Film scores

Soundtrack review: The loft (John Frizzell – 2015)

„The loft” is a psychological thriller told through flashbacks. It sounds like something I would like to watch. It’s about five guys who conspire to secretly share a penthouse loft in the city only to find a dead body in there. Naturally they suspect one of them is responsible and the thriller begins. I know composer John Frizzell from such scores as “Alien resurrection” and “Office space”.

First thing that comes to mind once the first few minutes of the score pass is “I can’t get no sleep”. This score has that unmistakable foggy insomniac feel to it as if nothing is clear and the notes and motifs morph into each other and then immediately change shape and make me wonder if I really heard that instrument. John Frizzell said that he mistreated the instruments in order to get this twisted sound that would benefit the flashbacks and the connections of the story. I can hear that in many cues and the way they are constructed makes me appreciate more moments of clarity such as “Filip gets a key”. I hear excitement and anticipation in this piece and this must be the point where something changes in the plot because the mood is different, more melodic and less uncertain.

“Sarah’s pain” is the first coherent theme of “The loft” and I hear the weird guitarviol instrument the composer used, a cross between a guitar and a cello. It’s clear to me from the music that everything that goes on in the movie is dark and hidden. Nothing is what it seems and this makes the score interesting to me. John Frizzell created an atmosphere that intrigues me and keeps me connected. The broken and twisted strings surround me like the bars of a prison cell that I voluntarily stepped into.

There are some interesting moments in “The loft”. A cue like “Buzzer” was tailor made for me. It’s honest and raw. “Casino night part 1” brings echoes of “The dark knight”. “The video” is melancholic and revealing. I found a lot of moments in this score but not a proper theme that I would remember when it was all over. What John Frizzell’s composition has going to it is the quicksand atmosphere…the more you try to escape it the deeper you get sucked in.

And yet “The loft” is a score I will be able to point out in the future. It does have its clear identity and I imagine the composer enjoyed himself tremendously while recording it. Me, I always enjoy a nice experimental score that I might learn something from.

Cue rating: 71 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 6 / 47

Album excellence: 13%

Highlights:

Sarah’s Pain

Buzzer

About the author

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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