Recording information: Pianella Studios; Warner Brothers Eastwood stage.
Composer Marco Beltrami's appropriately tense and brooding score for director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.'s 2011 reboot of The Thing dutifully echoes Ennio Morricone's stark score for the original version, which in its own way echoed the soundtrack work of that film's director, John Carpenter. Pieces like "Road to Antarctica," with its impish, John Williams-inspired woodwinds, and "Can't Stand the Heat," with its taut and patient, molasses-like percussive build, show great respect for the source material, while carving out a macabre sense of wonder all their own. The few repeated motifs that Beltrami establishes are used sparingly, but they're memorable enough to warrant instant recognition, even as the world goes to hell behind them. ~ James Christopher Monger