After starting out small, new composer John Debney was discovered after composing for the box office failure Disney film; Hocus Pocus. The film itself has become more than a cult classic and is arguably one of the best halloween films out there. As for Debney's score, the same can be said. Other than Cutthroat Island, Hocus Pocus is easily one of Debney's best scores. The music is both fun and thrilling while combining elements from Danny Elfman and even John Williams.
First of all, 'Main Title' introduces the film's main theme which itself sounds like Danny Elfman's Beetlejuice. It is fast paced with creepy choral interludes. The film's secondary theme comes in 'Brother/Sister Theme'. For the most part it heavily resembles Carol Anne's theme from Poltergeist. Debney also plays around with some lighter melodies (such as in; 'Halloween', 'Max Meets Alisson', and 'End Titles') before getting to the darker stuff. The main theme is reprised numerously in variation until exploding in full orchestra in 'Graveyard Attack'. There are also numerous choral pieces that add subtlety to the score as well as fun, bouncy pieces ('Witches on Holiday' and 'Witches on Rampage') that add to the album. With 'Conflagration/Resurection', however, Debney reprises the secondary theme on the same orchestral level as John Williams.
One of the biggest crimes in the soundtrack community was not releasing this great score on album. So far it is only available as a rare copy on bootleg disks and the original promo disk. It's also a shame not to see the two songs for the film (done by both James Horner and Marc Shaiman) released in any format. Otherwise, Hocus Pocus is easily one of Debney's best scores. It is fun, bouncy, exciting, and creepy at the same time. If it ever does get released, it's a must have.
Read other recent reviews by Jason FLZ: Man of Steel
, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
, The Thing