Great And Memorable Music Moments In Horror Movies

Music Moments Horror Movies

The Exorcist

1973 / Horror / USA

Among the participants in the survey of the NST film channel, only 13% recognized the melody from this film, although at one time it was a hit among horror fans. For his film, William Friedkin first invited the Argentine composer and pianist Lalo Schifrin, who had already become famous by that time for the soundtrack to the 1966 series Mission Impossible. Shifrin wrote the music for the trailer, and it seemed to the creators so frightening that it was decided to refuse his services. So, Friedkin hastily searched for a composer who could create a minimalist soundtrack and came across the Tubular Bells album by young musician Mike Oldfield. It was the melody from this disc that later became the main theme of The Exorcist and made the 19-year-old composer a star. If you listen closely, Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells doesn’t sound scary at all,


1996 / Horror, Mystery / USA

Director Wes Craven wanted an unknown and inexperienced composer to write the music for the film, created in the genre of black comedy that satirizes the clichés of horror films. His choice fell on Marco Beltrami, who at one time studied with Jerry Goldsmith. The music for “Scream” was his first work in a feature film. He faced a difficult task – to expose the musical clichés in horror. So, in those moments when the tension builds up, the pace and volume increase. The viewer expects to see the killer or some unexpected action, but … nothing happens. In the title theme, Beltrami drew inspiration from Ennio Morricone-style western music, thus also deliberately ignoring traditional horror movie score styles. In our recognition rating, the music from “Scream” occupies the penultimate line – only 9% of respondents remembered it.


1992 / Thriller, Horror

Philip Glass composed beautiful gothic music for the first Candyman, full of his signature minimalism with recurring themes from the piano, organ, and choir. For him, already known by that time as a modern composer, and author of several operas and music for a dozen films, this film was the first work in the horror genre. The composer was disappointed with the result: he had hoped that the film would be a skillful version of Clive Barker’s short story “Forbidden”, but it turned out to be, in his opinion, a low-budget slasher film. That, however, did not prevent Glass from acting as a composer in the second part of Candyman, released in 1995. However, the melody, which is very popular in foreign ratings, did not remain in the memory of the Russian moviegoer – in the NST poll, only 8% remembered it.

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