Top 5 Horror Movie Themes
By: Oberst Von Berauscht-
(5) The Exorcist
The first four or so minutes of Mike Oldfield’s epic prog-rock masterpiece was not written specifically for The Exorcist, hence why it’s not higher on the list. This is an instantly catchy tune that sets the film’s ominous mood immediately. Filmmaker William Friedkin uses the music to such powerful purpose that today almost nobody realizes that Tubular bells is 40+ minutes long, taking up both sides of a vinyl LP. Sometimes I wonder what the film would be like if the rest of the song-cycle was used in the film.
This would have totally worked in the movie…
(4) Young Frankenstein
The masterpiece of composer John Morris. This violin-based theme, like the rest of Young Frankenstein, worked so well because of Brook’s painstaking research in recreating the feel of the classic Universal Monster movie. The tone is immediately set for a tragic tale, with just a hint of melodrama hidden under the surface.
This classic rubber monster movie also carries with it the ultimate Monster battle music by composer Akira Ifukube. From the beginning, the listener feels the spine-tingling sensation as the horn section and thrashing cymbals hint at the powerful force lurking in the distance. And then the string section comes in with force, faster and faster. There have been many versions of this theme over the years, but the original is still the most memorable.
(2) The Thing
Director John Carpenter scored so many of his own films that he is often mis-credited as composer for The Thing, which was actually composed by Italian Maestro Ennio Morricone. About two and a half minutes into the score, a pulsating electronic bass rhythm begins to play, along with electric organ playing an ominous funeral dirge right out of Transylvania. The score is brilliant use of electronic ambience, creating an instant feeling of dread whenever it is employed. The score is used sparingly, but to intense effect.
Probably the most recognizable Horror theme of all time, John Carpenter’s self-composed score for Halloween has earned itself a lasting place in pop culture history. The repetitive synth piano bursts with intensity, paralleling the killer’s obsessive pursuit of Jamie-Lee Curtis’ character. Carpenter would never compose a more catchy piece.
What other classic horror music do you enjoy?
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