10 Fantastic Horror Movie Scores

Halloween Horror Movie Scores!

In honour of Halloween and my love of movie soundtracks, here’s a list of some of my favourite horror movie scores. And a picture of me looking all toothy and scary. Rahh.


1.  Saw (2004)

The Saw movies have an extremely solid main score which is weirdly called ‘Hello Zepp’. Written by Charlie Clouser (who was in Nine Inch Nails) it’s not particularly ‘scary’, but very dramatic and ear catching. And definitely better than the entire film franchise put together.

2. Hellraiser (1987)

I love this creepy and mystical sounding theme song written by horror score regular Christopher Young. And it achieves that rare thing of being both lovely and scary at the same time. Always been a favourite.

3. Drag Me to Hell (2009)

The main theme – also written by Christopher Young  – is dark and twisted but ever so slightly playful as well. It suits the movie wonderfully and though the film itself isn’t the MOST memorable, I still enjoy listening to this main score on a pretty regular basis.

4. Insidious (2010)

From the moment the title flashes onto the screen, the terrifying music is evident. Joseph Bishara (who also played that lipstick demon guy) did a truly excellent job of creating a modern day – yet classic sounding – horror score. Read my entire soundtrack review here.

5. Halloween (1978)

OBVS!!!!! Written by John Carpenter himself, one could not have a horror film score list without including this classic (said just like the Sean Bean meme from Lord of the Rings).

6. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

The least scariest (and actually kind of lovely) music on here belongs ironically to the nastiest movie. Riz Ortolani’s original score is pretty beautiful, kind of sad and very haunting. As far as the film goes, meh.

7. 28 Days Later (2002)

‘In the House / In a Heartbeat’ – a really atmospheric and vivid score written by the genius John Murphy, who really should be counted as one of the best modern composers around right now. Super effective and super memorable – this is a fantastic piece of music in its own right and still leaves me with goose bumps. Read my entire soundtrack review here.

8. Creepshow (1982)

Creepy and humorous (and a little bit chilling), this old and typically 80s score (complete with thunder claps, jabbery piano playing and whispering voices!!!) is JUST PURE DELIGHT. I’ve always really liked Creepshow (and Creepshow 2) because they’re fun, different and still a little bit crazy.

9. Jaws (1975)

Yep. Time for THE legendary music and much like the Halloween score, I couldn’t have a list without adding this absolute gem from John Williams. Now this is genuinely scary I’m sure everyone would agree. I wouldn’t go in a swimming pool (or indeed even a bathtub) if it were playing loudly somewhere.

10. The Fly (1986)

Another fantastic David Cronenberg / Howard Shore collaboration. The whole soundtrack is brilliant, deep and dramatic but ‘Plasma Pool’ is my most favourite track. I actually listen to this while I’m cleaning. I’m weird I know.


About emmakwall

Films, books, soundtracks, good humour
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41 Responses to 10 Fantastic Horror Movie Scores

  1. table9mutant says:

    Love the pic! 🙂 And… ‘In the House / In a Heartbeat’ – YES!!!! Awesome choice! Love this so much – have had it on my iPod forever. Great list! Halloween is a classic too. 🙂

    • emmakwall says:

      Thanks!!! 🙂

      Everyone else just moaned about it being scary ha ha, I’m glad someone (other than me!) loves it!! 🙂

      YES!!! Love that you love In the House / In a Heartbeat, it’s such an amazing, atmospheric song isn’t it. Ditto with the Ipod 🙂

  2. robbinsrealm says:

    My pleasure regarding leaving comments on your blog.

    I went to a Halloween party, and the entire night, different horror films, were played on the televisions throughout the house. I had a real good time. I am glad you enjoyed what you did. I haven’t carved a pumpkin in ages; I think I just might have to do that next year. Being a huge Stephen King fan, I very much enjoyed watching 1408, when I saw it.

    I have heard others echo your sentiments regarding Cannibal Holocaust; I guess that is why I have yet to sit down and watch it.

    • emmakwall says:

      That sounds brilliant! The Halloween party I mean 🙂

      Really? All through the house were different TVs with different movies? That is immense.

      You must carve a pumpkin next year 🙂 it’s messy but fun and you can be really creative.

      I think 1408 is a great movie, but I wish they didn’t screw around with the endings so much. I’ve seen it a few times now and I think I got a bit bored towards the end but it’s a great movie. The first 45 minutes are the best!

      Did you enjoy other Stephen King adaptations? I love The Mist and IT 🙂

      • robbinsrealm says:

        Yes, the party was cool. I had a good time. I should clarify, however, that the house was a one level, not too large, ranch style home, so there were only a handful of rooms. There were three TVs playing movies: one TV was on in the den, there was another one on in the kitchen area, and another one on in the bedroom. If someone didn’t want to watch one thing, they at least had some other choices.

        I will carve one next year; messy, but fun, sounds good to me. I actually haven’t done anything like that since I was a kid. I have a while to worry about the creative aspect of it.

        Yes, I love Stephen King. Sadly, some of the movies based on his writings, don’t live up to his genius. The two that you mentioned are very good. I also like “The Dead Zone.” I love “The Shining.”

  3. vinnieh says:

    The score to Scream is such an eerie one.

  4. robbinsrealm says:

    I loved this blog!

    You certainly gave your post the most appropriate title. What a list you comprised, from iconic scores, that even non-horror fans would recognize like “Halloween” and “Jaws,” to lesser known pieces outside of the genre, like one of my personal favorite soundtracks, as well as anthology films, “Creepshow” – minus the fifth segment of the movie. Without a doubt you clearly demonstrate your love for horror film soundtracks.

    I found Insidious to be potent, but at the same time ear-splitting. I am going to have to go back and give “28 Days Later” another listen because I really don’t remember it at all. I have never watched “Cannibal Holocaust,” so I guess I will discover what all the fuss is about, as well as its musical accompaniment, when I eventually sit down to watch it.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • emmakwall says:

      Thank you so much for such great feedback and I’m really glad you enjoyed the list and found it appropriate 🙂 I loved reading your comment so thank you!

      Have you listened to the 28 Days Later song again yet? I don’t really like the movie Cannibal Holocaust a lot but is good for the time of year…hope you had a good halloween!!!!

      • robbinsrealm says:

        You’re very welcome; it has been a real pleasure reading the type of post you put on your blog.

        Yes, I have listened to the 28 Days Later song again; your remarks regarding the music were spot on.

        I have yet to watch the Cannibal Holocaust film. In all honesty, I am not overly anxious to see it, but I am sure I will get to it eventually. I have either read or spoken to a number of people who share your sentiments regarding the movie. I did read that it is one of the movies that heavily influenced, Eli Roth, while he was making the film The Green Inferno. The release date for that movie, at least in the US, seems to keep getting pushed back.

        I had a cool Halloween. I hope you had a great time whatever you did.

        • emmakwall says:

          It’s a real pleasure to read your lovely comments and feedback, thank you so much! It means a lot 🙂

          I love that song so much! It’s so atmospheric I think John Murphy is a brilliant composer, he did the spine chilling Surface of the Sun from Sunshine too.

          Eli Roth is a bit hit and miss for me but I do love his passion for horror movies! I prefer stuff like Cabin Fever to Hostel though, something a bit a quirky!

          I had a nice Halloween thanks, carved a pumpkin and watched 1408! What did you do?

          Cannibal Holocaust is an overrated movie which is just quite unpleasant at times. It leaves a sour taste after watching.

  5. Sherise says:

    I love the score in Rosemary’s Baby, especially the lullaby Mia Farrow sings. But this is still a great list.

  6. Holy Shit! Burn it with Fire!

    Great list, some excellent scores 😀

  7. OMG! Emma! That pic scared the you know what out of me!!!!! Love the list. I think the two thst stick with me the most are the scores for Jaws, and Halloween.

  8. romeorites says:

    I love Keith Emerson’s score for Dario Argento’s Inferno, and Philip Glass’ score for Candyman. The Halloween score is the most Iconic of all. Although, not a horror film but Precinct 13 music by Carpenter is pretty cool too. Im literally wracking my head, I know there are so many horror movies I love the soundtracks to (as does my wife) and my brain has gone blank.

  9. theipc says:


    That picture scares me…. 😦

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