John Ottman is a relative newcomer to the world of film music, but he has already been associated with some of the biggest movies of recent years. Unusually he has also performed the role of "Film Editor" on a few of these films, perhaps giving him the unique ability to compose and cut his own music with complete consistency. Many of his film scores have come from the suspense and horror genres with titles such as "Eight Legged Freaks", "Snow White: A Study in Terror", "Lake Placid" and "Urban Legend: Final Cut" to his credit. While some of these play things straight, there are times when both visiually and aurally the horror turns into comedy pastiche. For "Halloween H20" he was able to do a clever reworking of the original John Carpenter theme dating back to the first movie 20 years before. In this movie Ottman has included a little musical joke. Jamie Lee Curtis' mother Janet Leigh makes cameo appearance as a teacher in the school. For this brief appearance, the music reminds us that it was Janet Leigh in the shower with a few bars of music from Bernard Herrmann's Psycho.
When his score for "Cruel Intentions" was replaced, this gave him a rather ironic title to use for an album of his film music. "Cruel Intentions and Selected Suites" contains music from his unused score to "Cruel Intentions" and also many themes, cues and suites from his other film music. Since he is a relative newcomer, this album covers music from most of his films to date up until about 2004 and also the "Fantasy Island" TV Series. This is available from Amazon.co.uk in the UK, or Amazon.com in the US. Another compilation album by John Ottman is "Portrait of Terror" which includes music from "The Usual Suspects", "Apt Pupil" and "Halloween H20".
Ottman's soundtrack to "X-Men 2" (also known as "X2") was the first sequel in what has now become a very successful film series. It seems to have started a trend for the composer in scoring superhero movies, because he has now gone on to score the "Fantastic Four" and "Superman Returns" which uses themes established by John Williams in the earlier series of Superman films featuring Christopher Reeve in the title role. Ottman has even scored the animated super hero "Astro Boy". The composer's latest film score is another collaboration with Bryan Singer, Jack the Giant Slayer. The film is a traditional fantasy adventure story, and Ottman's score is a full-blooded and welcome return to the golden age of film scoring.
Note: It has been reported that the tracks on the soundtrack CD of "X-Men: Days of Future Past" were cut in the wrong order and therefore have the wrong names.
Among the albums and film score CDs by John Ottman, we recommend the following:
Here are some CD covers signed by John Ottman. Our thanks to Petr Kocanda for permission to use his collection of autographed CDs. Click any thumbnail below to see the image full size in a separate window.