Five great horror soundtracks to play this Halloween

It’s finally Halloween! The greatest night of the year. We’ll wake up tomorrow to a world of Christmas music, but for tonight: the world is ours, horror fans!

I love a good horror movie soundtrack any time, but I’ve chosen five of my favourites to listen to tonight. Don’t (or do) listen to them alone tonight. But be sure to lock the doors.

1. Deep Red (Profondo rosso) by Goblin and Giorgio Gaslini

Goblin’s soundtrack for Suspiria typically gets more love. I get it, it’s one hell of a soundtrack (and my personal top five). But there’s something very interesting and exciting about Profondo rosso. This giallo’s score switches seamlessly between Goblin’s progressive sounds, to the incredibly creeping singing of a child, to Gaslini’s more traditional pieces. Even if you just seek out the title track, it’s worth it. But “Mad Puppet” is really the jewel in the crown here. It’s a bit funky, like if you feeling a bit cool before you’re about to die.

2. Halloween (2018) by John and Cody Carpenter, Daniel Davies

Including this just because you’ve probably listened to the original once or twice already. This is an updated take on Carpenter’s soundtrack from the 1978 original, and it feels a lot more industrial because of it. Come for the familiarity, stay for the excellence.

3. City of the Living Dead (Paura nella città dei morti viventi aka Fear in the Town of the Living Dead)by Fabio Frizzi

Ominous and foreboding, this is Frizzi at his finest. City of the Dead is surreal and shocking (like most of Lucio Fulci’s work), but Frizzi has always complimented his vision well. It might not be your favourite movie, but the soundtrack is always glorious.

4. It Follows by Disasterpiece

Easily the most unsettling on this list. While It Follows is already a few years old now, its soundtrack still sounds like the future of horror. You can find its 80s synth inspirations everywhere now. While there are lighter moments (“Jay”, “Detroit”), much of the soundtrack builds to painful stretches of suspense (“Heels”). I can’t listen to “Inquiry” without getting goosebumps. Sure, it’s just music, but are you sure there’s nothing following you?

5. Carnival of Souls by Gene Moore

Want to remember those fond feelings of being terrified in church? Well, look no further than this eerie organ-based soundtrack by Gene Moore. The music immediately invokes the feelings of loneliness and desperation Mary feels throughout her journey. Definitely not one great to play at parties. This was movie made on a shoestring budget, but somehow the soundtrack (and the movie) defied all of that to create something really special.

What will you be listening tonight? Sticking to “The Monster Mash”? Probably for the best…if you want to sleep tonight.

Wicked Wednesday

Turns out it is already the 8th of October, which is possibly the most obscene thing that has happened to me today and that’s including the bizarre video I watched this morning. There has been a lot of soul searching in the past week (mostly because my laptop has been broken – amazing what that does to a person) about the direction of this blog. That happens a lot as I seem to write about the ideas for  this blog more than that actual writing. But as every person in my life has told me: just keep writing.

So the “just keep pushing through” has arrived at one idea. Even though we are a week gone, this month there will be something eerie taking over: Wicked Wednesdays or “spooky tunes you need this October.”

This Wednesday is a particularly skin crawling soundtrack from the 1977 Italian horror film Suspiria. The film follows a young ballerina who has just moved to a new academy in Germany. She believes there to be a coven of witches controlling the school. What follows is a generous blood bath of gore and horror. Dario Argento’s masterpiece is more than just a visual feast for the eyes – the music is crafted so well you’ll find yourself looking over your shoulder to see if someone else is sitting in the room listening with you.

Goblin, produced the score for Argent’s movie and still preform live with screenings of the film. The result is one of the most interesting soundtracks of the time. Just take a listen to the main theme:

There are more familiar themes from 70’s horror like The Exorcist’s “Tubular Bells” or Halloween‘s main theme, but “Suspiria” is one of the most effective.  The combination of the sweet chiming bells and the indistinguishable yet threatening whispers makes for one fantastic opening number. It’s dark, verging on unsettling.

The rest of the score follows suit: screams, heart-racing drums, the simple silence of someone breathing. A bit dated perhaps, but nothing has ever come close to being as terrifying as anything produced after. Suspiria has a soundtrack that is a necessary listen at this time of the year.

Just maybe don’t listen alone.