Tag Archives: MATT CANNON


Available now from Howlin Wolf Records, here is the introduction I wrote in the notes for the CD release of this must have soundtrack.

click here to order your copy now. http://www.howlinwolfrecords.com/storeforcetofear.html


Released on Blu Ray in 2020, Force to Fear is co-written and directed by Chad Bruns and Zane Hershberger, who also brought to the screen 10/31 and 10/31 part 2, focuses upon a group of people who decide it is a clever idea to hold a dance party in a deserted and run-down building that was once a school. However, things do not go quite how they planned when they meet two men who have kidnapped a local drug dealer and are holding him in the same building. The reason that they have kidnapped and are slowly torturing him is because he has been supplying one of the kidnapper’s wives with drugs. She became hooked on them and overdosed. However, the group of party people are certainly not your average group of friends out for a fun time. And as the story unfolds it materialises that they are in fact a group of highly trained vigilante types that are looking for a serial killer and are using the cover of the party to lure him out of hiding. There is also another protagonist in the building in the form of a masked figure (The Target) who we soon discover has his own agenda and plans for both the kidnappers and the party crowd. If you watch the movie, you may think that the acting is awkward and even cliched, but this is the beauty of the film as it was something that the directors did on purpose to give it that eighties retro mood and feel. Cast members all immerse themselves into their roles and further evoke memories of the action characters that were so prevalent in that decade. Many of the scenes are drawn out or extended and contain at times a little too much dialogue, again a trademark of 1980’s low budget films.

The film also contains quite a high body count, ample amounts of blood and an array of basic effects and taking into consideration that this is an independent production, the effects are impressive. Right from the outset the directors make sure they show the audience where they are coming from and what they are thinking as in how the movie should look, the opening credits sequence could be from any number of movies from the eighties, and it’s as if you are watching them on an old VHS or Betamax machine and is complimented by upbeat synth music which includes keyboards and percussive elements. This is I think another appealing element of the production, as it displays the filmmakers love and admiration of eighties straight to video movies and infuses an authentic eighties vibe to the proceedings.

I will not say it is a straight reproduction of any one B movie opening titles as so many during this period featured pop generated synth themes and colourful title graphics which included fleeting close ups of distinct items such as a gun firing, hinting that they could be part of the storyline that is about to unfold. It is a recent movie, but it has the appearance of a film from thirty years ago, so it looks the part and becomes even more interesting when the writers include a handful of twists in the tale and slip in various turnabouts that the watching audience are not expecting, which add slithers of originality to the plot.

For a low budget affair, Force to Fear is a polished and entertaining production, and pays attention to creating realistic fight sequences whilst at the same time focusing upon providing authentic sets as well as introducing solid characters that could be straight from the nineteen eighties.


The attention to creating the eighties appearance of the production is aided greatly throughout by a synth soundtrack that was written by Matt Cannon. The electronically realised score for Force to Fear is an integral and key component of the movie and its swift moving storyline, creating varying levels of emotion that include apprehension, intensity, tension, and fear. It purveys an urgency and a dark and fearful aura, but at times moves into a more upbeat and pop orientated level which is used effectively during some of the fight scenes. As well as this the music adds layers of suitably unsettling and sinister sounding phrases beneath the action on screen. The composer adding electronic percussion which is responsible for setting the scene and creating the dramatic mood significantly from the start. It not only lends its support to the unfolding storyline, but ushers in various characters, and effectively laces and punctuates each scenario successfully. It takes on a persona of its own, as in the role of another entity or unseen character within that storyline, who is watching everything take shape generating dark and brooding atmospherics that bolster and accentuate the narrative.

Composer Matt Cannon, who is also an actor, began scoring low budget films in 2015 when he provided the score for MILF’S vs Zombies, he followed this in 2017 by scoring the (Trespasser’s segment) of 10/31. He has since 2015 worked on approximately fifteen synth-based film scores, all of which have been within the Horror/Sci-Fi genres. The score for Force to Fear, has to it both inventive and innovative qualities, but above all contains a sound that we readily associate with horror films from the nineteen eighties and evokes memories of composers such as Jay Chattaway, Alan Silvestri, Brad Fiedel, Harold Faltermeyer, and Alan Howarth.

There was a distinct sound that became standard during that decade and Matt Cannon has successfully re-created this sound, whilst also placing his own inimitable musical fingerprint upon the production, fusing both styles and putting them to effective and affecting use.

John Mansell.

Movie Music International.

The CD also includes more info about the score and the movie.

Get the CD now whilst stocks last, its selling fast.




Your scores are synth/electronic based, what tools do you usually use to produce the music?

So, I am mostly a plug-in guy. Specifically with Force to Fear which was composed with plug in based software. I have recently started integrating hardware into my compositions. I’ve done them for a few other movies so far, but I always come back to plugins for the reliability.

How many times do you like to see a project before making the decisions about style, sound and where the music will be best placed for effect?

That is really something that differs between movies, but I would say probably about four times for something I really like. And for something that might not fit my category I might watch it 5 or 6 times but from 4 to 5 it’s usually me going back to parts that really speak to me. For Force to Fear it was very much in the wheelhouse of what I do, but I always come back to the more important parts that have more of an impact so I can work off of that. If it makes any sense.

What musical education did you have?

I got to know about music from the streets (laughs). I really have no training besides a handful of guitar lessons. I learn from watching and just playing and as I am not a particularly good piano player my playing has a lot to do with layering and some sequencing.

What other music are you involved with away from scoring movies?

I do a synth-wave project called LAPSES. It’s just me and my midi keytar hooked up to my daw. Which is fun, and I wish I had more time to do it.

Force to Fear I thought was a great watch, full of action and a lot of characters, your score really helps drive it and also supports and punctuates the narrative. How did you get involved on the film and how much music did you write?

After working on 10/31 with the director Zane Hershberger we were in talks about doing another movie involving me as composer. He would show me sections that he has been shooting for promos and it got me excited. Also, I was a little nervous because I never really have scored an action movie. I know I wrote a lot for it, 26 or 27 cues which for me at that time was a hell of a lot. There were also full tracks of songs that I would write and break down according to the rhythm of the fight scenes. That was a major challenge for sure.

What composers would you say have in some way inspired you or influenced you in the way that you approach scoring a film?

Sinoa Cavves score for Beyond the Black Rainbow is a huge one for me and it truly brought the guts back to 80s scores to the modern age. John Carpenter’s dark percussive score for Prince of Darkness, which was also something I had in mind for many of the outside night-time stuff in Force to Fear. The one film that really made me was to try and do scoring on a low budget level was Perry Monre’s score for Killing Spree, which took its lead from John Harrison’s score to Creepshow, so that would also be a huge influence. Richard Einhorn’s vicious but upbeat score to Blood Rage. Tim Krog for the atmospheric terror of The Boogey Man.

The soundtrack to Force to Fear is due out on release soon, did you have any input into what cues would make it onto the release?

Yes I did thanks to the guys at Howlin Wolf records, who have been more than gracious to let me put whatever tracks I wanted, the more the better.

Do you like to follow a routine when working on a movie, ie central theme first or maybe stings and smaller cues first?

In most cases I will try to create the theme first and then work off the motif. But a lot of times I’ll watch the movie in the beginning and kind of play riff basically without really judging myself. I also try to figure out what time era or when this kind of movie would take place and I will go through various synthesizers and try to find something that closely resembles that time setting. It does not always work like that but mostly I usually start out just ripping and then working on the theme, but it all depends on each individual project as each one is different and each one has its own individual needs. Let us just put it this way, I am not organized, but at some point, while I’m doing it, I really just have to force myself into place before I begin drifting into outer space ha ha.


Going back to Force to Fear, did the director/producers have any specific ideas regarding the sound that they were looking for on the movie?

Yeah, they did. Both Zane and Chad played a very big part in the final version of the score. In the beginning Zane would send me YouTube videos he would tell me what kind of stings would work where, just off the record I never knew anybody like Zane who loves stings in movies that much. After I finish my first version of the score, I got two pages of notes for doing touch-ups. It was not anything super crazy, but it was about fifteen to nineteen additions or adjustments. So, I worked close with them during the scoring process. I am always communicating with the director before submitting, showing them little samples of my work. It helps me get a better idea instead of sending them the final product to have them look at it and say, “Oh this wasn’t what I wanted at all”.

I love directors that really can have a good relationship with the composer, especially since I never really had a real spotting session with anybody I work with. This is really the best way for both parties to communicate with what they expect of one another.


Do you perform everything on your film scores, or do you sometimes have soloists or other performers?

No, its just good old me doing everything. I never really had anybody play music that I have written. I don’t even know how to write music in note form. If you can imagine that.


What do you think is the purpose or the job that music should do in film?

To enhance the overall atmosphere of the film. A composer’s job is to do a good score but also try not to undercut the action of the film. Which can be hard sometimes.


You are an actor as well as a musician and composer, which came first

Musician always thank God. I am a terrible actor. I have acted in two movies I made myself and one I did for a friend that has not come out yet. I’m sure it will be out soon. But you might want to fast forward all the parts that I appear in.

What’s next for you?

Right now, I have been working on a scene from Madeline Deering’s new movie, Bathtub Shark Attack. I am also waiting on footage from another movie. I think it’s going to be a busy late spring and summer.

Thanks to Matt for agreeing to answer my questions…