If you’re a horror movie fan, then you know that a great soundtrack can enhance the fear factor and leave you trembling in your seat. Here are some of the scariest movie monster themes that give us nightmares.
The theme from Jaws is instantly recognizable with its simple two-note motif that represents the lurking terror beneath the ocean’s surface. Composed by John Williams, the music builds slowly as the shark approaches, creating an unnerving sense of suspense.
The Halloween theme, composed by John Carpenter, is a haunting melody that is synonymous with the film’s unstoppable killer, Michael Myers. Its simple piano melody combined with repetitive synthesizer notes create a feeling of impending doom.
The eerie, otherworldly sounds of Jerry Goldsmith’s score for Alien perfectly capture the claustrophobic alien atmosphere aboard the Nostromo. The music adds to the tense, suspenseful moments, making the scenes where the alien strikes even more terrifying.
4. The Exorcist
Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells” is the chilling theme that plays throughout the movie The Exorcist. The mix of haunting piano notes and eerie chimes create a feeling of foreboding throughout the entire film, and the music is just as unsettling as the visuals.
Composed by Bernard Herrmann, the iconic score for Psycho includes the unforgettable, screeching violins that accompany the infamous shower scene. The music sets the tone for the film’s intense psychological horror, and the sharp, stabbing sounds of the violins capture the terror of the stabbing.
6. King Kong
Max Steiner’s score for King Kong features a relentless theme that perfectly captures the primal energy of the giant ape. The pounding drums and blaring brass create a sense of danger, and the music punctuates the epic showdown between Kong and the city.
Composed by Franz Waxman, the score for Frankenstein is ominous and foreboding. The Gothic organ music sets the mood for the dark, ominous story filled with science, creation, and destruction. The music builds to a crescendo as the monster comes to life.
Akira Ifukube’s score for the original Godzilla film is intense and fiery, just like the monster himself. The music features pounding drums and a blaring brass section that create a sense of rampaging terror. The Godzilla theme is instantly recognizable as a symbol of destruction.
9. Bram Stoker’s Dracula
The score for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, composed by Wojciech Kilar, is haunting and beautiful. The sweeping orchestral pieces create a romantic and eerie atmosphere that is peppered with darkness and despair. It perfectly captures the doomed love story between Dracula and Mina.
10. A Nightmare on Elm Street
The music for A Nightmare on Elm Street, composed by Charlie Bernstein, features a synthesizer track with an eerie, plodding melody that creates a dreamlike atmosphere. The music adds to the surreal quality of the film and creates a sense of dread and anticipation.
In conclusion, these soundtracks prove that great music can take a horror movie to the next level of scariness. Whether it’s the suspenseful two-note motif in Jaws or the haunting melody of Halloween, the music heightens the fear factor and leaves us petrified in our seats.