John Williams’ War Of The Worlds score is the latest in a long line of John Williams / Steven Spielberg collaborations. Whether one of Spielberg’s summer blockbusters (Jaws, E.T., the Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park trilogies, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind) or one of his more dramatic films (Artificial Intelligence: A.I., Minority Report, Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List), Williams’ compositions are an essential component to these films that have added to the emotional impact made by each one of them.
Throughout the War Of The Worlds soundtrack, Williams takes his time building those emotions and delivers a slow ascension of impending disaster in much the same way the film does. Many of the tracks are as suspenseful and heart pounding as scenes from the film itself. You’ll find no catchy themes to whistle the day after here. War Of The Worlds is a horror film, and the soundtrack directly reflects that.
One unique feature of this soundtrack are the opening and closing monologues performed by Morgan Freeman, reprising his role as the narrator from the film. Pure soundtrack fans may find it annoying, but helps set the tone and mood of the story for those who haven’t seen the film.
Overall the soundtrack is eerie and suspenseful, with a bit of terror thrown in for fun. Some of the tracks (“Escape From The Basket”) take over five minutes to develop, building suspense the entire time. Other tracks, like “Escape From The City”, climax quickly and convey the terror and panic from the film’s action scenes.
Unfortunately the soundtrack, whiile technically impressive, isn’t very entertaining to listen to on its own. The lack of repeating themes or memorable catches will keep it off most people’s favorite lists. As a soundtrack it’s great, as a stand alone album it’s only good.
- Prologue (2:52)
- The Ferry Scene (5:49)
- Reaching The Country (3:24)
- The Intersection Scene (4:12)
- Ray And Rachel (2:41)
- Escape From The City (3:49)
- Probing The Basement (4:12)
- Refugee Status (3:51)
- The Attack On The Car (2:44)
- The Separation Of The Family (2:36)
- The Confrontation With Ogilvy (4:33)
- The Return To Boston (4:29)
- Escape From The Basket (9:24)
- The Reunion (3:16)
- Epilogue (3:11)
Released by: Decca
Release date: 2005
Total running time: 61:07