The Housemaid is a Vietnamese gothic horror / romance film directed by Derek Nguyen. It was released in the US in early 2018 by IFC Midnight.
I was brought in to score the film upon the recommendation of producer Timothy Bui, with whom I had worked a few years ago on Crackle’s The Throwaways.
The film tells the story of Linh, an orphan who gets a job as a housemaid at the Sa-Cat rubber plantation in 1953 Vietnam—then French Indochina.
It is said that the Sa-Cat rubber plantation is haunted by its former workers, who were abused and tortured during years of enslavement…
Captain Sebastien Laurent is a French army officer and the owner of Sa-Cat. A romance between Linh and Sebastien will soon get underway…
… much to the dismay of Laurent’s former lover, Madame Camille, who committed suicide years ago by drowning herself and their infant son in the nearby lake. She now haunts the grounds looking for revenge.
The score was written primarily for a live ensemble comprised of a string quintet, flute, oboe, harp, and piano, complimented by various synthetic libraries of effects, ambiences, small percussion, and vocals.
It features a decisive thematic architecture that prompted a purposeful interaction of musical themes associated with specific characters and story elements.
And of course, the music also features dark, screechy, and powerful moments representative of the film’s thriller and horror elements.
The music was recorded at Stagg Street Studio in Van Nuys, California.
The score was released by Milan Records on all digital stores in June 2018. This is my first score to be released by a major label. If you’d like to know more, click here to hear the album and read in-depth liner notes about the score.