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The Top 10 Greatest Horror Movie Soundtracks

by dsussman   September 16, 2010 at 3:00PM  |  Views: 17,186

Most great films are nothing without the right soundtrack. This seems to be most apparent in the horror genre. Every single one of the greatest horror films ever made has a soundtrack that is just as recognizable as the films’ characters and storylines.

Source: Warner Bros.

10. The Lost Boys

Source: Warner Bros.

Clown all you want, the entire score and soundtrack that plays throughout The Lost Boys is one of the best horror has to offer. I know it has a ton of ‘80s cheese in there, but it works perfectly with the film and has even aged pretty darn well over the last 20 years.

Thomas Newman’s original score of eerie orchestra and organ arrangements in The Lost Boys helped create a whole new feel for the vampire genre. We're talking about the same guy who went on to do the original scores for The Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty, and WALL-E. The guy is no lightweight. Echo & the Bunnymen’s cover of The Doors’ classic "People are Strange" was also a nice touch in the beginning of the film. The only suspect song in the entire movie is Tim Capello's cover of The Call's "I Still Believe." I honestly don’t mind it at all, but I’m sure a few snobs out there don’t have any love for an Schwarzeneggeresque juicehead playin’ the saxophone on the beach. Haters.


9. Suspiria

Source: Blue Underground

Not only is Suspiria one of the best and most underrated horror films of all time, the original score crafted by director Dario Argento and Italian rockers Goblin is straight up off the charts. Now I know a few of you out there may think Deep Red deserves to be on this list instead of Suspiria, but in terms of the music interweaving with the images on screen, Suspiria is just a smidgen above the competition. Argento’s unique ability to match disturbing off-the-wall images with unnerving musical compositions is second to none. The man just knows what’s going to make audiences squeal. It you have yet to see Suspiria or Deep Red, go rent them ASAP. They’re both mandatory horror movie viewing. Thanks for haunting our dreams, Mr. Argento.


8. Dawn of the Dead

Source: Laurel Group

Based on the fact there are various edits of this classic horror masterpiece, we’re just gonna stick to the music used in the original U.S. version of Dawn of the Dead.

The numerous scores in Dawn of the Dead are absolutely all over the joint, but each piece is utilized perfectly if you ask me. From wacky polka tracks like “The Gonk” to Goblin’s epic “Tenement Cellar,” George A. Romero did a bang-up job inserting the right melodies over his rancid zombie images. Gotta love that Pittsburgh polka music.


7. The Exorcist

Source: Warner Bros.

Works by Krzysztof Penderecki and Jack Nitzsche were used throughout 1973’s The Exorcist, but Mike Oldfield’s Exorcist theme “Tubular Bells” is the only composition we really need to be talking about when it comes to this list. Not only is it one of the most spine-tingling pieces of music used in a film, The Exorcist theme somehow always takes you back to the cold, dark bedroom of Regan MacNeil. Oldfield’s music in general has always been groundbreaking, but the use of the Tubular Bells opening in The Exorcist might be his crown jewel.


6. A Nightmare on Elm Street

Source: New Line Cinema

Out of all the themes on this list, Charles Bernstein’s A Nightmare on Elm Street score still gives me the creeps to this very day. I’m not totally sure why, but there’s just something about his synthesized keyboard wizardry that makes me afraid to hit the sack each and every time I listen to it. Like the Halloween theme, there’s a serious nostalgia about this musical score that grabs you by the guts the second it hits your eardrums. From the creepy main title to the little girls singing “1, 2, Freddy's coming for you,” I double dog dare you to turn off your bedroom lights and put this soundtrack on without peein’ your pants just a little bit.



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