From Inside

Composed By: Brett Smith

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Based on the graphic novel from John Bergin, From Inside is an animated post-apocalyptic feature starring Megan Gold as Cee, a young pregnant woman on board a damaged train that flood, war, starvation and plague threaten all aboard the train as it slowly makes its way across the post-apocalyptic landscape.  While Cee struggles to stay alive, she thinks of the husband she lost and the baby about to be born.

            The musical score of From Inside was created by composer Brett Smith whose relationship with writer/director John Bergin began in Kansas City when he joined Bergin's band, Trust Obey, as a guitarist.  He eventually went on to solo work.  As he became a mainstay in the dark ambient music underground, Brett Smith began getting work scoring video games, public service announcements, music licensing and film scoring. 

            Being a movie in a post-apocalyptic setting, the musical score of From Inside had to be dark.  It had to express the emotional anguish present in a world in which few have survived and the survivors face often fatal challenges.  According to Smith, "I had to somehow convey the weight of the world, misery and despair that Cee had never been exposed to."  And he does this well, creating a musical score that is incredibly dark and sorrowful, yet somehow manages to express beauty within the despair. 

            Smith's expertise in the ambient music field is an asset to the creation of From Inside's musical score.  The electronic music sets the mood of the film from the very first track.  Wasteland features a morose theme set to what I at first thought was a heartbeat, but (now that I know what the film is about) must be the sound of the train as it barrels over what is left of the tracks.  The mood is ominous at times, incredibly sad at others, but always dramatic.  The Little Fire Engine is a track that stood out as the music itself displayed a mood that was almost childlike in nature.  It was upbeat at first, sounding almost as if an old music box were playing against the background of an old record in the beginning, but things turn a tad morose toward the end. 

            The whole album is quite interesting as far as setting the mood with ambient sound goes and I have no doubt that this soundtrack goes along perfectly with the film.  Fans of the movie would probably like to get their hands on the score.  However, as someone who has never seen the movie, From Inside is not an album that would appeal to everyone.  Ambient music fans will see value in it, but many may find the music to be too depressing to bother with.  In my opinion, the From Inside Soundtrack is one that you will either love or hate, depending on your musical tastes.  I enjoyed it for its unique qualities while reviewing it, but I know this is not an album I would have purchased in stores on my own.


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