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Soundtrack review: From inside (Gary Numan & Ade Fenton, 2014)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: From inside (Gary Numan & Ade Fenton, 2014)

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“From inside” is the story of Cee, a young pregnant woman who finds herself on a damaged train slowly transcribing its way across a bleak post-apocalyptic landscape. This is enough to create an idea about the movie this score completes. It has dark and metallic sound written all over it. I’m expecting a disturbing score, full of despair and desolation.
When I see Gary Numan I instantly think “Cars”, synth-pop, inspiration for Trent Reznor. Finding his name on a movie score got me excited, considering what the aforementioned Reznor and his collaborator Atticus Ross, or Nick Cave and Warren Ellis managed to bring to the soundtrack world. With all this premises and contrary to the mood of the film, I enter the listening experience full of hope.
The score start reminds me of Atticus Ross’ “Book of Eli” or Nick Cave’s “The road”. I get the same feeling of emptiness and heavy grey. “On a red lake” is where this one takes off and creates an identity of its own. A children’s choir adds to the poignancy of the music, and there’s heart in this cue.    
Gary Numan alternates melodic, wide and even beautiful cues with disturbing noises. Tracks like “So many bodies”, “Crows”, “Leviathan” or “The killing” are completely unintelligible and not something I’d like to listen to again. They are really creepy and sound like the instruments of a crazy dentist. The score needs cues like these to underline the violent and broken post apocalyptic world in the movie. But then we get cues like “Memories of fire”, “My part in this is over” or the superb “A moment of reflection” which sends me back straight to Trent Reznor’s “The fragile” period, and this, for me, is a very high compliment for a track. This desolate landscape also brings bits of action (“Nothing can stop us”, “Heaven and hell”, “Finding him”) which are handled very well by Gary Numan. They are intense, alert and gripping.
People who are put off by the recent David Fincher / Trent Reznor collaborations will probably not enjoy this one. It’s livelier than those scores, the choirs are a haunting and welcome addition, but the mood and sound stems from the same root. “From inside” is not as minimal as other scores from the genre, and it’s quite melodic at times. The purpose of a movie score is to complete and even enrich the movie, to give it the life or heart it might be missing. The world depicted in “From inside” is broken, hopeless and disturbing. The main character is alive and caring. The scores mirror that: the sounds are either broken twisted and weird or quiet and melodic. When I listen to “From Inside” I know exactly what to expect from the movie. It’s not something I would go see with my wife, but it’s definitely something I’d love to catch on cable. As for the score, I am sure I enjoyed it more than most people will. For me, it’s a happy time to have music out from both Gary Numan and Trent Reznor.
My ratings:
Cue rating: 65 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 27 / 66
Album excellence: 41%
Cues to listen to:
The Train
On A Red Lake
Memories Of Fire
My Part In This Is Over
A Moment Of Reflection
Nothing Can Stop Us
The Little Fire Engine
Heaven And Hell
Falling
Into The Eternal Flames
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Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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