Music helps shape moments, scenes and atmosphere. Playing the wrong song can ruin a scene in a movie. That’s why it’s important to have a good soundtrack, especially in horror. Sure, you can say that about any genre, but you can absolutely ruin the vibe of a horror movie by including the wrong songs.
Let’s face it, you wouldn’t hear a ballad during a Michael Myers chase scene. Unless somehow it was necessary/applicable to the film itself. What are the best horror movie music and/or soundtracks? How to reduce this? To be frank, it’s impossible to go through all the horror movies and decide accordingly. But what I can do is collect a few from the last few years.
Halloween (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 2018)
As said in the paragraph above, I’m going with soundtracks from the last few years. And this soundtrack is by far one of the best. Halloween had remained silent as a franchise since the Rob Zombie remakes. Leaving fans to wonder if the franchise would ever return and what it would become. Once Halloween (2018) was announced as a direct sequel to the original film, fans went wild. And with the new sequel came a fresh soundtrack. All credit goes to John Carpenter, his son Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies. Teaming up with John Carpenter and his son to not only give us some memorable scores, but a more modern take on the original theme is *chef’s kiss*.
Best Tracks (all by John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies):
- ” Introduction ”
- “Halloween Theme”
- “Form Returns”
- “The bogeyman”
- “The Form Chases Allyson”
- “Form Burns”
Strangers: prey of the night (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Of course, the scores aren’t bad in this sequel to the terrifying home invasion horror movie, The foreigners (2008). But the music that stands out in the film are the other songs played throughout. All chosen specifically to give Strangers: prey of the night (2018) that 80s slasher vibe. There are scenes in the movie that are pretty iconic because of the song choices. Like a pool scene that Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” plays over. And a burning truck scene chase that includes Air Supply’s “Making Love Out of Nothing at All.” The flaws found in his film certainly cannot be the soundtrack.
- “Children in America” by Kim Wilde
- “Cambodia” by Kim Wilde
- “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler
- “Making Love With Nothing At All” door Air Supply
We (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
“I Got 5 On It” by Luniz will never be heard the same way again after this film. Jordan Peele movies (or at least the trailers) know how to remix songs. With We (2019)the remix of “I have 5” is a real mess. And the scores for this film are, for lack of a better word, magnificent. Nobody expected less from Jordan Peele, who has such a love for the genre. It’s obvious that a lot of care has gone into this soundtrack. And that helped create a terrifying yet gripping experience. While it’s not always the favorite among all the horror movies Jordan Peele has directed or been in, it has one of the best soundtracks among the few.
- “I like this” by Janelle Monae
- “Anthem” by Michael Abels
- “I have 5” by Luniz, Michael Marshall
- “Home invasion” by Michael Abels
- “To run” by Michael Abels
- “Pas De Deux” by Michael Abels
- “Flowers” by Minnie Riperton
- “I have 5” – Captive mix of us by Michael Abels, Luniz, Michael Marshall
Weird (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Queer Horror being directed and written by people in the community is special. Queer stories told by people who aren’t straight aren’t asking too much. In fact, it should be more mundane than it is. Not to mention the fact that real gay people play gay characters. Weird (2020) was a smash hit and quickly became popular, making it one of the best modern slashers. Who happens to have a good soundtrack! All of these intense, hilarious and fantastical musical moments shape the viewing experience. From the pop sensation, Dua Lipa to the bop that’s “Suck my cherry” by Haiku Hands played during the end credits. Plus, the sheet music is by Bear McCreary, which means it must have looked great.
- “Weird Prologue” by Bear McCreary
- “The Butcher and the Beaver” by Bear McCreary
- “A Fucking Song” by Bear McCreary
- “Physical” by Dua Lipa
- “Suck My Cherry” by Haiku Hands
Last night in Soho (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Anna Taylor-Joy shines in another horror movie (please put her in more horror)! That’s not to say she’s the only good performer, although she does stand out. This psychological horror film is so visually appealing, even though the main character is obsessed with the 60s (please don’t let me start with how the white girl cishet foams during that time). However, the soundtrack is wild (in a good way, of course). Anna Taylor-Joy even covers “Downtown” by Petula Clark.
- “Wishing and Hoping” by Dusty Springfield
- “Starstruck” by The Kinks
- “I have my mind on you” by James Ray
- “Land of 1000 Dances” by the Walker Brothers
- “Downtown – A Capella” by Anya Taylor-Joy
- “Downtown” – Uptempo” by Anya Taylor-Joy
- “You are my world” by Anya Taylor-Joy
Fear Street Part One: 1994 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
While it’s not the best of the trilogy, it doesn’t falter with its soundtrack (despite how often the songs are played throughout the film). The Street of Fear the trilogy – for horror fans and people who loved the books – gave us quite the thrill. With all three movies releasing on a Friday, that gave us something to look forward to. As for the soundtrack, Marco Beltrami (who also composed/helped compose the scores for Cry 1-4) knocks him out of the park alongside Marcus Trumpp. Combine that with the song choices and you have a jam-worthy soundtrack.
And it’s hard not to think of Deena (Kiana Madeira) and Sam (Olivia Scott Welch) while listening “Hey” by Pixes now.
- “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails
- “Main Titles” by Marco Beltrami and Marcus Trumpp
- “Skull Mask” by Marco Beltrami and Marcus Trumpp
- “Reminder of Us” by Marco Beltrami and Marcus Trumpp
- “Only happy when it rains” by garbage
- “Damn, I wish I was your lover” by Sophie B. Hawkins
- “Bitter Times” by Portishead
- “Creep” by Radiohead
- “More human than human” by White Zombie
- “Sweet Joan” by Cowboy Junkies
- “Hey” pixels
Costs (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
It’s one of those horror movies that stays with you long after the credits roll. And the soundtrack is really no different. There’s a combination of modern and retro songs that help shape the bizarre world you’re immersed in. Sebastian Stan and Daisy Edgar-Jones dance to “You’re Not Good Enough” by Blood Orange and “Endless Summer Nights” by Richard Marx are particularly memorable moments because of the song choices. Definitely one of the best horror movies of the year.
- “Complete failure” by Blood Orange
- “You’re Not Good Enough” by Blood Orange
- “All Your Love” by Lee Hurst
- “I hear a new world” by Joe Meek & The Blue Men
Cry 5 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
After a decade, the Scream the franchise was resurrected and we got a new movie. Of course, this leaves a slightly bitter taste in the mouths of fans since Wes Craven (who died in 2015) could not be involved. But Cry 5 (2022) is a love letter to Wes and the franchise. We saw the return of Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Dewey (David Arquette). And have been blessed with a new generation of talented performers. Especially our queer icon, Mindy Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown), Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega), Amber Freeman (Mikey Madison) and the other cast members. The soundtrack to this movie is superb, the scores are so atmospheric, and it’s one of the most elaborate horror soundtracks. At least for me it is!
- “True love” by Durand Jones & Les Indications
- “Do you want to play a game” by Brian Tyler
- “Sacrifice” by Brian Tyler
- “The Red Right Hand – 2011 Remastered Version” by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
- Chromeface by Brian Tyler
- “Pressure” by Kamaiyah
- “Guilty conscience” of 070 Shakes
- “I started it all” by Brian Tyler
- “To fall in love” by Caroline Kingsbury
- “Take me where your heart is” by Q
- “Falling for Love” of Salem, Carlie Hanson
- Ready or Not (2019) Original Sound Track
- Candy Man (2021) Original Sound Track
- Fear Street Part Two: 1979 Original Sound Track
- X (2022) Original Sound Track
(featured image: Netflix)
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