IMDb Polls

Poll: Top 10 Horror Movie Soundtracks of All Time

The best horror movie soundtracks of all time from some iconic composers. Info, Trivia, and Soundtrack links included.

Which of these haunting harmonies is your favourite?

Discuss this List here

Make Your Choice

  1. Vote!

    Halloween (1978)

    Composer: John Carpenter

    Perhaps the most iconic of Carpenters 35 soundtrack credits. The repetitious minor melody invokes fear and dread. The piece was recorded by The Bowling Green Philharmonic Orchestra.


  2. Vote!

    The Exorcist (1973)

    Composer: Lalo Schifrin, Mike Oldfield

    Lalo Schifrin’s score was originally rejected by director William Friedkin due to pressure on the studio to tone the music down, after audiences were left overly scared. The decision was made to use modern classical compositions, the most famous being Mike Oldfield’s 1973 “Tubular Bells”. It was then sampled for the main theme.


  3. Vote!

    The Shining (1980)

    Composer: Wendy Carlos, Rachel Elkind

    This soundtrack featured liberal use of Krzystof Penderecki’s pre-existing compositions particularly in the climatic moments. Carlos & Eklind's tones can be heard most notably in the opening credits and set the tone for the film perfectly.


  4. Vote!

    Candyman (1992)

    Composer: Philip Glass

    Possibly one of the more elegant pieces on the list, Philip Glass encompasses the movies' romanticism with his amalgamation of pretty piano and haunting organ.


  5. Vote!

    Phantasm (1979)

    Composer: Fred Myrow, Malcom Seagrave

    When classically trained composers with a love of rock music are asked to create a film soundtrack, this is what you get. A spooky 8th note piano theme evolves through layers of modern instruments.


  6. Vote!

    The Omen (1976)

    Composer: Jerry Goldsmith

    This Academy Award winning pieces' main theme, "Ave Satani" is a harrowing meld of choral chants and itchy orchestral staccato. Said Goldsmith, who was nominated for the Best Original Score Oscar eight times earlier without a victory, "I was very surprised when I won for The Omen since, I didn't think it was the kind of film Academy voters would go for."


  7. Vote!

    Psycho (1960)

    Composer: Bernard Herrmann

    The seething orchestral intensity that is Psycho always manages to unsettle the viewer from the very open. Interestingly, Hitchcock had wanted the shower scene to transpire without music, just Janet Leigh's screams. Herrmann offered those forcibly played, high-pitched strings and the rest is history.


  8. Vote!

    The Wicker Man (1973)

    Composer: Paul Giovanni, Magnet

    This soundtrack could easily be mistaken for a collection of traditional British folk songs but, when heard within the context of the film, the ancient-sounding songs take on a darker, more disturbing tone.


  9. Vote!

    Rosemary's Baby (1968)

    Composer: Krzysztof Komeda

    Komeda's Jazz connections come through in this subtle piece but, there's something more sinister coming from between the La-la-la's of a young Mia Farrow.


  10. Vote!

    Jaws (1975)

    Composer: John Williams

    Williams’ ominous, now iconic theme became the key to this picture's terror. The impending "Da-da" that built to what could only be expected as a horrific crescendo makes it one of the most important musical themes ever written for cinema.


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