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John Carpenter Wrote the ‘Halloween’ Theme In An Hour

John Carpenter Wrote the ‘Halloween’ Theme In An Hour

Out today, John Carpenter Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998 brings together 13 classic themes from Carpenter’s illustrious career together in one volume for the first time. It all started back in 1978 with his indie slasher Halloween, which boasted one of the greatest themes and soundtracks of all time.

In an interview with CoS, Carpenter explains his process for scoring Halloween, which led to two shocking reveals:

“For both Assault [on Precinct 13] and Halloween, I go into a studio and depending on how much time I had, I’d do several pieces. For Assault, I had a day; for Halloween, I had three days,” Carpenter revealed, further clarifying he only had three days to write and record “the whole score.” As for the iconic theme, get this…

“That theme was done in like an hour. We moved on.”

It sounds as if writing and recording the Halloween score was like catching lightning in a bottle. I’ve heard many musicians say that their best work came to them in one sitting/session/recording, while elaborating that the more tinkering that has to be done, the worse off the song would become.

In regards to the forthcoming Universal/Blumhouse sequel that he executive producing and scoring, he explains what his process will be this time around.

With the new Halloween coming out next year, would you want to try to write new themes or would you rework the old ones?

“I would talk to the director about it, see what he needs,” he explained. “Although there are several ways of doing it. We could refurbish the old score, we could maybe do a brand-new score, we could do a combination. It all depends. So, that’s something I’ll sit down with him, spot the movie, and decide what to do.”

Jamie Lee Curtis is reprising the role of Laurie Strode in next year’s film, while Judy Greer is in talks to play Laurie’s daughter, Karen Strode.  David Gordon Green is directing.



  • The chicken man

    Best hour ever. 🙂

    • tijodace

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  • Like the Jaws theme, sometimes brilliance is simple.

  • Jay Bennett

    Just learnt this theme the other week, so great

  • Mamet006

    What were you expecting? Two hours?

  • The Night King

    Please, no hip hop drum beat on the Halloween theme . . . . on second thought, no rap at all anywhere near this movie.

    • Homeless Joe

      No Metal too, no contemporary music that tends to date the film. And please don’t do that Orchestral sounding music like H20. We need to go back to a more atmospheric sound. That’s why the first film is so great, the score was so atmospheric. It was like a character itself.

  • gjk2012 .

    This isn’t just the Halloween theme for the movie. This is the official Halloween theme for the holiday.

  • Bryano

    His new album is pretty cool. I prefer the Lost Themes stuff, but it’s still fun to hear the old themes updated.

  • biff

    Like this way better than the re-vamped theme for Halloween II.

  • thegunshow

    Wow. That’s some quick writing for something so brilliant. I would love to hear a mix of old and new for the upcoming film. I definitely want to hear the old themes, but a twist on them or some additions would also be nice.

  • Halloween_Vic

    I definitely want the original theme and scores in the new film of course maybe a bit refurbished for the new generation and a bit darker but if ain’t broke don’t fix it

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