As October moves forward spook enthusiasts everywhere are getting their yearly fix on all things scary. This week let’s talk about Halloween movies and their theme songs. The following is a list of five movies with a theme song that screams Halloween. What other movie theme songs can you think of that make you think of Halloween?
Nothing says creepy like a full-grown man peeping on an unsuspecting woman then killing her dressed as his mother. Psycho, the 1960 psychological horror was released with mixed reviews but is often considered to be Alfred Hitchcock's best film. The movie’s score was composed by Bernard Herrmann who reluctantly accepted the gig at a reduced fee. Due to budgetary restraints, Herrmann opted to write for a string orchestra giving the score an eery and suspenseful feel throughout the movie.
Directed by Stanley Kubrick, The Shining released in 1980 with mixed reviews. The psychological horror was initially reviewed by Janet Maslin of the New York Times stating that “the supernatural story knows frustratingly little rhyme or reason” Other reviews noted the film’s slow pacing and difficulty connecting with the story’s characters. Yet despite the complaints, Kubrick’s The Shining still grossed over $620,000 over the four-day release weekend placing it in the third highest-grossing opening weekend film behind Star Wars and The Rose. The movie’s main title theme was composed by Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind. During the scoring of the film, Carlos complained about the amount of work that never made it to the film. Having experienced something similar during her work on Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange, Carlos became frustrated and vowed to never work with the director again.
Impending motherhood typically conjures ideas of rosy cheeks and sweet lullabies, but not for this 1968 psychological horror. Rosemary’s Baby directed by Roman Polanski is a mix of paranoia, women’s rights, religion, and the literal spawn of satan. The opening lullaby in the film sets an uneasy tone with a sweet feminine voice against a chilling melody. The lullaby titled “Sleep Safe and Warm was sung by Mia Farrow herself and composed by Krzysztof Komeda.
As we learned from Rosemary’s Baby, children can be terrifying. The 1976 Richard Donner film The Omen is no exception. The supernatural horror detailing the birth and rise of the antichrist is spooky enough to question any child with a mysterious look in their eyes. The main theme song “Ave Satani” is powerful and chilling featuring full orchestral accompaniment against a foreboding choir. The composer Jerry Goldsmith struggled with the score until inspiration hit, resulting in “I hear voices.” Although the statement was said to his wife about hearing the choir in his head, the quote seems to share the same supernatural and disturbing feel as the movie itself.
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