Welcome to the 2019 CIRCUIT CONSIDERATIONS series. Highlighting the very best in film, acting, and technical achievements for the past 12 months that awards voters may need help remembering. Each day a different writer will make their plea for a specific film in a respective category. If you miss one, click the tag “Circuit Considerations 2019,” and if you have some suggestions, include them in the comments below!
In the eyes of Oscar voters, nominating a horror film is clearly more terrifying than watching one. Over the years, the horror genre has had difficulty breaking through various Academy branches. Although, one branch that has been somewhat kind is the music branch. The scores for “Jaws” and “The Omen” won the Best Original Score Oscar. Meanwhile, the iconic music from “Halloween” and “Psycho” went drastically overlooked. Nominating the score on “Midsommar” would be a great way for voters to mend their genre bias.
The composer Bobby Krlic (aka The Haxan Cloak) is known for his eerie instrumental style, mixing traditional orchestral sounds with synthesized electronica. His vision makes him a perfect choice to do the score for “Midsommar” and sync in with the picture’s fluctuating tone. The luminous harps playing during “Prophesy,” the opening track, make the viewer feel serene before they become paralyzed by the jarring violins on “Gassed.”
It then has a more euphoric sound, capturing the utopian feel of the sunny Swedish paradise our main characters enter. However, it still possesses a morbid undertone that mirrors the duplicitous nature of the antagonistic pagan cult. The track “Attestupan” successfully mixes the jubilant and macabre together. It starts off as peaceful, but when a particular death is about to happen during the scene which it plays, an ominous cacophony becomes heard and gets louder as the moment progresses.
Krlic might not be on the same fame level as Thomas Newman or John Williams who are likelier nomination bets. Also, as previously mentioned, “Midsommar” isn’t exactly typical Academy material. It’s a psychological head trip that serves as a slight allegory for toxic relationships. Yet, it still deserves consideration for its score. Just the score being nominated would be enough for the film’s fans to gleefully shout “Skal!” on Oscar Nomination Day. Hopefully, voters are listening.