It’s nearly Halloween. Outside, the wind is howling. The trees are bare, the branches looking like skeleton limbs crudely stuck together. Leaves cover the ground, causing each step to elicit a satisfying crunch. The sky is steel grey, threatening rain, thunder, and lightning. In a simpler way of putting it, it’s the best time of the year.
For me, one of the best ways to celebrate this time of year is by putting on some of the creepiest, eeriest, scariest music that I can get my hands on. There is something deliciously fun about scaring myself with shrieking violins, out-of-tune pianos, otherworldly choirs, and bizarre ambient tones.
And since this time of year is something special to a great many people, I wanted to share some of my favorite horror soundtracks, the ones that make me want to curl up under a blanket and play one horror movie after another, until the saving grace of the sunrise saves me. Join me below for 9 Great Horror Soundtracks!
Note: This list is in no particular order
John Carpenter has created many classic scores throughout the years, with the theme to Halloween becoming quite possibly one of the most famous horror themes of all time. But it’s the score for The Fog that always unsettled me more. It’s one of Carpenter’s most atmospheric films and the score had to match that feeling. And it does, with more added on for good effect.
Note: You should definitely get the extended remastered edition here. Very much worth it!
C’mon, did you really think this wasn’t going to make it on the list? I’d add this to any similar list simply for the works of Krzysztof Penderecki. But even without them, this soundtrack is quite possibly one of the easiest ways to scare the absolute crap out of me. Put it on and there’s a good chance that I’m going to start looking over my shoulder every few minutes. Scratch that, every few seconds.
Silent Hill 2
While the soundtrack to Silent Hill 1 is more evil, Akira Yamaoka’s score to Silent Hill 2 is far more phantasmagoric, mixing beauty with horror. The end result is one of the most famous and beloved horror video game soundtracks ever released.
Lord Of Illusions
I’m such a fan of this movie to the point that I think it might actually be my favorite Clive Barker film. I know that’s a bold statement but it’s so much fun and has such a unique feel about it. The score by Simon Boswell has this incredible mix of noir jazz and horror that is both erotic and eerie. Probably one of the most under appreciated horror soundtracks.
Another obvious choice, this soundtrack, composed by Goblin has been lauded ever since the film came out in 1977. The electronic score has some of the eeriest tones and patches used on a synthesizer and then laid down on celluloid.
American McGee’s Alice
The second video game to make this list, American McGee’s Alice came out to critical acclaim for its dark, inventive imagery and the twisted take on the Alice In Wonderland mythos. But what might be the most popular aspect of the game is the soundtrack, composed by ex-Nine Inch Nails member Chris Vrenna.
“AVE SATANI! SANGUIS BIBIMUS!” The most demonic entry into this list, I can’t help but feel shivers run up and down my spine during this soundtrack. Truly one of Jerry Goldsmith’s crowning achievements, The Omen will always be one of the great classics.
Much like Lord Of Illusions, Twin Peaks had a mix of erotic jazz with this eerie atmosphere. The difference is that Twin Peaks had a far more lighthearted approach, making this the perfect entry for those you who can’t stand to be too scared.
The 7th Guest
The final entry into this list is yet another video game. Taking place in a haunted mansion where every horrifying puzzle could leave you stumped for days, the music took the stylings of the 1930’s and mixed it with horror to create a delightfully terrifying soundtrack that haunted me for years as a child.
Alright readers, now that I’ve shared mine, what are some of your favorite horror soundtracks? Let me know in the comments below!