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8 Classic Horror Film Soundtrack Vinyl Records Perfect for Halloween

8 Classic Horror Film Soundtrack Vinyl Records Perfect for Halloween

What makes a good horror film soundtrack? In a genre predicated on building tension and keeping you on the edge of your seat, the right music can only raise the stakes. Some of the greatest horror movie soundtracks stand on their own, conjuring the same level of anxiety and suspense when listened to, even without their on-screen counterparts. With Halloween around the corner, we decided to take a listen to some of our favorite horror soundtracks to spin on vinyl.

 

Halloween Original Motion Picture Soundtrack- John Carpenter

John Carpenter pulled triple duty when he wrote, directed, and composed the score for 1979’s Halloween. The movie is the quintessential slasher flick, though not a drop of blood is spilled throughout the entire film. Instead of relying on the gore factor, Carpenter’s score creates a chilling atmosphere, and the movie’s main theme never fails to send a shiver down our spines.

Psycho- Bernard Herrmann

Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic, Psycho is arguably the most influential horror film ever made, popularizing the slasher genre, and adding elements of art house cinema to horror. Bernard Herrmann’s score is largely serene, while slowly building as the film’s plot is gradually revealed to viewers. The score culminates with “The Murder”, as sharp, high pitched strings break the tension in one of film’s most unforgettable and enduring scenes.

It Follows- Disasterpiece

One of this list’s newer entrants, 2015’s It Follows has become a modern horror classic, thanks in no small part to Disasterpiece’s score. Taking heavy inspiration from classics like Halloween and Psycho, as well as the synth-heavy scores of the 1980s, Disasterpiece weaves together a soundtrack that never lets up on suspense and keeps you looking over your shoulder.

The Omen- Jerry Goldsmith

Winner of Best Original Score at the 1977 Academy Awards, The Omen’s soundtrack leans heavily on choral music to complement the film’s Biblical horror plotline. The film’s main theme, “Ave Satani” features a sinister Latin chant meant to sow discomfort, featuring disturbing lyrics and references to the Antichrist. The score brilliantly juxtaposes the banality of everyday life, gradually bringing in musical themes that are more and more unsettling as we are confronted with pure evil.

Us- Michael Abels

As modern horror’s standard-bearer, it should come as no surprise that one of director Jordan Peele’s films makes an appearance on this list. Peele leaned on composer Michael Abels for the score of 2019’s Us, and Abels delivered, turning in a delightfully creepy, oftentimes disturbing score that forces us to confront our fears. In addition to the score, the film’s soundtrack features an alternative mix of Luniz’s classic hip-hop track, “I Got 5 On It”, adding a staccato string motif that conjures Psycho.

Suspiria- Goblin (1977), Thom Yorke (2018)

For his 1977 supernatural hit, Suspiria, director Dario Argento made an unusual choice, tapping Italian progressive rock band Goblin to create the score. What followed was a ‘70s prog rock staple, loaded with complex rhythms, Moog synthesizers, and avant-garde sensibility. When the film was remade in 2018, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke was the natural choice to write the score. Yorke took the score in an entirely different direction, creating a hauntingly, sometimes hypnotic, collection of music inspired by 1970s Krautrock.

Alien- Jerry Goldsmith

If any score could convey the feeling of claustrophobia and hopelessness, it’s 1979’s Alien. A revolutionary film in the genre of sci-fi horror, Goldsmith’s score helps to supplement the film’s desolate environment, as a lonely, gruesome death lurks around any corner. Whereas many composers began incorporating synths and electronic elements into sci-fi scores, Goldsmith remains dependent on orchestral music, creating a stark contrast between the score and the environment.

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