Scream, Queen! – My Nightmare on Elm Street (Original Soundtrack)
The documentary Scream, Queen! My Nightmare On Elm Street is worth a watch – a fascinating story within a story, of both the making of the movie A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge and the coming out of its main character. Less a technical making of, but laced with plenty of footage from the shoot, it is about the overtly homoerotic tones (you’d call them undertones I guess – but they’re really so obvious) of the film and how the movie and its reception shaped the actor and possibly even manipulated him or psychologically tormented him on some level. It’s about his acceptance of himself and of the role the film plays in pop culture – and about learning to turn a millstone into a milestone. Learning to live with an albatross.
I believe all of this is of interest to anyone that’s into cinema and pop culture – and of course the story of the sexuality and manipulation of ideas away from even being an Elm Street convert. But I can’t speak to that with objectivity as I’m a lifelong Freddy fan. So I watched this film for the Freddy – and what seemed so obvious now, in terms of gay subtext, totally sped by me when I watched it the first couple of times as a young teen.
I’ve always had a soft spot for the film too, despite – or because of – its weird energy and its lack of cohesion; it sticks out like, er, well a set of balls really. It’s not a logical follow-up to part one. And then when they decided to open up and carry on the franchise they ignore part two’s storyline altogether and went back to the first one as a reference point for three, four and five. Elm Street 2 is really its own confused, confusing standalone film. And with time it grows all the more endearing. The Scream, Queen doco helps in this regard too.
And helping the Scream, Queen doco along its way is this soundtrack. A beautiful, deep score from horror fan and brilliant film composer Alexander Taylor.
There are hints of the work achieved on the Stranger Things soundtrack (The Waiting Dead) where the sound of 1980s horror film is evoked. Within that, Taylor very nicely pays tribute to Elm 2’s composer Christopher Young (Rules Don’t Apply) and there are some straight up bangers that Taylor has created here, pieces of music that rise to anthemic (Rules Don’t Apply) and are better enjoyed here away from the film – given full life to play it as whole-composed pieces of music rather than background snippets.
The music was sublime in the film, don’t get me wrong – it’s the reason I looked out for the score to listen to on its own. But the way Taylor composes is to create more music than he needs, to be working through several cuts of the film so the end result is a lot of great leftovers, or longer pieces. And I’m sure we’re getting to hear a lot more here than ended up in the actual movie. It’s given its own stage to live and breathe on that’s for sure.
So, just as you can enjoy the doco without being a big fan of the original movie, I really believe you could love this score as just a fan of instrumental movie music; synth-wave meets 80s-referencing sci-fi/horror/thriller work. It’s a beautiful set of musical cues.