Christopher Young - new age horror

Christopher Young - Hellraiser 2 soundtrack CD cover Christopher or Chris Young has been composing movie scores for more than 3 decades now. Judging by the list of film credits, it is not difficult to conclude that Young is something of a horror specialist. He has scored movies like "Species", the first two "Hellraiser" films and sequels of both "The Fly" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street" as well as others in the genre. In this sense he seems to follow in the footsteps of Howard Shore. The original "Hellraiser" soundtrack is mostly dark orchestral, but with some sound effects suggesting the chains and dungeons of the Cenobites abode. The sequel "Hellbound: Hellraiser II" is more explicit about the origins of the Cenobites and introduces wordless choral sounds into the mix, while altering the themes from the original film.

Christopher Young - The Shipping News soundtrack CD cover Recently Young has moved more into the mainstream and very successfully, too, with his credits including a number of A-List movies such as "Entrapment". Another mainstream thriller movie by Young is "Virtuosity" which featured a number of tracks by artists such as Peter Gabriel. There was even a brief airing for Russel Crow's own band "Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts" on the car radio! In our opinion, Young's most recent masterwork is undoubtedly "The Shipping News" which won him a Golden Globe nomination. When you hear this described as Celtic influenced, the immediate reaction is "Oh, no - not again!" but this is much more than just another Hollywood film with a penny whistle theme. The musical tone persists throughout the movie, is true to its traditions, authentic for the setting in Newfoundland and adds considerable depth and beauty to the story.

In January 2002, Christopher Young became president of the Film Music Society, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the preservation and promotion of music written for film and television. Previous presidents have included David Raksin and Elmer Bernstein. From a film scoring perspective, following a small role writing additional music for Danny Elfman's "Spiderman 2", Young landed the top composer job in its sequel "Spiderman 3". See also our review of the Collector's Limited Edition Box Set of the Hellraiser Trilogy called Hellraiser The Chronicles, which includes Chris Young's two contributions to the Hellraiser series and also Randy Miller's score for "Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth".

Christopher Young - The Rum Diary soundtrack CD cover Christopher Young recently presented a show on BBC Radio 3 called "The Devil in Music", described as looking at musical scare tactics and the historical relationship between the violin and the devil. Classical examples included music by Weber, Mozart, Liszt and Wagner. Although we were unable to hear the broadcast we suspect it may have covered some similar ground to our article Horror in Music. The composer clearly had a lot of fun writing and recording the jazz-based score for The Rum Diary. He has an official channel on youtube which features a number of videos of the composer having fun (and sometimes helping out with shaker) while his band "The Neon Popsicles" plays his music from the film at a live show.

In 2018 an album called "The Lost Children of Planet X" was released by Caldera Records. This project is an audio drama and in addition to composing the music, Christopher Young also plays the voice of King Everett.

Films by Christopher Young:

    Christopher Young: Hellraiser - CD cover
  • Hellraiser - there is a prevalent scary atmosphere, but the recognisable theme ably represents the lure of temptation for the dark side
  • Hellbound: Hellraiser II - Builds on the original, before Randy Miller stepped into Young's shoes for the 3rd film
  • Species - the music is spooky and alien
  • The Dark Half
  • Flowers in the Attic
  • Bat*21
  • Rapid Fire
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge
  • Trick or Treat
  • Invaders from Mars
  • The Fly 2 - the sequel of the remake
  • Sliver - a few cues for a revised ending to the film largely scored by Howard Shore
  • Hider in the House
  • Haunted Summer - drama based around the authors Lord Byron, Mary and Percy Shelley
  • Murder in the First - shows the brutality of Alcatraz with occasional voices and strings, at times in small groups
  • Copycat
  • Virtuosity - Young's score seems conventional among the rock tracks
  • Hard Rain
  • Murder at 1600
  • Unforgettable
  • The Man Who Knew Too Little
  • Hush
  • Judas Kiss - the music is largely jazz-inspired with Latin tracks and touches of Herrmannesque thriller
  • Rounders
  • Christopher Young: Urban Legend - CD cover
  • Urban Legend - impressive score for an unimpressive film
  • The Big Kahuna
  • The Hurricane
  • Wonderboys
  • Bless The Child
  • Entrapment
  • The Gift
  • Sweet November
  • Swordfish
  • Madison - scored by Kevin Kiner using themes by Christopher Young
  • The Glass House
  • Bandits
  • The Shipping News - a expert blend of location, mood, character and unspoken emotion
  • Spiderman 2 - additional music to the main score by returning composer Danny Elfman
  • The Grudge and The Grudge 2- the English version of the Japanese thriller, the music is largely carried by sad dischordant strings with additional electronics and some intense or shock moments
  • The Core
  • Shade
  • Runaway Jury
  • An Unfinished Life
  • The Exorcism of Emily Rose
  • Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous
  • Christopher Young: Drag Me To Hell - album cover
  • Beauty Shop
  • Spiderman 3 - a full scoring credit for Young following his "additional music" role in the first sequel
  • Ghost Rider
  • Lucky You
  • Untraceable
  • Sleepwalking
  • The Informers
  • The Uninvited
  • Drag Me To Hell - a traditional shocker for Sam Raimi
  • Love Happens
  • Creation - Mrs. Darwin plays the piano from time to time, including one of the most difficult Chopin Etudes, while the soundtrack spans the emotions between thoughtfulness, beauty, tragedy and hope (and sometimes all together)
  • Christopher Young: Murder in the First - album cover
  • The Black Tulip
  • When in Rome
  • Priest
  • The Rum Diary - a warm and engaging jazz score
  • Sinister
  • The Baytown Outlaws
  • Killing Season
  • Gods Behaving Badly
  • The Single Moms Club
  • Deliver Us from Evil
  • The Monkey King - and its sequel The Monkey King 2
  • Scary or Die
  • Pet Sematary (2019) - Elliot Goldenthal scored the original of 1989
  • The Empty Man
  • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
  • The Offering

TV Music by Christopher Young:

  • The Twilight Zone - some segments for this TV series
  • Max and Helen - TV Movie
  • Norma Jean & Marilyn - TV Movie
  • Something the Lord Made - TV Movie
  • Dominion - pilot episode for the series
  • The Grand Tour - TV series
  • Wilson's Heart - video game

Christopher Young - Recommendations:

A number of Christopher Young soundtracks are available including the moody soundtracks for his excellent contribution to the "Hellraiser" series. Look out for the limited edition 3xCD pack of the first 3 films (no.3 scored by Randy Miller) if you can find it, but here are the links for the individual soundtrack for the first two films:

We also particularly recommend "The Shipping News" which is available from in the UK, or in the US, and suggest paying a vist to the official Christopher Young web-site for more in-depth information and details of future projects.

Christopher Young - Memorabilia:

Here are several CD covers signed by Christopher Young, with "The Fly and The Fly 2" also signed by Howard Shore, and "Madison" also signed by Kevin Kiner. Our thanks to Petr Kocanda for permission to use his collection of autographed CDs. Click on any thumbnail below to see a full size version of the image in a separate window.

Christopher Young: An Unfinished Life - signed CD Christopher Young - An Unfinished Life: Piano Sketches - signed CD Christopher Young: Bat 21 - signed CD Christopher Young: Bless the Child - signed CD Christopher Young: Creation - signed CD Christopher Young: Drag Me to Hell - signed CD Christopher Young: Flowers in the Attic - signed CD Christopher Young: Hard Rain - signed CD Christopher Young: Haunted or Humored (compilation album) - signed CD Christopher Young: Haunted Summer - signed CD Christopher Young: Judas Kiss - signed CD Christopher Young - Hellraiser: The Chronicles - signed CD Christopher Young: When in Rome - signed CD Christopher Young: Love Happens - signed CD Christopher Young: Max and Helen - signed CD Christopher Young: Something the Lord Made - signed CD Christopher Young: Priest - signed CD Christopher Young: Unforgettable - signed CD Christopher Young: Species - signed CD Christopher Young: The Black Tulip - signed CD Christopher Young: The Core - signed CD Christopher Young: The Exorcism of Emily Rose - signed CD Christopher Young: The Rum Diary - signed CD Christopher Young: Virtuosity - signed CD Christopher Young: To Spain with Love (album of Music influence by Spain) - signed CD Howard Shore and Christopher Young: The Fly and The Fly 2 - signed CD Kevin Kiner (score) & Christopher Young (themes): Madison - signed CD Christopher Young: The Shipping News - signed CD