Bones and All’s chilling premise is tailor-made for a horror film: a bloody tale of cannibalistic lovers doing whatever it takes to survive… and eat. But even with such a horrifying subject matter at its core, Bones and All is lovingly crafted by director Luca Guadagnino, who sought to take care of his audience even when the grisliest images are conjured. Guadagnino wisely positions Bones and All as a romantic drama as opposed to a horror film, expanding the aesthetic approach to include a sense of warmth and comfort rather than lean solely into the dramatic conventions of horror.
That’s where prolific composition and production duo Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross come in. The two are no stranger to the eerie and unnerving, with a previous penchant for scoring thrillers and horror films, and Reznor’s Nine Inch Nails proving to be a major outlet for dark, anguished soundscapes. Bones and All‘s score may feature some similarly eerie moments and shocking tones, but Reznor and Ross felt it important to embrace the tenderness and romance at the heart of the film.
Their starting point was Bones and All’s midwestern setting, which Reznor knows particularly well. “I’ve been in those rooms, I grew up in that era, in that place,” Reznor tells Consequence. “I really had an emotional connection. It helped me deeply connect with the characters and the storytelling of this film.” Bones and All being a 1980s period piece was also a substantial bit of context to work with — both Reznor and Ross were around the same ages as Taylor Russell‘s Maren and Timothée Chalamet‘s Lee in the era that the film is set in, so scoring it offered a chance to create with an emphasis on memory and the romantic energy of young love.
Now well into their second decade of composition and film scoring, Reznor and Ross have been consistently working with some of the best filmmakers in the business. About their experience working with Guadagnino, both Reznor and Ross spoke extremely highly of the Italian director. “[It] was truly one of the best experiences we’ve had in this medium or as artists,” says Reznor, “As Atticus mentioned earlier, the trust and the true sense of collaboration was something that couldn’t have been better.” Ross echoed Reznor’s praise, stating simply that he’s “just looking forward to the next collaboration with Luca.”
Watch the full interview with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross in the video above.
Bones and All is currently in showing theaters worldwide.