How ‘Haunted Mansion’ Incorporated ‘Grim Grinning Ghosts’ Into Its Score

When director Justin Simien was looking for a composer to score Disney’s “Haunted Mansion,” he called his frequent collaborator Kris Bowers.

The two had worked together on “Dear White People” and Simien’s last feature, “Bad Hair.” “I’ve always wanted to have that relationship with the director where you work on a number of projects and develop this trust,” says Bowers.For their latest film, which opens in theaters July 28, Bowers pays homage to the Disney theme-park ride and its famous “Grim Grinning Ghosts” tune while making his mark on the feature.

With “Haunted Mansion,” which stars Lakeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson and Rosario Dawson, Bowers tinkered with ghostly organ sounds and brought in elements of New Orleans jazz for the film’s sonic landscape.Although it’s inspired by the ride, which is established and beloved IP, the film delves into themes of grief and relationships.

Read full article