The 10 Most Terrifying Soundtracks of All Time
By Jon Wiederhorn
Some of the scariest movies have featured the most terrifying scores, but that's not always the case. Often, great horror movies use dull soundtracks that either come across like a wall-to-wall jukebox of hard rock radio hits or a predictable soundbed of classical music that rises and dips with the action of the film.
But when the formula is just right, the music that accompanies a horror film acts as an integral element that's as important as the cinematography, building the tension of the story and providing sonic motifs at key moments. Here are 10 of the creepiest, most haunting horror film scores ever recorded.
10. Friday the 13th - Harry Manfredini
Strings that swirl, glide, and violently shriek, and horns that start out soft and ominously build create a menacing tone that complement the action in this chase 'n' slash classic. But the most memorable element of Manfredini's score is the echoing, breathy whispers that foreshadow a horrific kill. "Kii, kiii,kii, haa, haa, haa."
9. Hellraiser - Christopher Young
The music in the Hellraiser soundtrack won't "tear your soul apart," but it subtly gnaws at the nervous system with its eerie, minor-key orchestration, dissonant, climactic passages, and fear-inducing noises, including bell, harp, string, and percussive echoes that will have you looking behind your chair even before Pinhead and his minions arrive to to do their evil bidding. Beautifully arranged and executed, the score works as a complete, darkly romantic symphony from start to finish.
8. Rosemary's Baby - Krzysztof Komeda
The lullaby song that propels this Roman Polanski classic is both gorgeous and harrowing. Beyond the main theme, Polish jazz composer Krzysztof Komeda creates fully orchestrated melodies that are variously whimsical and at other times foreboding and eerie.