Bobby Krlic removed his Haxan Cloak to work alongside film director Ari Aster on Midsommar. The movie is a pagan horror in the Wicker Man mould, and Krlic’s frightening compositions really augment the sense of ceremonial doom that pervades Midsommar. Nails-on-blackboard screeches, pulse-racing drums, unsettling micropolyphonic drones, it’s all in there. Krlic's music is in dialogue with the great and the good of chilling movie scores, from György Ligeti to Johnny Greenwood to Dean Hurley.

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Midsommar (Original Score) by Bobby Krlic
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8/10 Tommy WM 07 August 2019

Bobby Krlic has both terrified and entertained in equal measure with his the Haxan Cloak project, offering dread-inducing dark ambient with a clear cinematic scope. When news landed that the Wakefield born musician was set to score the follow-up to Ari Aster’s exceptional indie horror ‘Midsommar', we were ecstatic, but not too surprised. Within the first moments of hearing the shifting and swelling musical motifs, pagan songcraft, and unstable temperaments of the soundtrack, it became apparent that Krlic was the perfect choice.

‘Midsommar’ is a folk horror film which centres on a group of tourists visiting a Swedish pagan commune. As the film progresses, the outwardly peculiar behaviours and traditions unravel into a ghastly climax at the film's blistering finale. The ominous atmosphere constantly looms, though graphic revelations are offset by scenes of whimsical psychedelic taking, extravagant and colourful flower parades, and the films near-constant day time setting.

Krlic enhances the dizzying atmosphere, constantly shifting moods and visual juxtapositions by blending the tranquil with the menacing. Swedish folk instruments of yore highlight the anachronistic distinctions between the pagans and the tourists, siren songs are shaped with signature dubby dread, mimicked banshee wails bleed into towering drones, faint human cries and carnal torments lie beneath the spiralling strings, and dynamic highs are often abruptly halted. Krlic draws upon the fragile instrumentation of Penderecki, the opulence of Jonny Greenwood, and the string stabs of Bernard Herrmann to shape a menacing tone which stays with the audience hours after they’ve vacated the cinema.

‘Midsommar’ prevails as an incredible piece of cinema and a soundtrack which performs astoundingly as a stand-alone piece. Both Aster and Krlic have revealed that horrors occur as often in the seemingly innocent daytime as the hellish night. We can’t wait to hear from these two again in the future…


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