Soundtracking is a regular column that appears on looking at the music featured in the biggest new releases both in theatre and on home video. In honour of its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Shane McNeil takes a look at the Daniel Radcliffe thriller Horns.

Originally published on – September 9, 2013.

The Toronto International Film Festival is in full swing and one of this year’s most ubiquitous stars happens to also be in one of the festival’s most musical selections.

Daniel Radcliffe stars in three films at this year’s festival, including Horns, a nightmarish tale adapted fromJoe Hill’s book of same name. One of the immediate changes to the film from page to screen has a deep impact on the story, and it is the transition of Radcliffe’s character – Ig Perrish – from being a student to a professional DJ.

As a result the soundtrack deeply mirrors both Ig’s past and his actions within the film.

One of the very first scenes, in fact, is scored by David Bowie’s iconic track, “Heroes”. Ig picks the LP out of a wall full of record spines, drops the needle and is immediately transported back to the life he enjoyed with his since-murdered girlfriend, Merrin (Juno Temple).

The rest of the musical cues for the first half of the film are familiar, if not slightly clichéd choices. “Heroes” is 36 years old and one of Bowie’s best loved tracks, but it has been utilized in films such as Antitrust, The Coveand – most recently – to great effect in The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Another flashback scene takes Ig back to his childhood with Pixies’ track “Where is My Mind,” infamously utilized over the end credits of Fight Club in 1999. But when the film hits its second act, the soundtrack takes an original turn and opens itself up to some interesting choices that aren’t nearly as familiar to many filmgoers’ ears.

Ig’s jealousy over a perceived infidelity on Merrin’s part creeps over the audience to the strains of the Eels. Meanwhile, his brother Terry has his moment of (drug-induced) crisis with the Flaming Lips echoing in reverb as he sinks into the floor a la Trainspotting’s Mark Renton.

Filmmaker Alexandre Aja leaves his final musical cue for a Canadian act, scoring the film’s end credits withSunset Rubdown’s 2006 track “Shut Up I am Dreaming of Places Where Lovers Have Wings”.

If the voice of Sunset Rubdown sounds familiar, it’s because it is one of the multitudes of side projects featuring Montreal’s Spencer Krug, most famously the front-man of Wolf Parade, but also a member ofMoonface and Swan Lake.

Listen below:

Horns had its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival on September 6. The film does not, as of now, have a set date for wide release.