Classic Horror Movies And Their Theme Songs Appreciation Blog

Out of the 12 options, October is probably my favorite month. My birthday is in October, I love the cool fall weather, and nothing beats sitting back with a refreshing fall seasonal beer and watching some football. In addition to all of those things, I also love October because of horror movies

For whatever reason, I was very drawn to horror movies as a kid. Having cool parents that didn’t really care what I watched opened up the gates of the horror genre to me at an early age, and I was hooked right away. I still remember back in the early days of Netflix—before streaming, when it actually came in the mail—I used to eagerly check the mailbox every day after school and hope that whatever creepy movie I had queued up next was in there. Sure, I love comedies and action movies too, but there’s just something about feeling scared or seeing something gross that I loved as a kid and still do now

But despite my love of horror movies, I realized I don’t really have any blogs about them. Seeing as Halloween is tomorrow, I’ve decided to change that by doing a horror movie related blog (and possibly 2, if time permits)

One thing that really sticks out and makes horror movies so awesome to me are their soundtracks, particularly their main themes. So, in the spirit of Halloween, here are some classic horror movie themes that I love, along with some brief commentary about the movies


Psycho (1960)

Kicking off this blog is Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. A true horror classic, it gave birth to the slasher genre as we know it all the way back in 1960. Along with looking into the fucked up life of Norman Bates, this movie also has a killer soundtrack (pun intended). Psycho’s soundtrack really sets the mood and makes you feel the tension of every scene, and the iconic and repetitive high-pitched squeaks heard in the main theme never fail to make my hairs stand up. If I ever heard that sound while I was taking a shower, I would probably shit myself right there in the tub


Night Of The Living Dead (1968)

“They’re coming to get you, Barbara”. The second movie on my list is George A. Romero’s Night Of The Living Dead. This 1968 classic centers in on a group of strangers that take shelter in a farmhouse in rural Pennsylvania while a horde of zombies attack them. What Psycho did for slasher movies, Night Of The Living Dead did for zombie movies. Another similarity between this and Psycho is the music itself. Both have these sort of hectic orchestra pieces that do wonders for the atmosphere of each scene, and I think that plays a big part in what makes these movies such classics


The Exorcist (1973)

“The power of Christ compels you!”. I mean, this one is a gimme. The tale of a young girl that gets possessed by a demon scared the shit out of people back in 1973, especially those that are religious, but it has an even more iconic theme. Realistically, this and Halloween are the best horror themes ever, and I could change my views about which is better depending on the day. I haven’t checked the laws, but I feel like not including this song in my list would be an arrestable offense. Thankfully, the power of Christ compelled me to do so, so I remain a free man


Jaws (1975)

“We’re gonna need a bigger boat”. Spielberg’s film about a bloodthirsty shark terrorizing beachgoers on Martha’s Vineyard (Well, technically Amity) singlehandedly made people afraid of the beach back in 1976. Perhaps more memorable than the movie itself is the song that plays when Jaws when shit is about to go down. The Jaws theme song is one of the most recognizable in all of film, and that iconic “DUUNNN DUNNN, DUUNNN DUNNN” sequence that plays right before the shark attacks somebody is enough to make any swimmer piss themselves and start paddling toward shore. You don’t even have to be at the beach either. If I hear that music while I’m in a swimming pool, the bathtub, or even just taking a dump, I’m getting the hell out of there and running for safety


The Omen (1976)

This movie about a couple that adopts a creepy kid named Damien—who seems to cause the mysterious deaths of everybody around him—is scary enough by taking that into consideration, but the plot gets turned up a notch when you learn that he’s actually the antichrist. Probably a bad time to ask, but do foster homes do refunds? Asking for Mr. and Mrs. Peck. It’s only fitting that a movie about toddler satan would include a soundtrack with creepy Gregorian chants sung entirely in Latin, and The Omen has that in spades. It’s theme is called “Ave Satani”, which literally translates to “Hail Satan”, and it’s fittingly creepy as Hell. Side note: It’s an uncommon name, but anytime I meet somebody named Damien, I can’t help but think they’re The Devil because of this movie. Call it paranoia, but I look closely for 666 on their forehead whenever they aren’t looking. It might be rude, but I’d rather be safe than sorry


Suspiria (1977)

A young girl travels by herself to a strange ballet school in Germany where people keep going missing. What could possibly go wrong? This Argento classic is not only a directorial masterpiece, but it’s soundtrack kicks so much ass, as Italian horror movies usually do. The main theme is so creepy, but so beautiful at the same. If it didn’t have those weird “la la la” whispers, it would almost sound like a cheery jingle you’d hear at Christmas. But instead, it does have those unhuman noises, and therefore, the song is scary as fuck. A good underground/horrorcore rapper named Mr. Hyde actually sampled the Suspiria beat on their song “Knife In Your Spine”, which you can listen to here


Halloween (1978)

I sort of hinted at this one in my Exorcist excerpt, so no surprise that this one is here. John Carpenter’s Halloween introduced the world to Michael Myers: A psychopath who killed his family as a child, spent years in an insane asylum, and then escaped on Halloween to cock-block horny teenagers right as they’re about to have sex. This movie also introduced the world to an amazing piano riff, that as I said earlier, is rivaled only by The Exorcist. I know it’s in good company with the other movies on this list, but it really doesn’t get more iconic than this theme


Dawn Of The Dead (1978)

“When there’s no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the earth”. George A Romero followed up Night Of The Living Dead with Dawn Of The Dead 10 years later. I guess George really loved naming his movies after times in the day, seeing as he then followed this up with Day Of The Dead in 1985. Which makes me wonder, why didn’t Dusk Of The Dead ever get made? That name sounds pretty badass if you ask me, but let’s get back to Dawn Of The Dead. In this movie, we find a group of people hunkered down in a shopping mall while the world falls apart and is overtaken by zombies. So what do they decide to do? Live it up and go on a shopping spree of course. The movie and it’s music are both great, the latter having been produced by Goblin. Remember earlier how I said Italians make great soundtracks? Case in point right here, as this theme and the rest of the soundtrack creates the perfect level of dread that you’d expect if undead cannibals took over the world


The Amityville Horror (1979)

Moving into a house where somebody snapped and killed their entire family the year before is bad enough, but it becomes a whole lot worse when weird supernatural stuff starts happening. This is the predicament The Lutz Family find themselves in during this movie, and they really should have taken the movie cover’s advice and just got out of that house for God’s sake. What makes the theme of this movie so creepy is that it’s not creepy. It differs from the rest of the songs on this list because it sounds very happy, and if it weren’t attached to this movie, you’d probably imagine this is what would listen to while prancing through a meadow or something. But combined with this movie, it somehow becomes scary because it isn’t scary. Does that make any sense? Probably not, but I tried


Friday The 13th (1980)

“CHHH CHHH CHHH, AHHH AHHH AHHH”. The first installment of The Friday The 13th Franchise featured teenage counselors getting stalked and killed for an hour and a half, and that simple formula has held up over time. Contrary to popular belief, the killer in this movie isn’t Jason, but rather has batshit crazy mom who is trying to avenge the death of Jason. Most people are confused the first time they watch this movie because of this. They know Jason from Halloween costumes and whatnot, so when he isn’t really in this movie (besides at the very end to scare the shit out of you) it always throws people off. This theme is similar to what I said about Psycho and Night Of The Living Dead, as it also has a hectic violin (I think) that screeches and mimics the intensity of getting chased by a murderer. I never got to live out the childhood chiche of going to summer camp when I was a kid, but I’m thankful, because I could have ended up at Camp Crystal Lake

The Shining (1980)

“Here’s Johnny!”. Finishing up my list of classic horror movies and their themes is Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, it’s about a writer who—with the help of both cabin fever and the ghosts in the hotel he’s watching—goes insane and tries to kill his family. I’ve joked in blogs a few times that there have been moments during these Covid lockdowns that I started to feel like Jack Torrance, but thankfully I haven’t grabbed an axe (yet). I love the theme to this movie because of a very minor detail in it. That detail is the sort of Native American-sounding chants or screams that it has, I don’t know how else to describe them. It makes sense to add them in there because the hotel is supposedly built on a Native American burial ground, which is probably why the place is haunted. There’s just something so creepy about those chants, but not nearly as creepy as those twin girls standing in the hallway

And that’s all for now folks. I enjoyed taking this little trip down the memory lane of horror, and I hope you did too

Like I said at the beginning of this blog, I might make a Part 2 to this tomorrow if I find the time because I do have plenty of other movies on my mind. If I don’t, I guess those will just have to wait until next year

Happy Halloween everybody!

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