We wrap up our Circuit 3 portion of 31 Days of Horror by looking at one of the most essential elements to a good horror flick: the film score. Can you imagine Jaws without that terrifying dun-dun! dun-dun! theme by John Williams? Or even Psycho without Bernard Herrmann’s screeching, strings-only composition playing over the shower scene?
You almost had to imagine it, as far as Psycho is concerned. Alfred Hitchcock originally intended to film that famous scene with no music at all, but after being dissatisfied with the finished product, Herrmann persuaded him otherwise. I’d argue themes like these are the biggest component to what made these movies so blood-curdling in the first place.
My Circuit 3 for Horror Movie Themes:
- Main Titles from Jaws (1975) – Composed by John Williams (listen here!)
- Theme from Psycho (1960) – Composed by Bernard Herrmann (listen here!)
- Halloween Main Theme (1978) – Composed by John Carpenter (listen here!)
And I don’t normally do honorable mentions, but the theme from The Omen (1976) – “Ave Satani” by Jerry Goldsmith – must be mentioned. Still scares the crap out of me just to listen to it (here).
What do you think are the three best themes from horror movies?
Tags: Alfred Hitchcock, Ave Satani, Bernard Herrmann, Cinema of the United States, circuit 3, Entertainment/Culture, Film, Horror and terror, Horror film, Jaws, Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, Psycho, The Omen