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PASSENGERS – Edward Shearmur

October 24, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

An interesting horror/thriller which slipped under the radar despite starring Anne Hathaway, Passengers is directed by Rodrigo García and follows the increasingly disturbing life of a grief counselor (Hathaway) working with a group of plane-crash survivors (including Patrick Wilson, Dianne Weist and David Morse), who finds herself drawn into a dangerous mystery when her clients begin to disappear without explanation.

The score for Passengers is by Edward Shearmur, who has spent most of 2008 inexplicably scoring a series of crappy comedies – College Road Trip, Meet Bill – which are significantly beneath a man of his talents. Musically, Passengers is a world away from the heady heights Shearmur attained on Reign of Fire and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, which seem like they were written generations ago. There’s a definite Thomas Newman vibe running through a great deal of the score, from the way Shearmur uses his strings in echoing clusters, to the generally muted emotional content, to the bright, lightly percussive suburban writing and prancing rhythms that appear in cues like “Group Therapy”, “House Call”, “What Do You Remember”, and others.

Parts of the score are actually very attractive in a moody, slightly sinister way: the opening of “The Wreckage” has a distant, slightly lost sound to it, and “Arkin” has an introspective, ghostly piano line which is chillingly effective. Things warm up considerably during “Motorcycle Fix”, “Porch” and “Epiphany”, and come to an emotional head during the lovely “At Peace”, which is by far the most emotionally satisfying piece on the album. A few of the other cues have a slightly grungy contemporary sound through the use of growling electric guitars, notably “Norman”, while one of two cues raise the tempo a little and begin to edge into action territory, such as “Norman’s House” and “Eric Remembers”.

Overall, though, this is an enjoyable but definitely minor effort from Shearmur, professional and slick but never offering anything new to the genre, or to his own filmography. Shearmur’s career needs to start taking an up-swing, and soon.

Rating: ***

Track Listing:

  • The Wreckage (1:26)
  • Group Therapy (2:20)
  • House Call (1:08)
  • What Do You Remember? (2:46)
  • Norman (3:09)
  • At the Museum (2:54)
  • Giving Eric the Key (1:31)
  • Eric at Midnight (1:25)
  • Arkin (1:45)
  • Rooftop (1:35)
  • Motorcycle Fix (3:21)
  • Norman’s House (3:59)
  • Eric Remembers (3:58)
  • Porch (2:36)
  • Epiphany (3:13)
  • At Peace (2:29)
  • End Titles (4:26)

Track Listing: 44 minutes 01 seconds

Varèse Sarabande VSD-6930 (2008)

  1. December 28, 2017 at 8:58 am

    “At Peace” is the most emotionally compelling, beautiful piece of film scoring I’ve ever heard. The genius is in the simplicity, and if you aren’t moved by it you should check your pulse.

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