3 DEMONS Interview With Matt Cunningham On The Importance Of Horror Film Scores (Exclusive)

With this month's release of the horror flick 3 Demons, we wanted to pick the mind of one of the creators, and he was passionate enough to share with us why the score of horror films is so important to quality.

Interviews Opinion

Horror movies seem to be coming in droves this year despite it not being October yet. Scream, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Long Night, The Requin, Student Body, and more have made their way to our screens already.

Low budget horror movies, or B-Movies as they are sometimes called, are also being steadily released. One that dropped this month was 3 Demons, and it has plenty of frights to share with viewers.

To learn more about why the film was so captivating, we spoke with one of the creators of 3 Demons, Matt Cunningham. Matt previously created Spore and was happy to talk about that as well.

Perhaps most importantly, he explained why the score of a horror film is one of the most vital things to bring them together. You can listen to the audio version of our chat with Cunningham below as well the transcript and full video interview.

D.M. Cunningham: The film is basically a tale of posession from the point of view of the posessed person. So it's about a deputy whose life becomes unraveled in a very short period of time because of something he triggered with a dead body. The moment when he moves the hand, that's when everybody thinks it started, but it really actually starts before that, so he was kind of taken over before all of that happened anyways. So, a little insight there.

I was co-writer with Pete, I was producer, director, editor, composer. I composed with my bandmate Chad Sherry, we have a synth band called Dreaming In Neon, so we do creepy scores for things. I also did some sound design and special make-up itself. The sound design was me just spending a lot of time in post creating a lot of those otherworldly sounds and really trying to create some emotional space with them. Really just reversing sounds, putting in interesting people talking and finding these frequencies that kind of make you feel a little uneasy. It has some manipulation but it goes along with the way Fisher's character in the movie feels.

Early on we were diving in a bit more ambiguous, if we could. I think after getting into post and cutting the film, I felt like I wanted to give more of a gateway for the audience into it. Because some people aren't going to track what's going on if you don't give them a little bit of something in there. So that came after the initial shooting and then I wanted to round it out a bit more.


John Carpenter was a really big influence for that because he's really good at creating music tonally for his movies. As soon as you see Halloween, if you take the music out as we all know, it's just not the same. Just like Jaws, same thing. You just see a shark movie, but if you put the music in, it's different. I can watch movies that don't have the best score or soundtrack, and it feels kind of flat. So for me, I love music and movies coming together. I played guitar when I was younger with rock bands and stuff like that. It eventually led to more synthesizer and creating more stuff.

I think the thing about this movie and whether people pick up on it or not, I think there's a lot of stuff to do with mental health in this movie. I spoke to another interviewer and she was talking about the schizophrenic nature of the movie and she related to that because she's had some of that in her family history. And the amount of layers that we tried to put into this movie, I know its a low-budget movie and some of the classic tropes are there, but we're trying to be a bit more in touch with talking with somebody about mental health. So, we aren't trying to put this giant spotlight on it, but we're trying to create a story that's a little bit deeper but also has the guise of a horror film.

What do you guys think of D.M.'s comments? Will you be checking out 3 Demons, or is this one you think you'll pass on?

Check out the full video interview with Cunningham below and be sure to share your take in the usual spot!

3 Demons is currently available on digital.

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