Danny Elfman has written scores for a bunch of movies, but he doesn't find the experiences of making music for horror movies enjoyable. He voices his thoughts on the matter when doing an interview to celebrate the release of "25th Anniversary Music Box", which he worked with Tim Burton.
During the occasion, the Grammy-winning composer explains that scoring for horror movies is not appealing for him because there's not much of a real challenge in it. He says music in such films usually consists of suspenseful chords and long tension cues, which he "could do in his sleep."
In addition to horror movies, Elfman also tries to avoid romantic comedies. Despite his lots of experiences, the musician insists he "would have no idea how to approach" such genre.
Elfman and Burton themselves have been working together in some movies that are based on existing projects like "Batman" and "Planet of the Apes", but their collaboration in "Dark Shadows" marks for the first time ever they took inspiration from the original material in writing the score.
"We made a conscious decision to make no references - ever - to the originals, that they should be their own thing and that we shouldn't even listen to it," he tells the A.V Club. "But here, this was different. Tim really did like the tone of the music to the TV show, and he got me listening to it. So half the score is kind of big, melodramatic orchestra."
"We didn't really know how to approach it at first, but it finally kind of evolved into this clear design where, when we're in the big part of the love story in the past and how Barnabas became a vampire and his battle with Angelique, we're using the orchestra in a more or less traditional way."
"The vibes and the flute very much are taken and inspired from the original TV music. Furthermore, there were these riffs that they did that I really liked, so I did pull some music from the TV show into the score," he continues recalling the creative process.
Although crafting the "Dark Shadows" score, Elfman was not a fan of the original TV series growing up. He explains, "When I started watching it, it was just out and it was like gothic and vampires, but there was no blood... for me, if there's no blood there's no entertainment, at 14-years-old I wanted to see vampires sucking copious quantities of blood in the goriest fashion."