Film scores

Soundtrack review: The X-Files – Fight the future (Mark Snow – 1998)

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These thoughts were written from the perspective of a huge fan of the movie and mythology but the music will also please the casual film music fan. This is a dark and spectacular score that stands out from this genre and I’m sure it will make an impression.

I remember vividly the day I saw “The X-Files – Fight the future” at the cinema because the movie left quite an impression on me. I am a huge fan of the show and I was lucky enough to be up to date with the episodes when this movie that bridges seasons 5 and 6 came out. I loved the movie and I’ve watched it countless times since then. I would could this movie among my favorite two part episodes had it been in the regular flow. All actors were at the top of their game and the plot was thrilling. Mark Snow naturally wrote the score and he brought something extra compared to the TV show. My emotional attachment to the movie makes this score easy to recognize and write about.

As soon as “Threnody in ‘X’” starts I picture the movie images in my mind. I see the logo, I see the silent opening which takes place thousands of years ago and I feel the creepy atmosphere sucking me back in. Mark Snow shows right from the start of the score that he upgraded his sound for his movie. Most of the times the music in the TV show stays in the background, reflective and intense and enhances the experience of watching the movie. For “Fight the future” the composer added an epic twist to his sound and it’s invigorating and thrilling to listen to a version of the main theme that sounds as if came out of Hans Zimmer’s labs.

The action parts are dark and heavy. There is an unescapable seriousness in the opening few tracks that make the emotional cues that follow even more poignant. The transition between the two moods is smooth and natural. Mark Snow tells us a story with this score and it’s a story I love to hear over and over again. If there are some of you who didn’t enjoy the music of the TV show because it sounded a little too simple and raw you should definitely check out the score of this first movie because it shows a whole different dimension of the “X-Files” music. The sound is dark, menacing, relentless while style wearing the “X-Files” musical stamp.

One of my favorite moments of the movie is when the agents find themselves at a crossroad in the middle of the night. They argue and wonder which way to go, left or right, and after some moments of hesitation Mulder just drives in front where there was no road. The cue “Crossroads” is just marvelous and brings the scene back to mind. It includes small variations of the main theme and it carries with it the excitement and fear of the unknown that made those moments work. Once the decision was made the music builds up with a new stride.

As always my favorite moments are the ones involving the relationship between Mulder and Scully. The intensity of the chemistry between them, the vulnerability each of them allowed only the other one to see reached a climax in the scene where they almost kiss and the bee strings Scully and infects her with the virus. “Stung kissing / cargo hold” brings those feelings inside me and makes me feel the same emotion I felt when watching that scene, right up to the abrupt and scary ending.

The score for “The X-Files” movie is filled with moments like these. These thoughts were written from the perspective of a huge fan of the movie and mythology but the music will also please the casual film music fan. This is a dark and spectacular score that stands out from this genre and I’m sure it will make an impression.

Cue rating: 94 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 51 / 76

Album excellence: 67%

Highlights:

Threnody In ‘x’

Soda Pop

Quitting

Already Dead

Cave Base

Plague

Fossil Swings

Goodbye Bronschweig

Elders / Crossroads

Out Of Luck

Stung Kissing / Cargo Hold

Trust No One

Ice Base

Mind Games

Nightmare

Pod Monster Suite

Crater Hug

Facts

Crossroads (Album Version)

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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