Under Suspicion Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Under Suspicion by Christopher Gunning.
At a glance:
Geek Score: 78.9
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 0
Album Excellence: 0%
Under Suspicion is a 1991 British-American thriller film directed by Simon Moore and starring Liam Neeson, Laura San Giacomo & Kenneth Cranham. In 1959 Brighton, disgraced cop turned private detective Tony Aaron works largely on falsifying adulteries for use as evidence in divorce cases. He involves his wife as the fictional co-respondent for painter Carlo Stasio but the pair are shot dead in the hotel room. In charge of the case is Frank, Tony’s ex-partner still on the Brighton force. His most likely suspects are Angeline, Stasio’s mistress who is set to inherit his house and pictures, and Tony himself, parts of whose story don’t seem to add up. The score is composed by Christopher Gunning.
The score opens with ‘Opening Title’, and for the 46 seconds that it is doesn’t tell me much. It’s a tense cue filled with increasing string work and percussion. Nothing to go on there, but with ‘Murder’ there’s a lot more to go on. This seems to be a very dark and brutal film based on the music which is almost going a bit Herrmannesque psycho here. I don’t think I’ve quite heard a Gunning score like this. Then again I mostly know him from Poirot and a couple of others. He’s usually into more lyrical drama, but this is definitely something else, something dark and sinister, a new side to the composer. It doesn’t fare better or should I say different in ‘Murder Part 2’. This is definitely Herrmannesque. It’s so over the top dramatic that I almost believe it. Well that was an unnerving and interesting bunch of opening cues portraying a much darker side of Gunning, a side I haven’t heard before. This is violent stuff.
The score doesn’t let go either after the initial cues. Every cue screams danger here but in the second half of ‘Tony In Danger’ I’m hearing the Gunning I know, a bit of crime jazz. The title cue ‘Under Suspicion’ is also more of that Gunning I know fro Poirot and others. Lots of woodwinds fill the cue and the air is tense. I still haven’t found a cue that I truly love though which is troubling because I genuinely thought that this score would be up there with the Gunning scores I know and that is nothing short of excellence. To use a cliche, it’s a hard pill to swallow because of it’s nature. Only the murder cues were truly harsh and violent, but the rest seems to be more classic thriller scoring but without anything truly great to hold on to. Even the romantic stuff at the end of ‘Suspicion and Romance’ seems too much linked to the darker side of this score. It’s an interesting score for sure, but I wouldn’t call it beautiful. Far from it. It has it’s uses, but right now it’s not for me.