Halloween is the time to put on your favorite spooky tracks or just play all the songs you love year-round for your normie friends.
Of course, myriad instrumental songs are instantly recognizable and iconic, such as in the case of A24’s Talk To Me’s “Le Monde” by Richard Carter, taking over TikTok and Instagram Reels. Additionally, Michael Abels’ thrilling compositions brought Jordan Peele’s Get Out, Us, and Nope to life with rousing instrumentals, including “Pas de Deux” and “Preparing The Trap.” Of course, who could forget the goat, the OG, “The Master Of Horror,” himself, John Carpenter? The “Prince of Darkness” has built the Halloween season into what it is today with the likes of Michael Myers and the 1978 film themes that have stood the test of time. If you need a little pick-me-up, you certainly can’t go wrong with streaming Carpenter’s Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998, which features works from The Fog, The Thing, Christine, and many more.
While these instrumental Halloween hits are undeniably perfect for playlist additions this October 31, some horror movie soundtracks have the ideal mix of alternative artists with no skips required. Here are the top five Halloween movie soundtracks that will set the perfect scene for a party, trick-or-treating background music, and beyond.
Diablo Cody’s Jennifer’s Body is both a time capsule of 2009 as well as a camp film masterpiece. From iconic lines such as, “You’re lime green jello, and you can’t even admit it to yourself,” and “Hell is a teenage girl,” to Halloween costume inspo from Megan Fox’s various depictions of lead antagonist Jennifer Check, it’s the ultimate horror comedy. Of course, scene kids can identify with all of the movie’s characters when it comes to band posters plastered over bedroom walls. Between Fall Out Boy, Motion City Soundtrack, and Four Year Strong pictures interlaced in the background, of course, there has to be an alternative soundtrack to match the vibe.
Perhaps the best-known tracks from Jennifer’s Body include Panic! At The Disco’s “New Perspective,” Cute Is What We Aim For’s “Time,” and “Teenagers” by Hayley Williams. You’ll also hear songs from Florence + The Machine, Cobra Starship, and Dashboard Confessional. Of course, you can’t skip “Through The Trees” by the greatest short-lived fictional rock band, Low Shoulder.
Brandon Lee’s The Crow appeals to Halloween lovers, comic book collectors, and goths, alike. In the biz, we call that a “triple threat.” Of course, the 1994 supernatural film would be nothing without an accompanying gothic, industrial rock, and metal soundtrack via Atlantic Records. The Cure’s Robert Smith was such a fan of the comic books that he recorded a brand-new exclusive song for the film, “Burn,” instead of the original option of “The Hanging Garden,” as its lyrics had appeared in the graphic novel by James O’Barr. Beyond The Cure, Nine Inch Nails made a major impact on the compilation with their cover of Joy Division’s “Dead Souls” as well as Rage Against The Machine with “Darkness.” Other artists with contributions include Stone Temple Pilots, Violent Femmes, and The Jesus And Mary Chain.
In 2024, Bill Skarsgård is set to reprise the role of Eric Draven in The Crow reboot, and we could not be more thrilled. We are so hopeful that the Pennywise actor will breathe new life into the character with an accompanying soundtrack full of heavy and hearty goth bangers.
Queen Of The Damned
In Queen Of The Damned, Lestat de Lioncourt, played by Stuart Townsend, is revived as an American rock god and wakes Akasha, the queen of the vampires, portrayed by Aaliyah. This makes total sense, as the music was produced by Richard Gibbs and Korn’s own Jonathan Davis. It turns out that vampires just cannot get enough nu-metal. The genre transcended the whole soundtrack with the likes of Chester Bennington, formerly of Linkin Park performing “System,” and Deftones with “Change (In The House Of Flies).” Additionally, Disturbed’s most popular hit, “Down With The Sickness,” and Papa Roach’s “Dead Cell” from 2001’s Infest also made appearances on the album. Truly, a nu-metal dream… or nightmare!
House Of 1000 Corpses
Rob Zombie fans, I don’t need to tell you that this is one of the ultimate gruesome films with an accompanying creepy soundtrack, but of course, I need to spotlight the “Dragula” singer for his work. Zombie not only directed the film starring the well-known antagonist Captain Spaulding, but he provided nearly all of the music for House Of 1000 Corpses, too. From the title track all the way to “Run Rabbit Run” and “Scarecrow Attack,” Zombie’s industrial rock, guttural vocals lend another layer of fear to the cult-followed killer clown movie. Plus, for classic rock fans, there’s a brief reprieve on the track list in the form of “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue” by Ramones.
The Saw franchise does not miss on their soundtracks, especially when it comes to the climactic main theme by Charlie Clouser, the composer for the instrumental themes across all of the movies. However, Saw VI has one of the most impressive metalcore and heavy metal soundtracks for any film ever. From the classic Type O Negative track “Dead Again” to Every Time I Die’s “Roman Holiday,” this soundtrack marries generations of metal into one superior playlist. Jigsaw’s most devious “games” are played as the likes of Lacuna Coil, Mushroomhead, Converge, Memphis May Fire, and more offer their riffs and screams in the background. Certainly, putting on this horror movie soundtrack will not feel like a trap.