Shivering Songs

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Halloween is just around the corner and horror movies are here to make us enjoy the season of jump scares, and one of the most important features in a horror movie is the music. The films can set the atmosphere not only with creepy noises but with a terrifying film score. Many of this soundtracks have passed on to cinema history.

Let’s check some of those soundtracks that give us goosebumps every time we hear them.

The Hills Have Eyes

The original idea was the creation of the master of slasher films Wes Craven, who is known for creating the franchise of ‘A nightmare on Elm Street’ and ‘Scream’. The movie plot revolves around a family who is attacked by a group of savages in a remote part of the Nevada desert.

We have two versions of the theme, the one from 1977 and the remake from 2006. The former theme by Don Peake, has an eerie touch of experimental sounds from metal strings and wind instruments. The latter by Tomandandy & François-Eudes Chanfrault, uses computer generated sounds, electric guitar and violins with only a few bits resembling the original.

Final Destination

Imagine escaping death from a horrible accident only to realize that it’s still hunting you down. That’s the main idea of the Final Destination franchise, it starts with a group of people who survive a mass-casualty accident thanks to a person who had a premonition just a few moments before it happened.

The theme is dark and filled with suspense, Shirley Walker through her music warns you in every scene that danger is near. Playing with the air and string instruments she created tension and drama to specific moments of the film. The percussion instruments give the final touch to the most intense scenes.


Another slasher film directed by Wes Craven, tells the story of a high school girl who is being stalked by a serial killer with a ghost mask. The movie regards many of the typical clichés that many horror movies use as a dramatic resource. The soundtrack written by Marco Beltrami was acclaimed for its intriguing composition.

The soundtrack sets a terrifying mood of suspense and a pinch of chilling women voices singing a sad tune.

The Ring

It’s a remake of the Japanese horror film “Ringu”, directed by Gore Verbinkski and released in 2002. It’s an unnerving story about a videotape that kills whoever watches it, unless they make a copy to keep the curse alive. The master mind behind this film score is the one and only Hans Zimmer, Academy Award winner for Best Original Soundtrack for The Lion King and numerous nominations to recognized awards. 

Zimmer took advantage of the classic Japanese sweet piano to create a gloomy atmosphere and reprise the original soundtrack. It’s an elegant composition that fits perfectly in each scene of this unsettling film. Seven days…

A Nightmare on Elm Street

We talked about its creator before, Wes Craven wrote and directed this iconic supernatural slasher film. Freddy Krueger is a serial killer with the ability of murdering his victims in their sleep. Through their nightmares, Krueger stalks a group of teenagers until he manages to kill them one by one.

Charles Bernstein created a theme very characteristic from the 80’s. He plays with the subtle sound of the keyboard and computer generated sounds to create a tense atmosphere in the film. It’s a tune you wouldn’t like to dream about.

Resident Evil

The film series is based on the popular game by Capcom, starring Milla Jovovich and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. It’s a zombie apocalypse originated by a virus and the mission is to stop the infection from spreading. It’s an exciting combination between science fiction, horror and a bunch of action.

The composition by Marco Beltrami for this theme is mainly originated by computer and metal music combination. It was very common in the 2000’s action movies to employ metal music in the climatic action scenes and this film wasn’t the exception. Unlike the themes of this list, the Resident Evil soundtrack possesses a variation from a subtle intriguing mood to an explosive scenario where zombie heads are being chopped off.

There are many other horror themes worth mentioning, like the one from Halloween by John Carpenter which is very recognizable or the recent 2015 soundtrack from The Witch by Mark Korven.

These themes set the mood to introduce you into a world that we’re all glad we’ll never see in person.


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