Trying to put together an entire Halloween party playlist can be scary. Don’t you fear: here are ten spectacular horror movie soundtracks to listen to when you’re feeling extra festive. These soundtracks are art on their own, but we recommend watching their corresponding films -- if you’re brave enough.
Story by Angela Schiff
Illustration by Diane Campos
10. Lost Boys
Lost Boys is an over-the-top vampire film from the 80s that managed to encapsulate the fun, indulgent nature of the decade. Its soundtrack does likewise and includes plenty of cheesy saxophone solos that will transport you to a time where MTV and big hair was law of the land.
9. Halloween (1978)
Halloween made this list mainly on the merit of its main theme, and rightly so. “Halloween” has a special place in popular culture and is the quintessential horror movie track. It’s used throughout the Halloween franchise, yet never manages to feel old or overbearing. The entire soundtrack is well done and deserving of a listen.
8. Summer of 84
Taking inspiration from artists like Goblin and the John Carpenter, Summer of 84 touts music that brilliantly blends the tone of 80s synth with a fresh, modern perspective. Canadian duo Le Matos does a great job of crafting a soundtrack that serves as a homage to their predecessors without sounding unoriginal.
7. The Devil’s Candy
The Devil’s Candy at its core, is a movie about a misfit metalhead family that learns to stick together in the face of adversity and satanic influence. It’s accompanied with a head-bang worthy soundtrack that’s loud and angry, yet still accessible to audiences.
6. Bride of Chucky
Bride of Chucky is not a great movie. Bride of Chucky was never meant to be a great movie. Rather, it’s fun, it’s energetic and not too serious. The soundtrack perfectly reflects the film’s irreverent tone. Basically, it’s a highlight reel for some of the greatest rock and heavy metal songs from the era. With tracks from Blondie, Rob Zombie and Slayer, Bride of Chucky has a monster of a soundtrack that’ll transport you to the golden years of rock ‘n’ roll.
Hailed as a “haunted house movie of the ages,” this 2018 film was met with critical acclaim and showed that horror movies can have artistic merit. This feat was aided by the score, done by the prolific Colin Stetson, which mimics the gurgling, terse and plain spooky tone of the film. The soundtrack also includes tracks from artists K Theory and Flatbush Zombies, making Hereditary one of the rare horror movies that uses hip-hop well.
4. It Follows
The soundtrack for It Follows sounds like it comes from an early 2000s 8-bit horror game. It’s a perfect mesh of exhilarating electronic music and more traditional, John Carpenter-esque horror scores, Which perfectly reflects the film’s marriage between old and new horror movie tropes.
Sinister is an unsettling film in its own right, but the soundtrack adds a special element that gets under your skin. It’s understated enough to not steal the show, but the score adds an extra unnerving factor. Plus, there’s a certain scene (no spoilers!) that makes brilliant use of the Boards of Canada’s song “Gyroscope.”
2. 28 Days Later
This soundtrack is a beautiful hodgepodge of rock, ambient and classical music that makes you wish you were fighting relentless, zombie-like creatures in a post-apocalyptic hellscape. With a score by the wonderful John Murphy, every track is given it’s moment to shine and none of the songs feel like throwaways. This soundtrack is equal parts catchy and haunting, and it has serious replay value.
1. Suspiria (1977)
Dario Argento’s balls-off-the-wall 1977 film Suspiria catapulted the director into the horror movie film canon. This was, in no small part, due to the film’s beautifly scored film by Italian progressive rock band, Goblin. As stated by Goblin’s frontman Claudio Simonetti, the soundtrack is “the masterpiece of Goblin.” The synth-filled score compliments the film’s insane plot perfectly and comes close to outshining the movie itself. Bonus news: Thom Yorke has a beautiful song in Suspiria’s upcoming remake, which hopefully indicates that the film will have a soundtrack on par with its predecessor.