I wonder if I'm just a big girl's blouse when it comes to this kind of thing, but I distinctly recall having to leave the room while watching Event Horizon, lest the suspense get the better of me. However, given the fairly poor reviews the film garnered, it seems unlikely that it's as scary as I remember, especially as I managed to cope with sitting through Alien, on my own, in the middle of the night. Maybe I was just in a particularly edgy frame of mind when watching Event Horizon, but whatever the merits of its acting (reasonable for this kind of thing - Laurence Fishburne and Sam Neill) and production design (marvellous), it certainly scared the pants off me.
Michael Kamen isn't really associated with science fiction or horror (aside from his early score to The Dead Zone) and although largely thought of as an orchestral composer, he worked on numerous occasions with rock musicians from Queen to Bryan Adams to Metallica, but in this case the music was co-written with Orbital, one of those digital, one man outfits that needs a snazzy name to cover a paucity of talent. To be honest, the kind of digital trickery that Orbital employ doesn't really strike me as suitable for a horror film. Sure, synthetic groans and distortions work to build atmosphere, but Orbital's bread and butter is beats and samples, but for all that, the contributions worked fine in the film and give the album a nice propulsion. Kamen's job is to work in the orchestra, building up the drama while Orbital drive it home adding to the action.
The integration between the two styles isn't too bad and given the way the album is produced, this is just as well. The long suites format is pointless if there are going to be gaps and while I wouldn't go so far as to say the music evolves organically, it's certainly difficult to spot the joins. It does make picking highlights difficult and the thematic material isn't really hummable, but horror scores aren't known for their good tunes. Kamen's ideas are good enough on their own terms even if it does sound rather melodramatic at times. The current trend in horror scoring seems to result in albums that are generally mediocre at best and although Event Horizon has its fair share of orchestral jolts, high pitch skittering and sustained suspense motifs, the overall effect is considerably more accomplished than most even if the passages where Orbital's beats kick into gear are by far the most exciting.