“Another difference between Milgram’s and Zobel’s tests: here, the subjects are both on the screen and in the audience. Because the characters are borderline-believable and the filmmaking style all but invisible, accentuated by the ominous strings of Heather McIntosh’s score, Compliance is an ordeal for those watching no less than those performing.”
– Time August 17, 2012
“Snapshots of greasy fries and slimy grills pump up the unsavory atmosphere, while Heather McIntosh’s ominous, cello-driven score plucks our nerves and stirs our stomachs.”
– The New York Times August 16, 2012
“The sum total is uncomfortable, extremely difficult to watch, and it may still strike some viewers as too raw. That’s all by design, and the film expertly uses all of its resources to jangle the nerves; the grimy scrape of the driving cellos in Heather McIntosh’s excellent score for chamber strings is still echoing anxiously in my head.”
– NPR August 16, 2012
“What is it?: Watching the agonizing, completely unnecessary and true-life prank call-caused debasement of a fast food worker might be the visual equivalent of nails on a chalkboard, a hair-raising experience that can only be taken once, if even that much. However, the same can’t be said for the intriguing, insidious score by Heather McIntosh, music whose ironic lesson in the abuse of power grows with each listen.
Why you should buy it?: Hailing from an indie rock background in Athens, George, McIntosh quickly swings out of what you think might be all music concrete land to create a captivating, thematic elegy for a woman’s debasement, her melodies understandably reaching the lowest pitches of mental endurance. It’s a horror score as written for human weakness and gullibility, conveying a how-much-worse-can-this-get chamber music quality that brings to mind Clint Mansell’s work with the Kronos Quartet on “Requiem For A Dream.” The difference is that “Compliance” is literally a chamber-closet room drama where the most appalling abuse is mostly implied, Yet McIntosh’s judiciously placed music does far more than just lie there to mesmerizingly dour effect. Incorporating the rhythms of electric guitar and marimba, McIntosh creates a feel of anguished suspense as to when, or if, someone will have the smarts to stop this terrible farce. But here’s also welcome sense of black humor that she hears in the audience’s continual amazement of how far this hostage situation will go, especially in a portly manager’s lock-step string march as she dutifully follows the orders of an “officer” who claims her worker is ripping off the chain establishment.
Extra Special: One of the year’s most interesting and unsettling soundtracks, “Compliance” commands attention for Heather McIntosh, though hopefully she’ll get a chance to lighten up the next time outside, even if it’s particularly spellbinding when placed in an ersatz McDonald’s locker room.
– Film Music Magazine August 20, 2012
“DS: Heather McIntosh’s chamber score is also a big factor in how disquieting Compliance is.
CZ: Heather is amazing. We both lived in Athens, Georgia, so I’ve known her for a very long time. She played with a ton of bands from down there, and toured with people like Little Wayne and Gnarls Barkley as a cellist. I knew that I wanted to do something with her, especially since Heather’s music is so cinematic. And she couldn’t wait to score Compliance after reading the script. We started discussing the music before the movie was even shot, which is something composers don’t get to do often. She even gave me sketches before we shot, which informed me about how the score should be used in the movie. We didn’t want to lean on music to make you feel one way or the other. Instead, when Heather’s music appears, it’s used as interludes to give you an emotional breather. Most importantly, the score tells you that this is about something that’s a lot bigger than just what’s happening in this fast food restaurant.”
– Buzzine August 15, 2012
“There’s an especially powerful cinematic moment where cinematographer Adam Stone has close-ups of the eyes of several characters, enhanced by Heather McIntosh’s eerie, smart violin score. The quick, succession of shots is a moment of unspoken recognition of, checking in with, and an identification with the audience: we all are capable of doing unthinkable and compliant things, especially when trusted authority figures tell us it is okay to do so.”
– The Popcorn Reel May 3, 2012
“Tightly framed shots, subtle camera movements and constrained blocking build tension, underlined by Heather McIntosh’s excellent, foreboding score.”
– The Hollywood Reporter January 23, 2012
“Adam Stone’s widescreen lensing makes expert use of the pic’s sparse locations, while Heather McIntosh’s surging orchestral score imbues the banal horror of the proceedings with a genuinely tragic dimension.”
– Variety January 21, 2012
Link: Press & Reviews