Heaven of Horror spoke with Kevon Cronin about his latest film score for IFC Midnight’s HUNTER HUNTER, the horror/thriller is out now.
-The score does a great job of creating an eerie undertone. How did you know what volume to make the score?
The complexity of the score and the number of elements and layers contained in it at one time helped to determine the volume of the score. However, it’s ultimately up to the re-recording mixer to mix the score against the picture.
-You mentioned that you used a cello for a lot of the score. Let’s say Shawn, the director, didn’t end up liking the cello in the final result. What would have been your second choice of instrument to get the vibe you were wanting?
Thankfully Shawn and producers were on board with the sound I created for Hunter Hunter. That being said, I made use of a lot of synth sounds and manipulated recordings to create the score. Most likely I would have leaned more heavily on those elements, had the cello not been a good fit for Shawn.
-You used cellist Norm Adams on the score. Would he come to your studio and collaborate or what was your working relationship like?
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we wouldn’t have been able to work in person, regardless of him living out on the east coast of Canada. Basically, I had to come up with a musical language and focus on techniques and musical phrases that I thought would be appropriate to use in the score. I relayed this information to Norm and worked with him to realize that vision.
-Music aside, what is your favorite scene in the film?
The final scene was pretty impactful. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but audiences will be in for a treat. This scene definitely left a lasting impression on me.
-When Mersault stumbles upon the gruesome image in the forest by the metal chair, the whole film shifts. Did you think it was important to mark this point, musically?
Absolutely, there are a number of techniques I used on the cello, along with other sound design elements that I incorporated into the film at this point, to make the audience realize the gruesomeness of this moment.
-The sequence when Anne is running with the water buckets and at the same time Renee is frightened in the woods. The score goes from subtle to pretty intense. Besides the cello, what else did you use in this scene?
At this point in the score, I brought in a lot of percussions to emphasize the growing tension within the scene and to hint at the presence of the wolf possibly hunting Renee.
-The film does not have any end credit music. Why is this and whose decision was that?
Because of the intensity leading up to the end credits, Shawn felt that it would be a good idea to only feature the sounds of the woods and let the audience really take in what they had just experienced.
-What’s your method for composing – do you write with the characters in mind first or the overall film?
After watching the movie several times, I like to take some time for myself, away from my studio, to brainstorm and come up with ideas on how I should approach the film. This can involve ideas for instrumentation such as the cello, as well as thematic ideas or sounds, such as the sound I created for the wolf. It’s after this point, that I will begin to sit down and start to experiment against the picture to see if my initial ideas work.
-We know you personally enjoy the horror genre. Do you enjoy paranormal horror films or slasher films more?
While I enjoy all horror films. I have a particular affinity for those of the paranormal genre. For me, there is something even more mysterious about paranormal horror films that allow my mind to wander even more and go to darker places.