a lot here you won't have heard before.


Darren Rea

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