Favorite Horror/Thriiler Movie Music

'Tis the season for holiday music, and nothing sets the mood at the late night double feature picture show like the proper music. What are your favorite horror themes from your favorite horror movies?
For me, it’s the main theme that runs through the Puppet Master series from Full Moon Pictures.

John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982).

The Exorcist: Tubular Bells

Franz Waxman’s score for The Bride of Frankenstein.

Runner-up: Bernard Herrman’s Theremin-heavy The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Herrmann also gets props for the square-dance scene in The Devil and Dan’l Webster, where Walter Huston (as Mr. Scratch) gets progressively wilder on the fiddle.

And another from a Carpenter movie…only he composed this little ditty himself-Halloween.

Carpenter in fact helped compose a lot of the The Thing soundtrack himself.

This is worth reading. The story behind the The Thing soundtrack, and the official soundtrack album that differed so radically from it. (This new cd is very good, btw.)


The most effective one I believe I’ve ever experienced is for It Follows. And I do mean “experienced”. It’s practically a separate character. *The Ring’s * score is beautiful, so much so that I’ll put the movie on just to help me drift of to sleep.

I forgot to mention my favorite: Jerry Goldsmith’s Alien. The complete 2-disc soundtrack is a treasure.

Certainly this.

James Horner’s Aliens.

Also, John Williams’ Jaws and Clint Mansell’s Moon.

The Suspiria soundtrack by Goblin is a classic. Probably more famous than the movie itself.

Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor.

Obviously it wasn’t written for a horror movie but it’s been used in several.

I haven’t seen “Cub”, but I really like the soundtrack.


Wendy Carlos’ The Shining and Jerry Goldsmith’s Poltergeist.

The opening theme by Wojciech Kilar from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The menacing cellos are terrific, and then it builds through the strings and into the crash of the brass. Good stuff.

Winner in 1.

The Bride of Frankenstein score doesn’t really sound like a horror film. I do like it, but that three-note motif for the Bride always makes me think of Bali Hai from South Pacific (even though Waxman wrote this well before Richard Rogers).

And I always love Bernard Hermann’s scores. Given my druthers, though, my favorite is his score for The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad

I knew I wouldn’t be the first with this one.:frowning:

Some of it’s crap, like the accompaniment to the prelude with Byron and the Shelleys, and the background to the “little people” scene. But I love the grotesque and quirky stuff that comes up whenever Boris and Ernest are onscreen together.

(Wow. I never noticed the similarity to “Bali Hai.” How weird is that?)

Boris plays it in “The Black Cat” (1934).
Peter Lorre plays it in “Mad Love” (1935).
Erich von Stroheim plays it in “Sunset Boulevard” (1950, and I would argue that this is a very fine horror movie!)

Where else does it turn up, off the top of anyone else’s head?

Man, I wish I could afford to keep a pipe organ in MY house.