Written by Bobby Ramos
Many believe that a great horror film has to have a great monster, great direction or acting, personally to me a lot of those elements would mean nothing without a great soundtrack. Now I am not talking about a mix tape soundtrack (Though Return Of The Living Dead was a Super Bad Ass Soundtrack). I am talking about songs that let you know what you are getting yourself into, that can tell you the story by letting chords speak and also will make you remember what Impending Doom sounds like. Here are the Top 10 Horror Themes.
10.) THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY:
Music by Romano "Walter" Rizzati
Starting off light we have a favorite Fulci of mine, This song starts off with a haunting organ riff then let's in the innocence of an accompanying synth rhythm and drum beat and the vocal point is a ghostly "Lala" of a small children Orchestra. This Story of a House with a horrible history that lines the walls with death and squatters from the after life the is bestowed upon an un-expecting family have left a place in my heart and mind thanks to this Beautiful Score.
9.) SESSION 9:
The Climax Golden Twins
This movie scared the bejesus out of me when I first saw it, The trailer even creeped me out mainly cause of the slow climbing piano as well as the bass riffs, the entire score has you feel like you are trapped inside the real life Danvers Hospital where our heroes are trying to stay sane and above all alive. I dare you to listen to this soundtrack alone at night.
8.) SILENT HOUSE:
No official soundtrack was released for this one. Though I really enjoyed the film until the ending which seemed like they really didn't know how to end it properly. But the acting was great, the entire filming in real time is what sold me and it delivered. Nathan Larson provides us with a slow moving and almost exhausted sounding string display with ambient noises that sound like you are listening to music underwater, which describes the scenery of the film very well (With an almost Silent Hill type influence). The main protagonist is going through all these moments in her home and seems to be uncovering secrets behind the closed doors of this house she would often visit with her Father and Uncle as a child.
7.) RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD:
Whenever this would come on CH.13 KCOP Los Angeles I would freak the hell out because I knew it to be the movie where Zombies ran and talked, though I could never make myself change the channel because it was a fun movie to watch plus I had a crush on Trash (Who didn't?). The use of Electronic drums and Synthesizers were very popular around this time in music, but if we learned anything from Goblin is that these instruments can be as frightening as the non mechanical predecessors. All these sounds going off at once make you struggle to get some space between you and whatever is around you for the walls are closing in and you might possibly get your brains eaten. Many composers of the Indy Horror circuit could learn a thing or two from this brilliant score. Send More Composers!
Brian De Palma, was often criticized for being a Hitchcock Rip Off, Many others including myself find him to be a continuation for the genre of Suspense Thriller. Sisters dealt with the subject of Siamese Twins, One born sane and the other far from. The score pieced together by the late great Bernard Herrman captures the struggle of who the strongest twin is, One half of the theme crying out almost pleading for the horrific and dreadful side to not take over and cause bloodshed. If you have not seen this film please do yourself a favor.
5.) WHO COULD KILL A CHILD (QUI N PUEDE MATAR A UN NI O):
Waldo de los Rios
An Impulse buy when I saw it on DVD, the cover and title alone sold me, for I knew back in the 70's, Movies had more Balls to them, tackling subjects that by today's standards would be considered taboo. What I thought was gonna be a massacre film turned out to be one of the best social commentaries ever put on film. The theme itself has you setting foot on the island where it all happens starting off with a distant child singing along a happy yet eerie little tune, suddenly going silent so that we hear that it is not alone. The low piano key followed by pipes and screeching strings, suddenly you are being chased into a corner and are forced to accept your bloody fate, but the song continues on in an almost transitional blink like the killers are washing their hands of your blood then walking around town with their happy faces and then blending in with the crowd until their next moment arises to take a life once more.
Much like the Lament Configuration, a tiny mysterious puzzle box that leads to the unknown, Christopher Young presents the aura of it in this score from the Clive Barker Classic (Shame nothing good ever came after Hellbound.). The strings and horns pick up slowly almost as if we walked into hell and is slowly revealed to the wonders of pleasure and pain promised to us by the Cenobites.
3.)DEEP RED (PROFONDO ROSSO):
My favorite of all the Argento/Goblin Collaborations, Deep Red combines funky bass riffs, rockin' drums and brilliant use of organs. Some may say it bares a striking resemblance to Tubular Bells, but if you ask me this song is superior for it makes you feel like a killer is after you but you are going to die in the most coolest and stylish way possible.
This movie I feel kind of wrong putting on a horror list, though it does contain graphic violence and made a legend into something even better (No I don't mean Biggie Smalls). Candyman I find to be a love story in the best way, Clive Barker is held in high regards to me because he takes the non conventional approach, Philip Glass does so with the score to the film. A single piano with harmonious moaning is the emotion well played by the actors and understood in the notes for a dream/ nightmarish romantic setting is placed, though what we will see in front of us is brutal we cannot stop thinking about how unforgettable the whole experience was. Much like Helen whenever Candyman would appear.
1.) THE BEYOND: FABIO FRIZZI
This was not an easy list to make, but I had to end this the way a proper horror movie should, tragic and terrifying and there is no better way to do so then with the theme to the Fulci Masterpiece The Beyond. This song from start to finish let's the audience know that this is all going to end bad. For a brief moment we are greeted by sympathetic flute and strings almost as if remembering the simpler times before all hell broke loose, in the midst of the reminiscing the horror represented by the bass and drums creeps up and brings us back full throttle into the hell we have walked into from the beginning. We hear all the innocence being eaten and torn away from the vocals and taking us deeper and deeper until finally we are taken away into The Beyond!