Interview with The Ghost Within composer Christoph Allerstorfer

The Ghost Within - Courtesy Vertical Entertainment / Projection PR
The Ghost Within - Courtesy Vertical Entertainment / Projection PR /

Lawrence Fowler’s The Ghost Within is about a woman named Margot (Michaela Longden) who heads to her old family home for closure regarding the murder of her sister, Evie (Rebecca Phillipson/Ivy Deakin). While in her home, she ends up experiencing supernatural occurrences. The film also stars Tom Millen and actually has a respectably strong 8/10 rating on IMDb.

In addition to composing music for The Ghost Within, you may have heard Christoph Allerstorfer’s music in Fowler’s The Jack in the Box movies. Or, failing that, Allerstorfer’s contributed music to the trailers for blockbuster films such as Star Wars – Rogue One (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Pet Sematary (2019), Midsommar (2019), It Chapter Two (2019), Doctor Sleep (2019), and he has also done “additional music” for Netflix hit series Stranger Things.

Interview with “The Ghost Within” Composer Christoph Allerstorfer

1428 ELM: Based on your experience, what are some of the best methods of gaining recognition for one’s work?

CHRISTOPH ALLERSTORFER: I put my focus on doing the best job possible for my clients and I try to gain recognition inside the business. With that said, I’m also working with Projection PR for press coverage of certain projects.

1428 ELM: With The Ghost Within, it’s more of a ghost mystery than a slasher film. Did that impact the style of composition?

CHRISTOPH ALLERSTORFER: Yes absolutely. The score needed to be much more subtle and eerie, and the amount of action scenes was much less compared to typical slasher films.

1428 ELM: In what ways was The Ghost Within different from other projects?  

CHRISTOPH ALLERSTORFER: One big difference was the strong focus on the crime/mystery part of the story, also the childhood scenes of the two sisters needed to feel light and playful. From the musical point of view, we went for a smaller, more intimate sound. I had a 15-piece strings section available, and recorded my daughter’s voice and solo strings in my studio.

1428 ELM: Do you have a Youtube or Spotify playlist where people can listen to your compositions?

CHRISTOPH ALLERSTORFER: I don’t have playlists but my scores and other music can be found here, here, and here.

Advice for musicians and composers

1428 ELM: Do you have advice for talented musicians and composers looking to make it in the film-music industry?

CHRISTOPH ALLERSTORFER: I think with all the high-quality samples and premade sounds available for everybody, it’s even more important to find a unique voice or style to stick out. Treat every project with respect and build good relationships with filmmakers. Be patient and try to learn as much as possible along the way.

1428 ELM: You’ve been involved in trailer music for some major projects like Star Wars – Rogue One, Avengers: Infinity War, Nope, and It: Chapter 2. Does making trailer music have any complications you might not have in a longer musical score?

CHRISTOPH ALLERSTORFER: Trailers are a different beast for sure, but I would not say one job is easier than the other. Long musical statements don’t work for trailers in most cases and it’s more about finding really good hooks which can be repeated without sounding repetitive.

The Ghost Within
The Ghost Within – Courtesy Projection PR /

1428 ELM: What are some of your favorite ghost-related films and thriller/horror/psycho-killer flicks?

CHRISTOPH ALLERSTORFER: My favorite ghost movies are The Others and A Tale of two Sisters. I also love The Shining, Hereditary, A Quiet Place, and the work of Jordan Peele.

1428 ELM: Are there any clichés you like to avoid in music?

CHRISTOPH ALLERSTORFER: To be honest I don’t really mind musical clichés in horror movies. I think in this genre it’s even expected by the audience to a certain degree. It’s fun to work with kid’s vocals or torturing violins for some weird effects!

1428 ELM: What are some of your favorite recording studio effects and tricks?

CHRISTOPH ALLERSTORFER: I have quite a lot of different guitar pedals set up as an external loop in my DAW. It’s always fascinating what comes out of this chain. A simple recorded violin note can be a beautiful pad sound or a massively distorted drone.

1428 ELM: Can you tell us about any future projects?

CHRISTOPH ALLERSTORFER: Filming of The Jack in the Box 3 has started recently, and scoring work will begin soon. Also, I’m planning to re-record the music to my first short film ever and release the soundtrack later this year. It’s a comedy with a light and playful score, so it’s very different from my other films I did so far. A solo album is in the works too but probably won’t be out before early next year.

The Ghost Within is available to rent on VOD platforms, including Amazon Prime and Vudu.

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