It was a combination of both. We worked with E² Sound, who are the guys who did A Quiet Place. Oscar nominated, very talented sound company. And the first conversation we had was how important and vital sound design was going to be in the movie. Kevin and I were always saying that what you don’t see is even scarier. And especially with the burial of the cat, you want that scene to feel like a nightmare sequence. We knew that the sounds of the woods were going to be very important. They had to feel like a character. So it wasn’t just the sound of wind and leaves, there was also the sound of breaking tree branches, footsteps, movement like something large was lurking out there. And then there was also knowing when the sound should drop out - like right before the dumbwaiter drops. With the dragging ceiling sounds, to let Rachel know she’s hearing Zelda again. For Louis, the sound we associated with him was dripping blood, from when he lost Pascal. When he’s sitting at the traffic light, seeing the light flash and alternate, he hears the blood dripping, and he hears the same sound in the basement when he encounters Pascal for the last time.
And then with the cat, Church, it was about finding a really distinctive sound for when he comes back. We fused his sound with the Wendigo, which had a scratchy shriek to it, like bones grinding together. So we made sure the cat’s growl and hiss sounded like a broken instrument. Everything had a theory behind it.