Straw Dogs

Feature Film

My intention with this film was to create a gothic film noir score that would serve the character development and unyielding story arc that drives us to the last act of home invasion and us versus them final standoff. Dark in tone but rich in color.
— Larry Groupe´


Screenwriter David Sumner travels with his wife Amy in his Jaguar to her homeland Blackwater, in rural Mississippi. Charlie, Amy’s high school sweetheart, invites David to hunt deer but leaves David alone in the woods while he goes back to rape Amy. She does not tell to David what happened and when drunken coach Tom Heddon calls Charlie and his friends to hunt down the loner Jeremy Niles who has accidentally killed the coach’s daughter, David decides to protect not only Jeremy, but also Amy and his honor. 

– Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil



When Larry Groupé and I first got together to discuss the score for the remake of Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs, we decided on using film noir films as our musical inspiration. The movie was intended to be big and ballsy, in your face—and part of that was going to be accentuated by a like-minded musical bed. And, sure enough, when we put it in the first pass of our film, it was filled with brass and strings—the music was there.

But then something happened, as it always does with Larry and his music. It became his own. This isn't unusual with great composers, I think. Every director sits with the composer of a film and throws around antecedents for the composer to consider. That's because most of us are not musically oriented. We don't know what we're talking about, so we attest towards what we do know. But then, the great ones, the ones like Larry, ask you to let them do something original—absolutely original. And that's what Larry did.

The score to Straw Dogs is bold. It is ballsy. But it also comes from both the mind and the heart of Larry Groupé. The film has a distinct melody—one that never lulls you but is also impossible to forget. It is filled with strings and brass but in a combination that is, I think, unique. When you listen to it, you'll note that there isn't a phrase in the entire score that isn't memorable. The music not only serves the emotions of the film but also serves as a memory of the film itself.

— Rod Lurie • Director/Writer