Movies with Synthwave & Retrowave Sounds

Source – https://newretro.net/blogs/main/movies-with-synthwave-retrowave-sounds

The fusion of sight and sound creates the essence of cinematic experience, and when it comes to movies with synthwave and retrowave soundtracks, this fusion transcends into something otherworldly. For us, enthusiasts of all things retro, the resurgence of these sounds in modern cinema isn’t just music to our ears; it’s a revival of an era. Let’s dive into this neon-lit journey through “Top Synthwave Soundtracks in Modern Cinema” and “Exploring Retrowave Influence in Film Scores.”

Top Synthwave Soundtracks in Modern Cinema

Imagine a world where the vibrancy of the ’80s meets the sophistication of contemporary cinema. That’s exactly what top synthwave soundtracks bring to the table. These are not just background scores; they are the heartbeat of films, pulsating with nostalgia and modernity.

Take, for instance, the soundtrack of “Drive” (2011). It’s a perfect amalgamation of moody synthwave tones and a narrative that feels like it’s straight out of an ’80s pulp novel. The film’s use of Kavinsky’s “Nightcall” sets a haunting, retro tone that carries through the neon-drenched streets of the movie’s Los Angeles setting. The soundtrack doesn’t just complement the visuals; it becomes a character in itself, driving the movie’s moody, introspective feel.

Exploring Retrowave Influence in Film Scores

Retrowave, a sibling of synthwave, takes things a step further by embedding the essence of ’80s culture into modern film scores. It’s like stepping into a time machine, with the destination set to the golden era of synthesizers and neon lights. This influence is more than just an auditory experience; it’s a cultural revival.

Films like “The Guest” (2014) use retrowave to enhance their storytelling, with a score that feels like it’s borrowed straight from an ’80s arcade. The music in this film, composed by Steve Moore, encapsulates the tension and mystery of the story, while simultaneously paying homage to the era it’s inspired by.

Iconic Movies Featuring Synthwave Music

The list of iconic movies that have embraced synthwave is a testament to the genre’s versatility and enduring appeal. “Tron: Legacy” (2010), with its groundbreaking visual style, was elevated by Daft Punk’s synthwave-infused score. The soundtrack not only honored the original 1982 “Tron” movie but also brought a fresh, modern twist that resonated with a new generation of viewers.

Another notable mention is “It Follows” (2014). The movie’s chilling atmosphere is intensified by a synthwave score that pays homage to horror classics of the ’80s, while also crafting a unique identity for itself.

The Rise of Retrowave in Movie Soundtracks

Retrowave is not just a genre; it’s a cultural phenomenon that has seen a meteoric rise in movie soundtracks. This rise can be attributed to the genre’s ability to evoke nostalgia while delivering a fresh, contemporary sound. It’s a sonic bridge between the past and the present, connecting audiences across generations.

“Blade Runner 2049” (2017) is a prime example. The film’s soundtrack, crafted by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch, is a nod to the iconic Vangelis score of the original 1981 “Blade Runner.” The retrowave elements in this score create a soundscape that is both futuristic and reminiscent of the past, perfectly complementing the film’s visual and thematic depth.

Synthwave Aesthetics in Film: A Visual Journey

Synthwave isn’t just about sound; it’s about an aesthetic that permeates every aspect of a film. This aesthetic is characterized by vibrant neon colors, geometric patterns, and a general atmosphere of ’80s nostalgia. When combined with the right soundtrack, this visual style creates an immersive experience that is quintessentially synthwave.

The aesthetic power of synthwave is beautifully showcased in films like “Mandy” (2018). The movie’s visuals are a psychedelic homage to ’80s horror, enhanced by a haunting, synth-heavy score by Jóhann Jóhannsson. The result is a film that is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the ears.

As we delve deeper into the symbiotic relationship between synthwave/retrowave and modern cinema, we can’t help but marvel at how these genres have redefined the cinematic soundscape. They offer a nostalgic yet fresh perspective, a flashback with a futuristic twist.


In the second part of our odyssey through movies enriched by synthwave and retrowave sounds, we’ll delve into “How Retrowave Shapes Movie Atmospheres,” “Best Movies for Synthwave Music Lovers,” “The Evolution of Synthwave in Cinema,” “Retrowave Music’s Impact on Film Narratives,” and “A Guide to Synthwave and Retrowave in Films.” So, strap in and let the neon-infused journey continue!

How Retrowave Shapes Movie Atmospheres

Retrowave is more than just a soundtrack; it’s an atmospheric architect in the world of cinema. The genre’s influence extends beyond the auditory realm, enveloping the viewer in an ambiance that’s both nostalgic and timeless. The unique synthesis of electronic beats and ’80s vibes in retrowave creates an immersive environment that transports audiences to a different realm.

Consider the impact of retrowave in films like “Neon Demon” (2016). The movie’s visual storytelling, paired with a pulsating retrowave score, crafts an atmosphere that is surreal, mesmerizing, and unmistakably ’80s in spirit. The music doesn’t just complement the film’s aesthetic; it intensifies it, making the experience more vivid and immersive.

Best Movies for Synthwave Music Lovers

For the synthwave aficionado, certain movies stand out as must-watches. These films not only feature incredible synthwave soundtracks but also embody the spirit of the genre in their narratives and visuals.

One such film is “Kung Fury” (2015). This short film is a love letter to the ’80s, packed with action, cheesy one-liners, and an outstanding synthwave soundtrack. It’s a concentrated dose of nostalgia, perfect for anyone who loves their cinema with a side of retro.

Another unmissable film for synthwave lovers is “Summer of 84” (2018). This movie captures the essence of ’80s suburbia, complete with a suspenseful plot and a synth-heavy score that’s as evocative as it is haunting.

The Evolution of Synthwave in Cinema

The journey of synthwave from underground music circles to mainstream cinema is a fascinating story of evolution and adaptation. Initially a niche genre, synthwave found its footing in independent cinema before making its way to bigger productions. This evolution is a testament to the genre’s universal appeal and its ability to adapt to different storytelling formats.

From its use in the cult-hit “Turbo Kid” (2015) to its more subtle incorporation in mainstream movies, synthwave’s growth mirrors the growing fascination with retro culture in the modern era.

Retrowave Music’s Impact on Film Narratives

Retrowave music isn’t just a backdrop for scenes; it actively shapes and influences film narratives. The music sets the tone, building suspense, amplifying emotions, and even providing insight into characters’ inner worlds.

In movies like “Hotline Miami” (inspired by the video game series), the retrowave soundtrack isn’t just an accompaniment; it’s a narrative force. It drives the story forward, creating a sense of urgency and a pulsating rhythm that matches the on-screen action.

A Guide to Synthwave and Retrowave in Films

Navigating the world of synthwave and retrowave in films can be an exhilarating experience. For newcomers and aficionados alike, understanding the nuances of these genres can enhance the viewing experience. When watching a film with a synthwave or retrowave soundtrack, pay attention to how the music interacts with the visuals and narrative. Notice the way synthesizer tones are used to evoke emotions or signify particular moments.

In essence, films with synthwave and retrowave soundtracks offer a multi-sensory experience that goes beyond mere entertainment. They are time capsules, love letters to a bygone era, and artistic expressions that bridge the past and the present.

In conclusion, the entwining of synthwave and retrowave with modern cinema is not just a trend; it’s a vibrant, evolving landscape. These genres offer a unique lens through which we can view and appreciate movies, blending nostalgia with innovation. For those who are passionate about this fusion of visual and auditory storytelling, remember that Newretro.Net is your portal to embracing the retrowave lifestyle, offering the perfect apparel to match your retro soul. Stay tuned, fellow retro enthusiasts, as we continue to explore and celebrate the mesmerizing world of synthwave and retrowave in cinema. Keep riding the neon waves, and let the retro beats guide your cinematic journey!