In the wake of his Sixth Sense
triumph, young director M. Night Shyamalan shrewdly marketed himself as a marquee draw, a thriller auteur in the vein of Hitchcock and DePalma. In the process he's also run headlong into one of Hollywood's truest adages: There's no such thing as a sure thing. But while his tale of an isolated hamlet ringed by mysterious, threatening 'others' met with tepid reviews and disappointing box office, it also underscored another filmmaking truism: So-so films can still be blessed with magnificent musical scores. This hauntingly beautiful, yet thoroughly contemporary orchestral soundtrack by James Newton-Howard distinguishes itself at every turn, becoming a clear standout in the ongoing collaboration between the composer and Shyamalan. While similar fusions of minimalist and post-modern musical influences can sometimes seem not much more than hollow intellectual exercises, Newton-Howard inhabits his hypnotic arpeggios and droning rhythms here with an evocative undercurrent of the mysterious and mystical. The composer leans heavily on solo violin to conjure a mock folk tradition of indistinct origins, wedding it to a contemporary classical sense that's as seamless as it is distinguished. -- Jerry McCulley
James Newton Howard's original score to the 2004 film from M. Night Shyamalan. In "The Village", the Academy Award nominated filmmaker who brought us "The Sixth Sense" & "Signs" assembles an all-star cast including Academy Award nominees Joaquin Phoenix & Sigourney Weaver & Academy Award winners Adrien Brody & William Hurt to bring to life the thrilling tale of an isolated village confronting the astonishing truth that lies just outside its borders. From his hit collaborations with Elton John, Toto, Cher, & others to his nuanced & touching film work, James Newton Howard has been a part of a series of monster successes including "My Best Friend's Wedding", "The Sixth Sense", "Liar Liar", & "The Fugitive".