I'm into horror pictures because I love the fear of being alone in the dark, and I'd recommend that to any composer who wants to work in this genre.
As a kid, I had a Beatles poster and a Bela Lugosi as Dracula poster, so both worlds always appealed to me. Horror allows you to do things as a composer than you're able to do in no other style of movie. The music has to be aggressive. You can't tiptoe around. It has to be incredibly focused dramatically - no time for second thoughts.
Film composers are the most prolific music makers on this planet, and most of us are, like, losing our minds if we're doing five or more movies in a year.
Horror films are the ones that pay the bills, and historically, they have shown that they are good investments. They helped Universal survive with that initial splash of horror films in the 1930s and '40s. And horror films kept New Line alive with the 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' series.
I don't care how inventive you are; once you introduce strings into the ensemble for a horror film, you're entering into a world where a tradition has been thoroughly established. So it's repeated use over the years is like, 'Oh God, another film with strings, another spooky movie with strings.'
When I was younger, I'd make a point of driving to the middle of nowhere and spending an evening with just me, the wind, and the moon. Your skin crawls up an octave. This is what I tap into when I'm working on horror films. I'm just afraid a time will come when I lose touch with that part of myself.
People who work in horror know they are contributing to a genre that has always been loved and will always be loved - privately. It's the forbidden evil working behind the curtain. My job scoring a horror movie is like being the barker at a carnival. A good barker can get anyone to walk into the roped-off tent.