Film Music: Cloverfield


Anyone who grew up watching Toho studio monster movies on television will be familiar with the music, if not the name, of Akira Ifukube, the great film composer who wrote the classic scores to Godzilla (1954) and Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster, among many others. Ifukube died in 2006 but his musical spirit gloriously lives on in Michael Giacchino’s 2008 “Roar”, the rousing overture which plays over the end credits of Cloverfield. There are those who dismiss the composition as an outright rip-off of Ifukube’s style, but charges of plagiarism are utter nonsense, merely the glib observations of people lazily listening at the surface of the piece and unduly focused on Ifukube’s influence. “Roar” intentionally evokes Ifukube’s style, particularly in its use of a driving ostinato, but Giacchino’s inspired orchestration beautifully weaves together a set of relatively simple themes to create something entirely his own, using soaring sopranos, blazing woodwinds, wailing brass and big percussion hits to genuinely stirring effect.

Listen to it here.

2 Responses to “Film Music: Cloverfield”

  1. He also does all the music for Lost, which you probably noticed.

  2. Yes, and I believe he actually got his start scoring video games if I’m not mistaken. My money is also on him to take home the Oscar this year for Up, although I’m afraid James Horner may steal it from him for Avatar.