Originally Posted by richy
I'm definately a fan and greatful for his films, so I hate to say anything negative about them. I also think it's great that he can score his on films. But, I have to say that more than once, at least thinking that he'd scored this or that one, when his synth score kicked in I found myself groaning (at least figuratively) and thinking, Damn it, why can't you just get someone else to do a proper score for you?
I guess the stand-out score would be the one for The Thing. Looks like Ennio Morricone did that one.
It's true he did have Morricone come up a with a score for The Thing, but he didn't use a lot of it. Moreover, he ended up utilizing some of his own compositions -- the traditional synth style you mentioned. If you listen to a copy of the soundtrack (hard to find, but doable), you'll hear some CRAZY STRANGE music that simply isn't in the movie at all. I mean LOTS of it. And it's really melodic. Was really odd to hear. Didn't fit what I'd come to understand as the essence of The Thing.
Carpenter banged out the score for Halloween in a ridiculously short amount of time. I think that tune, with its visceral tie in to the tempo of a human pulse, is quite effective. However, I do agree with some critics who feel Carpenter uses the "spare" score a little too often in his movies. Too much synth, too often. Yes, I agree.