My Top Ten Horror Movie Scores & Soundtracks

A movie’s score and/or soundtrack of songs is extremely important to me as I think the right music can make a good movie into a great one or even a bad movie into a cult classic. When you think of the biggest Oscar films, almost all of them had award winning scores from highly respected composers. When I think of my own personal all-time favorite movies, the majority have brilliant scores that helped to suck me into that magical movie world that only the very best composers can help create. Can you imagine The Good, The Bad And The Ugly without Ennio Morricone’s amazing score?? (No. You cannot.)

I’m very picky when it comes to the horror genre & have loved very few horror films since the 70s & 80s. I do find it interesting that most of my all-time favorite old horrors are on this list of scores, though. It goes to show that they used to put so much more effort into these films than they do now, even down to the scores (but I do have a couple fairly current films on the list too). I think the score is even more important in horrors as the mood & atmosphere are fundamental to this genre. I don’t understand why so many modern horrors put so little effort into using a score effectively to create the right mood. Oh well – this genre is showing more promise again so maybe we’ll see a return to great horror scores.

More than anything, I love a good musical score that has been composed for a film but do also appreciate when a soundtrack of great songs, whether existing or new, are put together for a movie’s soundtrack. So my top ten will consist of scores but there are a few horror soundtracks that I really love so I didn’t want to exclude them.

Here are a few Horror Movie Soundtracks That I Love:

Maximum Overdrive (1986)
Composer: AC/DC

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Composer: Danny Elfman

The Lost Boys (1987)
Composer: Thomas Newman Score/Various Artists Soundtrack:

Dawn Of The Dead (2004)
Composer: Tyler Bates Score/Various Artists Soundtrack

And now onto My Top Ten Horror Movie Scores (and their composers):

Honorable Mentions:

The Fog (1980)
Composer: John Carpenter
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Composer: Krzysztof Komeda
The Shining (1980)
Composer: Wendy Carlos/Rachel Elkind
The Omen (1976)
Composer: Jerry Goldsmith

Top Ten:

10. It Follows (2014)
Composer: Disasterpeace

9. Suspiria (1977)
Composer: Dario Argento/Goblin

8. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
Composer: Charles Bernstein

7. Psycho (1960)
Composer: Bernard Herrmann

6. The Thing (1982)
Composer: Ennio Morricone/John Carpenter/Alan Howarth

5. Jaws (1975)
Composer: John Williams

4. 28 Days Later… (2002)
Composer: John Murphy

3. The Exorcist (1973)
Composer: Mike Oldfield

2. Dawn Of The Dead (1978)
Composer: Goblin/Dario Argento/De Wolfe Music Library

1. Halloween (1978)
Composer: John Carpenter

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My Top Ten Color Movies

As I already did My Top Ten Songs With Colors In The Titles, I was naturally going to do movie titles at some point too. The interesting thing is that the color songs are WAY better than the color movies! There were loads of songs I love in that list but I can’t say I totally love many of these movies (although I do really like several).

Oh well! It was still fun making this list. Hopefully I haven’t forgotten an absolute favorite. I suppose a top ten list of actors with colors in their names should be next… Betty White would probably top that list! Betty White rules.

Anyway! Here are My Top Ten Color Movies (counting down from 20 because I’m awkward):

My Top 20:

20. Black Sheep (2006)
19. Red Eye
18. Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
17. The Red Balloon
16. Men In Black
15. The Hunt For Red October
14. Blue Velvet
13. The Black Cauldron
12. Blue Valentine
11. Meet Joe Black

My Top Ten:

10. Blue Is The Warmest Color

9. Colors

8. White Oleander

7. Silver Bullet

6. A Clockwork Orange

5. Pink Floyd The Wall

4. Yellow Submarine

3. Pretty In Pink

2. The Green Mile

1. Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs

I just couldn’t rank anything higher than a classic Disney film. I miss the old days of Disney! They’ve managed to make some really good films in recent years too but nothing will top the classics for me.

Now, there are so many “Color Movies” that I’m going to have to mention some more.

Honorable Mentions:

Ruby Sparks
Fried Green Tomatoes
The Pink Panther (1963)
Silver Linings Playbook
Dead Snow 2: Red Vs Dead
Red Dawn
Purple Rain
Moulin Rouge
White Men Can’t Jump
Black Christmas
White Christmas
Crimson Tide (although it sounds like it belongs in My Top Ten Period Dramas)
The Black Hole
The Golden Compass

Two Movies I Really Don’t Like:

Blue Ruin (HATE!)
Pitch Black (ugh)

What I’ve Left Out:

There were loads of movies I had to leave out of this list, mostly because I haven’t actually seen them. I’d love to hear suggestions of ones not in this list in case I missed a big one but it’s very likely I just haven’t have seen your suggestions. I’ve been wanting to see the French Three Colors Trilogy films for years (I will someday, I promise!) and I have to once again admit my shame at not seeing Jackie Brown (the only Tarantino besides The Hateful Eight that I haven’t seen).

Finally, I just have to mention how a lot of the movies in this list happen to have amazing soundtracks! The Walter (now Wendy) Carlos score for A Clockwork Orange is one of my all-time favorites. Snow White has great songs, of course, since it’s a classic Disney movie as does Pretty In Pink since John Hughes always had good taste in song choice. Then there are three actual music movies from fantastic artists in this list: The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, Pink Floyd The Wall, and Prince’s Purple Rain.

But I want to highlight one composer who did four of the films on this list: Thomas Newman. I feel he’s always overlooked yet he’s done so many of my absolute favorite scores for movies such as The Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty, Finding Nemo, and WALL-E. In this list, he scored White Oleander, Fried Green Tomatoes, Meet Joe Black, and The Green Mile.

The Green Mile & Meet Joe Black scores are absolutely brilliant so I wasn’t sure what piece to post but decided to go with Newman’s Whisper Of A Thrill from Meet Joe Black. It’s such a beautiful piece and the movie itself is judged rather harshly at times. I know my hubby likes the film even more than I do – I think it’s a pretty big favorite of his. Part of this will be down to the score, as both of us are suckers for a great score. Have a listen: πŸ™‚

**Quick question: What’s your favorite color? Let me know in the comments! Mine is most definitely GREEN. πŸ™‚