Top Ten Horror Movie Scores

Making horror movies has to be a tough job (as is, I'm sure, the task of making ANY movie). There is definitely a lot filmmakers have to do to make them right and audiences are especially vocal about loving or hating movies made in the horror genre. Think about it. There are SO many things that need to be perfect for the movies to be effective and satisfying to viewers. One of the most important elements, I'd argue, is crafting the right music to set the tone and add to the suspense and terror. The films compiled in this list feature, arguably, the finest horror movie music ever to grace (or condemn) the silver screen.

The Top Ten

1 Psycho - Bernard Herrmann

I had a tough time deciding between placing 'Halloween' or 'Psycho' as my #1 choice. Next week I may feel differently on which I should've picked. Maybe I'll always be haunted by this choice. - BKAllmighty

2 Halloween - John Carpenter

If someone asked you to pair the idea of Halloween with any music, whatsoever, I'd have a hard time believing you if you said the themes from this film didn't immediately pop into your head. - BKAllmighty

3 The Exorcist - Mike Oldfield & Jack Nitzsche

The 'Tubular Bells' theme wouldn't have sounded frightening if it hadn't been featured in 'The Exorcist'... or... is the movie scarier BECAUSE of 'Tubular Bells'? Don't ponder the question too long. The eternal spinning vortex of uncertainty may possess you. - BKAllmighty

4 The Shining - Various Artists

There's a lot of iconic music in this film. Much of which was non-original orchestral music. Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind were the two individuals who composed the original music for the film. - BKAllmighty

5 A Nightmare On Elm Street - Charles Bernstein

This score would've made the list from the main theme alone (as would many of these films), it's so iconic. The second greatest slasher movie theme (behind 'Halloween'). The third best if you count 'Psycho' as a slasher (which some do and some don't). - BKAllmighty

6 Alien - Jerry Goldsmith

The 'Alien' franchise has seen its share of ups and downs. We've still not really seen a terrific film in the series since 1986's 'Aliens'. That means we need to soak up as much enjoyment from the first two films as we can. A lot of that enjoyment will come from the terrific score composed by the legendary Jerry Goldsmith. That man knew how to write space music (both scary and bombastic). - BKAllmighty

7 Halloween III: Season of the Witch - John Carpenter & Alan Howarth

The only sequel to make the initial list. 'Halloween III' is a criminally underrated and over-hated film. Why? No Michael Myers. Ok, so pretend the film doesn't have 'Halloween III' in the title and appreciate the film for being its own unique thing. Enjoy the film, experience the classic 80's synth themes, and have a happy happy Halloween. - BKAllmighty

8 It Follows - Disasterpeace

The only modern horror film to make my initial list. It took me a few years to finally see it and I can guarantee you that the film's score was a major reason for the film being as great as it is. I highly recommend it.
. - BKAllmighty

9 Hellraiser - Christopher Young

This film won't be everybody's cup of tea. It deals with some very dark and twisted themes that typical horror filmmakers shy away from. But, even if this film is too much for you to handle, the beautiful musical score won't likely scare you away. - BKAllmighty

10 The Thing - Ennio Morricone

There's very little to the music from 'The Thing'. It's nearly monotonic and yet it's basically lightning in a bottle (or an alien in a block of ice - see: the 2011 prequel). You feel the vast, cold, emptiness of the arctic every second the music is playing. - BKAllmighty

The Contenders

11 Jaws - John Williams
12 Saw - Charlie Clouser
13 It - Benjamin Wallfisch

It's funny, the music I best remember from the film isn't frightening music. It's soft, melodic stuff. I remember finding it all to be excellent music. I guess I need to see the movie again and pay more attention to the score. - BKAllmighty

14 Insidious - Joseph Bishara

The violent piano pounding and string hissing really adds to the twisted and dark tone of the film. - BKAllmighty

15 Rosemary's Baby - Krzysztof Komeda
16 The Fog - John Carpenter
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