Director Anders Walter's festival favourite fantasy film only saw a limited theatrical release before going to VOD in March 2018. It's a shame, as the emotionally-fraught action movie has a strong potential to really break out and really demands to be seen in big screen glory. The effectiveness of the film is due in no small part to composer Laurent Perez del Mar's music, which is astonishingly good and exceptionally epic.
For those who wish there were more film scores which took their inspiration from Howard Shore's Lord of the Rings scores but still manage to go off in unique directions, this is that music. Del Mar's created a score which is sweeping and grandiose - as befits a film wherein Madison Wolfe as Barbara Thorson fights giants which threaten her small seaside town - but also, rather sweet and innocent, as well.
Given that del Mar needs to balance the fights and mystery of the world only Barbara can see with the impending friendship from a new girl in town, as well as the concern of Barbara's family and school counsellor, there's a lot of shifting moods to account for. The track Barbara is all powerful strings mixed with a more innocent piano melody, which sets the tone for the rest of the score. The same goes for Giants, which uses the strings the strings to set the overall mood, but brings the giants' theme in which low end rumbling, as if to shake the listener as the giants' footsteps do the characters.
It's all quite lovely and haunting when necessary, to reflect the fact that the viewer begins to suspect that what's happening onscreen might not be taking place in reality. However, del Mar never really tips the viewer off musically as to whether or not I Kill Giants is really happening to Barbara, letting the viewer enjoy the film (and music) without betraying its overall mood.
The release also the includes the original song Something So Strong, performed by Rasmus Walter, as well as London Grammar’s exclusive and unreleased track, Under The Stars. They're pretty touching - Walter's song, in particular - but neither match the emotional impact of the final score cut, Mum, which is achingly beautiful on its own, but will devastate anyone who's seen the film.
I KILL GIANTS / COMPOSER: LAURENT PEREZ DEL MAR / LABEL: VARÈSE SARABANDE / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW