Prisoners (Dennis Villeneuve)

If transcendent horror pushes beyond fear of a monster and finds the monster within the fearful, Hugh Jackman’s arc in particular fits the bill ably. Johannes Johannssen’s score – taking Arvo Part as its starting point – is a model of how to raise the stakes of a film to the highest possible concerns, rising beyond the bumps and stings of a thriller to strengthen the film’s emphasis on the spiritual. The union of his music with Roger Deakins’ golden light in the candlelit vigil makes that sequence and the chase that follows one of the strongest in 2014 cinema. The closing beat of the film similarly leaves an impression. What a beautiful sound idea that whistle in the dark proves to be, ending the film on the cusp of a moment that – as much as we want to see, we’re better left anticipating, fearful that it might not have come to fruition.

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