Music is absolutely essential to film. Can you imagine Star Wars being all that good without music? Probably not. It would just feel like a really silly science fiction play. I love soundtrack music, because it forms a bond with it’s film to enhance the experience of the music to a deeper level. If you listen to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s The Social Network before seeing the film, it’s not going to interest you as much. After seeing the film and hearing the album a few times, you’ll make subconscious connections between the two, causing whatever emotion of that scene in the film to correlate directly to the music.
In John Carpenter’s 1978 horror classic, Halloween, Carpenter not only directed and wrote the film, he scored it as well. This isn’t done often, but it means the Carpenter crafted the entire movie to his exact vision. By scoring the film, he was able to achieve the total feeling that he wanted for his scenes. A part of his score, “Halloween Theme” is a simple, repetitive piece that is essentially the definitive scary movie theme song. By attaching this piece to the image of the already horrifying sequences of the movie, Carpenter added another dimension to the song, an eerie-ness that is only accomplished through these emotional ties.
It’s simplicity, and it’s depth really make this song for me. There’s no better theme than this one. That’s why I love the Halloween movies. They’re incredibly cerebral in that way. When you’re watching Michael Myers kill people and shift around in the night, you’re not worried, but when you actually walk back to your house at night, you start getting chills and start watching your back.
So, here’s the true Halloween anthem, composed by the horror master, John Carpenter. I’ve made a playlist with several different versions. There’s the original, a 2007 remake by Tyler Bates, and a cover by the Vitamin String Quartet. Enjoy.