Jeffrey Reddick & Chris Thomas on the Making of Dont Look Back

INTERVIEW: Director Jeffrey Reddick and Composer Chris Thomas Discuss Collaboration on the Horror Film “Don’t Look Back”

In the world of horror movies, there is an abundance of new projects to watch across various streaming channels and VOD releases. From the Welcome to Blumhouse series on Amazon to Netflix’s The Haunting of Bly Manor, and Sony Pictures’ The Craft: Legacy, there is something for every horror fan. One film that deserves attention is Gravitas Ventures’ Don’t Look Back, now available in select theaters and on VOD. What makes this film noteworthy is its director, Jeffrey Reddick, who also happens to be the creator of the highly successful Final Destination franchise. With a resume that includes writing screenplays for various horror films, such as Dead Awake and The Final Wish, Reddick makes his feature directorial debut with Don’t Look Back, indicating a must-watch for horror enthusiasts.

The Importance of a Good Score in Horror Films

When it comes to horror movies, a good score plays a crucial role in setting the tone and enhancing the overall experience. It guides the pacing, punctuates jump scares, and creates anticipation for impending doom. Recognizing the significance of music in horror, we decided to delve deeper into the collaborative process between director Jeffrey Reddick and composer Chris Thomas for Don’t Look Back.

Collaborating on the Score

During their initial discussion about the score, Jeffrey Reddick expressed his desire to veer away from the traditional horror soundtrack filled with synthesized music and stings. Reddick, aware of Thomas’ previous work in creating music for haunted theme rides, recognized his unique ability to tell a story through music. For Reddick, it was crucial that the score complemented the film rather than working against it. With this shared vision, the collaboration between Reddick and Thomas flourished.

As the interview continued, Reddick was asked about his involvement in the composing process for the Final Destination films, given his long history in the horror genre. Although he didn’t have input as a writer, Reddick acknowledged the exceptional work of the composers involved in the series.

When it came to the scoring process for Don’t Look Back, Reddick revealed that he and Chris Thomas collaborated closely. Thomas would send ideas and portions of songs to Reddick, who would provide feedback promptly. This collaborative back-and-forth allowed them to create an amazing score that perfectly complemented the film.

Making Music that Tells a Story

Intrigued by Reddick and Thomas’ creative process, the conversation shifted to their favorite aspects of the Final Destination series. Reddick admitted that after working on the franchise for so long, it was challenging for him to get shocked by the death scenes. However, he recalled one particular scene from Final Destination 5 involving gymnastics that genuinely surprised and thrilled him, making it his new favorite.

As the interview continued, Chris Thomas recounted how he first met Jeffrey Reddick. It happened during a call with the film’s producer, Andrew van den Houten, discussing another project they had been working on. Impressed by Thomas’ compositional style in that film, van den Houten mentioned it to Reddick and connected them on a call. The conversation went so well that it led to an invitation for Thomas to visit the set in Baton Rouge, allowing them to meet face-to-face.

Moving forward, the discussion focused on the mesmerizing opening score of Don’t Look Back, which had an enchanting quality. Thomas explained that, as the film’s composer, he was responsible for finding soloists. In this case, he chose two female singers with the vocal qualities he desired. Eponine Bell, known for her bright and powerful high range, performed most of the lead lines, while Grace Meidziak, also a talented film composer, contributed the vocal textures. The decision to have the vocals reoccur throughout the film was a collaborative choice, adding to the dark enchantment of the score.

A Unique Scoring Process

The interview delved into the process of scoring the film, tackling the question of whether Thomas worked on it in chronological order or followed a different approach. Thomas shared that he took the opposite approach, dividing the scoring process into three phases. His first priority was finding themes that would resonate with the intimate and revealing character moments. Once those themes were established, they could effortlessly carry the rest of the movie. The second phase involved tackling the most consequential and intense scenes, ensuring their musical accompaniment was handled to perfection. This stage often resulted in multiple revisions and adjustments. Finally, Thomas returned to the beginning of the film and scored the remaining scenes straight through to the end. By this point, the foundations had been laid, and the work had already gained the approval of the filmmakers.

A Successful Collaboration

The interview concluded with a focus on the working relationship between Jeffrey Reddick and Chris Thomas. Regarding their first encounter, Thomas expressed his admiration for Reddick and his deep understanding of what works within his films. Reddick’s clarity in providing feedback expedited the process and minimized wasted time, as he could navigate precisely what needed revision. Thomas also revealed that he purposefully refrained from re-watching Reddick’s previous works, as he wanted to approach Don’t Look Back with fresh ideas and a unique musical perspective.

As Thomas and Reddick collaborated on the score, it became clear that great film scores emerge through director-composer collaboration. The director’s vision, coupled with the composer’s musical expertise, creates a harmonious balance between storytelling and sound. With Don’t Look Back, this collaborative effort produced a score that showcased the film’s focus on character development and the supernatural.


Throughout the interview, director Jeffrey Reddick and composer Chris Thomas provided insights into their collaboration on the score for Don’t Look Back. Their shared vision and exchange of ideas allowed them to create a score that complemented the film, setting the right tone and enhancing the overall horror experience. From their respective experiences in the Final Destination franchise to their creative process on this project, Reddick and Thomas showcased their passion for storytelling through music.


1. What inspired Jeffrey Reddick to choose Chris Thomas as the composer for Don’t Look Back?

Jeffrey Reddick was drawn to Chris Thomas’ ability to tell a story through music, which he had previously demonstrated in creating music for haunted theme rides. Reddick believed that Thomas’ unique approach to composition would ensure the score would complement the film’s narrative.

2. Did Jeffrey Reddick have specific ideas about how he wanted the score to sound?

While Reddick had a clear vision that he didn’t want a traditional horror soundtrack filled with synthesized music and stings, he also allowed for experimentation and collaboration with Chris Thomas. Together, they explored sounds, tones, and themes until they achieved the perfect balance for the film.

3. How did Chris Thomas find the vocalists for the opening track of Don’t Look Back?

Chris Thomas actively searched for soloists with the vocal qualities he desired for the score. He chose Eponine Bell for the lead lines, appreciating her bright and powerful high range. For the vocal textures, Thomas turned to Grace Meidziak, who offered a fantastic, darkly textured alto range.

4. What was the scoring process like for Don’t Look Back?

Chris Thomas divided the scoring process into three phases. First, he focused on finding themes for the intimate character moments, considering that they would serve as the foundation for the rest of the score. Next, he tackled the most significant scenes, ensuring they were perfectly accompanied musically. Finally, Thomas scored the remaining scenes in chronological order, enjoying this phase as the most challenging work had been completed.