Erzulie Composer Nick Longoria on Scoring the Swamp Tale

Gravitas Ventures, known for their extensive horror catalog, has released several notable titles this year, including Exploited, Tethered, Madelines, and The Free Fall. Among these, Christine Chen’s Erzulie stands out as a captivating horror fantasy tale. The film revolves around four women who accidentally summon a water goddess while reconnecting at a camp in south Louisiana. A local individual becomes determined to capture the goddess for himself. When it comes to horror films, the score plays a vital role in setting the atmosphere and amplifying the audience’s fear.

An Interview with Composer Nick Longoria

We had the pleasure of speaking with composer Nick Longoria about his work on the musical score for Erzulie. Here are some insights from our conversation:

What Attracted You to the Erzulie Script?

As a composer, I was first and foremost attracted to the opportunity of scoring a full feature film. While I had received offers in the past, they didn’t offer proper compensation or allow me to retain the rights to my music. Erzulie presented a chance to not only score a complete film but also receive fair compensation and maintain ownership of my work. Additionally, my previous experience had largely been in scoring dramas, and I was eager to delve into the realm of epic and tense music.

Freedom in Collaboration with Director Christine Chen

Working with director Christine Chen on multiple projects gave me a sense of creative freedom. While she had her own visions of the music, we shared our love for synth scores, which allowed her to trust me to bring her ideas to life. This trust fostered a collaborative environment that enhanced the overall score.

Favorite Types of Horror Films

Lovecraftian cosmic horror holds a special place in my heart. These films possess an unyielding allure toward the unknown, leaving audiences with a profound sense of curiosity and lingering questions. Lovecraftian stories often reveal glimpses into the vastness of space, evoking a sense of bewildering fear. Some exceptional examples in this genre include The Thing, It, Color Out of Space, the Alien franchise, The Mist, and Event Horizon. I must also mention the interactive horror experience found in the Dead Space video game series.

The Role of Synths in Erzulie’s Score

For the score of Erzulie, I extensively used soft synths provided by u-he. These software synthesizers emulate analog synths with remarkable flexibility. While physical analog synths cannot be replaced entirely, the u-he synths such as Diva, Hive 2, Repro, and Zebra2 come remarkably close and often surpass them in functionality. Notably, Zebra, one of the u-he synths, was used by Hans Zimmer in The Dark Knight films to create the iconic bat wing flaps sound, while Hive was employed by Johnny Klimek in The Matrix Resurrections.

My Favorite Synth and Physical Synth

Out of the soft synths I used, Diva is my favorite, as it emulates the analog sound most accurately. As for physical synths, I hold the modern Sequential Prophet designed by Dave Smith in high regard. Since its inception in 1977, it has remained a staple in the synth world.

A Composer’s Signature Sound

Emotional damage characterizes much of my signature sound. Generally, my compositions tend to have a dark tone, not necessarily limited to horror films, but evoking a brooding sense of lamentation, anguish, torment, sadness, and the eternal struggle between good and evil. When given artistic freedom, I often incorporate synths, sorrowful melodies, powerful strings, and intense percussion. While I enjoy creating epic action scores, I also appreciate the subtle emotional moments that coexist with the grandiose. A notable example of this combination can be found in the closing piece of The Dark Knight Rises, with its epic drums, horns, and emotionally weighty melodies.

A Desire to Score More Horror Films

Absolutely! Although upon initially reading Erzulie’s script, it didn’t strike me as a typical horror film but rather an exploration of the emotional journey of four girls healing from trauma. Therefore, the opportunity to score a more straightforward horror film, particularly one grounded in Lovecraftian cosmic horror, would be a dream come true.

Infugue: Your Band’s Contribution to the Film

Director Christine Chen, aware of my band, expressed interest in incorporating some of our tracks into the film. While we initially tried using one of my rock songs to enhance the opening scene’s energy, we ultimately decided to create music from scratch to serve practical moments. As a result, my band’s songs, such as “Drifting Away” and “Cosmic Crystals,” found their place in the background, playing within the campsite’s store/office and on the radio as the girls sought medical supplies, respectively.

Unveiling Little-known Facts About the Erzulie Score

Throughout the film, the eerie droning noises accompanying scenes featuring the character Rhett’s menacing presence or Pierce searching for chemicals were achieved using a distorted guitar digitally tuned down, combined with delay and reverb effects. Manipulating a guitar on a computer allowed us to create fascinating sounds reminiscent of synths or even the haunting calls of whales!

A Dream Collaboration with Directors

Christopher Nolan tops my list of directors I would love to collaborate with. Can you imagine a horror film directed by him? The music in his movies always resonates profoundly, whether it’s composed by Hans Zimmer or Ludwig Göransson. Other visionary directors I aspire to work with include Guillermo del Toro, Denis Villeneuve, Panos Cosmatos, James Wan, Robert Eggers, and George Lucas.


Erzulie is an extraordinary horror fantasy film that skillfully weaves together a captivating story, visually stunning scenes, and a remarkable musical score. Composer Nick Longoria’s work on the score showcases his talent for creating emotionally charged and atmospheric compositions. Through a harmonious collaboration with director Christine Chen and the incorporation of his band Infugue’s tracks, the score enhances the overall impact of Erzulie, leaving audiences immersed in a world of trauma, mystery, and supernatural intrigue.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I watch Erzulie?

Erzulie is available for streaming on the Gravitas Ventures platform. Visit their official website or access the film through popular streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.

2. Will there be a sequel to Erzulie?

While there have been no official announcements regarding a sequel, the film’s success and positive reception among fans may increase the likelihood of future installments. Stay tuned for any updates from the filmmakers or production company.

3. Are there plans for a soundtrack release?

Yes, there are plans to release the Erzulie soundtrack. The haunting and immersive score composed by Nick Longoria will be made available for fans to enjoy. Keep an eye out for the official announcement, which may include details about the release date and platforms where the soundtrack can be purchased or streamed.

4. What other projects has composer Nick Longoria been involved in?

Composer Nick Longoria has contributed his musical talents to various projects, including independent films, documentaries, and short films. His work extends beyond the horror genre, encompassing dramas, action films, and even animated features. Explore his diverse portfolio to discover more of his extraordinary compositions.

5. What makes Erzulie unique compared to other horror fantasy films?

Erzulie stands out among other horror fantasy films due to its compelling storytelling, visually appealing cinematography, and the exceptional synergy between its captivating score and the narrative. The film delves into the emotional journeys of its characters, intertwining their personal growth with supernatural elements. The Lovecraftian cosmic horror undertones provide a fresh and intriguing perspective, immersing audiences in a world that balances terror, fantasy, and human drama.