Tag Archives: Horror Top 10

Top 10 Tuesday: Original Horror Soundtracks

What’s Top 10 Tuesday? It’s a new Top 10 List every Tuesday!

With so many memorable horror soundtracks that have stuck with me over the years, this is easily the hardest Top 10 List I’ve put together. To narrow things down a bit i’m only including original soundtracks which will explain the absence of some amazing compilations like The Return of the Living Dead, The Exorcist & The Shining. I’m also only including one album per composer/performer (otherwise half this list would be John Carpenter).

Honorable Mention, It Follows (2014)
Disasterpeace

The most recent soundtrack on this list by far is from video game composer Richard Vreeland (known as Disasterpeace). This eerie soundtrack gives you a tense uneasy feeling delivered through a retro-feeling synth-heavy score.

10. The Wicker Man (1973)
Paul Giovanni & Magnet

If you listened to The Wicker Man Soundtrack without watching the movie first you probably wouldn’t know it was for a horror movie. Composed by Paul Giovanni and performed by Magnet, it’s a weird mix of folk and children’s music that somehow is perfect for the film and makes it that much creepier.

9. Videodrome (1983)
Howard Shore

Would it really be a Cronenberg movie without a Howard Shore composed soundtrack? For as strange of a film as Videodrome is, the soundtrack was created in an even stranger manner. Everything was composed for an orchestra but played through a synthesizer and then combined with the same score played by a string section. You weren’t able to tell which source was which and it didn’t matter, the end result is one of the creepiest soundtracks of all time.

8. The Beyond (1981)
Fabio Frizzi

The Italian partnership between composer Fabio Frizzi and director Lucio Fulci was a beautiful one that gave us fantastic soundtracks like City of the Living Dead, Zombi 2 & Manhattan Baby. But it’s The Beyond which features a masterful atmospheric blend of synth-filled prog rock and with orchestral pieces eerie chanting.

7. The Keep (1983)
Tangerine Dream

German Prog Rock legends Tangerine Dream were no strangers to film soundtracks but the only horror film they scored besides Near Dark was The Keep. Even rarer was finding a copy of the soundtrack. Only 300 official copies were originally released which caused a flood of bootlegs.

Tangerine Dream fills this strange film with wailing guitars, disco beats, vocoders and overall synth mastery. It’s also a case of a soundtrack being better than the film itself.

6. Psycho (1960)
Bernard Herrmann

While Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is one of the most iconic movies of all time, it’s orchestral soundtrack is even more memorable. As soon as you hear the rough violins of “The Murder” you’re immediately transported to the bathroom in Marion Crane’s room at the Bates Motel.

5. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Kryzsztof Komeda

It’s not often you get a jazz legend like Krzysztof Komeda to score a movie, let alone a horror film. Komeda skilfully manages to blend jazz, orchestras and lullaby (sung by Mia Farrow) into a subtle yet eerily effective score for Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby.

4. Nosferatu (1978)
Popol Vuh

Werner Herzog’s remake of Nosferatu features one of the stranger soundtracks in horror with German “Krautrock” band Popol Vuh. Popol Vuh gives the film an unique sound that ranges from acoustic folk to synth that ranges from dark and dreary to light and hopeful. There’s nothing else that really sounds like it and somehow it fits the film perfectly.

3. Halloween (1978)
John Carpenter

With masterpiece soundtracks like The Fog, Assault on Precinct 13 and his collaboration with Alan Howarth on Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, choosing only one John Carpenter soundtrack was the hardest part of making this list.

A chilling blend of piano and synths, it made for the perfect slow-burn soundtrack for the suburban terror of Michael Myers. It’s mind boggling considering Carpenter was self-taught and didn’t know how to read or write music and the entire soundtrack for Halloween was written in 3 days.

2. The Thing (1982)
Ennio Morricone

Sometimes less really is more, especially in the case of Ennio Morricone’s minimalist score for John Carpenter’s big budget debut of The Thing. The partnership of Morricone, Carpenter and composer Alan Howarth made for a eerie mix of synths and orchestral strings that give you a near-constant feeling of paranoia.

1. Suspiria (1977)
Goblin

Clearly Dario Argento had a lot of faith in Italian Synth rock band Goblin’s Claudio Simonetti who wrote and recorded the soundtrack to Suspiria in only one day. It was definitely the right decision considering it became one of the best horror soundtracks of all-time.

This creepy mix of synths, pianos, bells and voices makes the film an immersive experience as it follows you throughout the prestigious dance academy. Some other great Goblin soundtracks that I didn’t include on the list are Profondo Rosso, Phenomena and Dawn of the Dead.

What’s YOUR favorite horror movie soundtrack? Be sure to let us know by commenting on Facebook or Instagram!

As a special bonus i’d like to share with you some of my personal vinyl movie soundtracks that I’ve had signed over the years.

Top 10 Tuesday: Sal’s Most Hated

What’s Top 10 Tuesday? It’s a new Top 10 List every Tuesday!

Here’s 10 movies I don’t enjoy.

10. Candyman Sequels

The Candyman is not a slasher. The first movie is masterclass horror movie about the memetic power of belief. The subsequent films traded that in for cheap slasher scares. I love Tony Todd and his iconic bogeyman, but the character deserved so much better after the carefully considered film that Bernard Rose gave us 25 years ago.

9. Human Centipede sequels & Saw Sequels

The ‘Pede trilogy should have stayed a one off. I get what the director was doing and I admire that he did it, and that he managed to get so meta with it, but he didn’t have to. <Insert deep thought about pushing limits when you should consider why you’re doing it>. The Saw sequels tie into this idea. The first Saw was a novelty, and a solid flick.

8. Squirm (1976)

This movie should have been so much better. Or at least way zanier. Better to leave this one to your imagination.

 

 

 

7. Cube (1997)

Watch Saw instead. If you want a good film by Natali watch the utterly insane Splice. This film though? I just didn’t enjoy it, and ultimately I left the film feeling… let down? I think that might have been it. I guess it was built up into something great and then… blah, a competent film that—had it not been touted so highly—I might have loved. I guess I recommend Saw because I still remember how the end of that film left me reeling.

6. Hostel (2005)

I get it, the movie was both transgressive and mainstream. It was the thing to watch when Eli Roth first released it, but it is not a good film either. It really isn’t. It was just ok. You want a good movie? Watch Cabin Fever. That movie was ridiculous and scary. Hostel is not. It’s extreme for extremity’s sake and it suffers for it. Also it basically spawned the utterly ridiculous Torture Porn sub-genre. A lot of money and time was wasted on the sub-genre and for what? It was a fad that faded away, and honestly I am glad that it has. Gore is great, but gore for gore’s sake starts to feel like an effects reel after a while. That’s what torture porn was to me, an effects reel.

5. High Tension (2003)

I love Alexandre Aja’s other films, especially the insanity that is Piranha 3D (which a talented filmmaker having the time of his life.) and Horns, which was a serviceable attempt at adapting the novel by Joe Hill. High Tension, or Haute Tension (or Switchblade Romance if you’re pretentious and smug and into trying to make people feel inferior. Seriously, you can only use this title if you’re British.) This movie however is one of those that I will never understand the love for. The ridiculous and inane twist (oh no, the heroine is actually also the bad guy) that comes in act three is more annoying and predictable than it is shocking. It does set up an interesting look at the themes of love and obsession but really those feel shoehorned in and left aside for shock value. I don’t even mind the twist all that much, it was a good idea except for the fact that Fight Club did it better.Or American Psycho. Or…well I am sure you see where I am taking this. It is a well made film, full of extreme gore and some unique kills but at the end of the day it is highly, highly overrated.

4. Them (2006)

A part of the new wave of French horror that swept the genre in the early 2000’s, this film is a pile of hot garbage. I loathed every second of it and found it entirely predictable and silly. Spoilers, the mysterious assailants are some local kids. Watch The Strangers instead if you are looking for a unique take on home invasion. Avoid this one.

3. Every Hellraiser movie besides I & II (1992-2011)

These are all lumped together because, even though they contain work by the great Doug Bradley, they are not good. These films are soulless cash grabs, made solely to extend the rights agreement held by Dimension. They really need to let the rights revert to Barker so he can do some justice for the long-dead series and get it back to its former glory. Honestly I am fine not acknowledging parts 2-10 but 2 is just so much fun.

2. Knock Knock (2015)

Keanu Reeves has been on a roll lately. John Wick and its sequel have revitalized the actor’s career and Hollywood presence but then there’s Knock Knock. I get it he did it for the simulated threeway and the somewhat interesting premise. Here’s the thing though, this is a bad, bad movie. It’s premise was handled in far better fashion in Hard Candy and the production (the direction, writing and all that jazz) just feels flat and awful. Reeves does give it his all though, so there’s that. I found it lacking and not deserving of the time it took to get to the end of the film. Watch Neon Demon instead, Reeves is super creepy in that one.

1. Baskin (2015)

I never understood all the love for this film. It’s nonsensical, boring and predictable. I gave it a watch because everyone said how utterly unique and amazing it was, and I was utterly disappointed in the film that I watched. False starts, loose plot points and the writers working themselves into a narrative corner (while abandoning seemingly more interesting plot points) all served to ruin the film for me.

See you next Tuesday for a more positive Top 10 List!