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The 10 Scariest Film Scores Ever

Updated on October 27, 2021

10 Scary Film Scores: The Best Horror and Thriller Soundtracks

If it weren't for the scary music that accompanies a horror or thriller movie, that movie might not have the same impact on its audience that the director would have hoped for.

Some of the best known and most popular films in the horror genre also have some of the most recognisable music in movie history. Just hearing it without seeing the film can scare the living daylights out of a lot of people, but marry those chords and notes with a well directed chiller and then you have the makings of a top notch fright night.

So, why not dim the lights, grab a pillow (or the person sitting next to you) and prepare yourself for some of the scariest film scores ever recorded.

1. Halloween: John Carpenter

One of horror's most famous themes was composed by the director of Halloween, John Carpenter.

2. Psycho: Bernard Herrmann

Bernard Herrmann's soundtrack to Hitchcock's movie Psycho is one of the film world's most recognisable scores, and one that you should never play when taking a shower!

3. The Omen: Jerry Goldsmith

You'll have a Devil of a time listening to Jerry Goldsmith's score to the movie The Omen, the first of which introduced us to the Antichrist, Damien.

4. The Exorcist: Mike Oldfield

Taken from Mike Oldfield's best selling album Tubular Bells, his composition was an excellent marriage to the ominous and horrific tale of a young girl in The Exorcist.

5. Alien: Jerry Goldsmith

Another Jerry Goldsmith composition accompanied the crew and its unwelcome guest aboard a spaceship bound for Earth in Alien.

6. The Amityville Horror: Lalo Schifrin

The highly respected composer Lalo Schifrin wrote the soundtrack music to the allegedly true story of a family experiencing horrifying paranormal events after having moved into a house where a mass murder had been committed.

7. The Shining: Hector Berlioz

The movie version of Stephen King's The Shining not only dramatized the claustrophobic and eerie atmosphere of an isolated and possessed hotel, but also included one of the creepiest soundtracks, enhancing the feeling of impending horror.

8. Saw: Charlie Clouser

Known as Hello Zepp, Charlie Clouser's signature theme to the Saw series of movies has appeared throughout the franchise and adapted to the changing situations and various victims of the Jigsaw Killer.

9. Jaws: John Williams

No list of scary soundtracks would be complete without John Williams' superb theme to the movie Jaws.

10. Friday the 13th: Harry Manfredini

Any resemblance to Bernard Herrmann's signature music to the shower scene in Psycho is no doubt unintentional, but Harry Manfredini's soundtrack music to Friday the 13th has some uncanny similarities to Hitchcock's classic in this most famous of slasher movies. Maybe because of the knife.

Which of these 10 film scores do you find the scariest?

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Thank you for visiting! Is there a movie score that you find scary that is not included here? Please let us know below.

© 2010 Richard


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