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Now, Let’s Take a Look at the Top 20 Horror Scores…

Twin Peaks Fire Walk With MeA while back I did a piece on my top 10 horror soundtracks. I wasn’t focusing on scores at the time which brought up several objections to my list: "What about this?" and "What about that?" 

So, in answer to your questions, here is my top 20 film scores of all time.

My criteria are simple: How strongly did I remember the music after viewing the film and how often do I play it at home? I have more to say with these scores than with the songs /soundtrack list because, let’s face it, the instrumentals move you in a deeper way. Let me know what you think and what your top picks are as well.


  • Mumm-Ra

    Your list has some good ones. In addition to some from your list, I’ve always liked the soundtracks from Dawn of the Dead and Hellraiser.

    • Coronerslab

      I have to agree with the Dawn of the Dead, if I had to pick a goblin soundtrack i always felt it was better then Susperia.

  • Sinful Celluloid

    Hellraiser just missed it. Would definitely be #21 though.

  • J Jett

    THE FOG & CARRIE. how can you miss those?

    • K. Lee Adams

      Agreed on Carrie. Can’t really remember the score from The Fog.

    • Sinful Celluloid

      I can’t even remember what the Carrie score sounds like. I need to watch it again. its been decades.

  • K. Lee Adams

    I think we all knew Halloween was going to be on this list. One of my favorite scores ever. I also really love the scores to Insidious and Sinister, really creepy stuff. I want to say Silent Hill and Black Swan but those movies already had music from their previous incarnations. Props on the Candyman score, I really dig that one, too.

    • Sinful Celluloid

      I do love the Silent Hill 2 soundtrack. I play it when it rains….oh look its raining. ..

  • ~Adam~

    C’mon man, Hellraiser should be on here. It’s just as well known for its score.

    • Sinful Celluloid

      I do love the Hellraiser score, it’s just not something I throw on often. But it is beautiful.

  • Julian Toepfer

    28 Days Later. The Divide. Alien3.

    • Sinful Celluloid

      Wow that is an interesting list. The Divide surprised me. Have to rewatch.

      • Julian Toepfer

        My suggestions are in addition to several of the above list. Obviously the scores in most of the article are legit. Just thought these scores deserved a mention. The theme from the Divide gives me goosebumps…

  • Stoibs

    Top 5
    Jaws
    Halloween
    The Exorcist
    Psycho
    Hellraiser
    Those five could be placed in basically any order and I would agree with every and any list that people could come up with.

  • JJ

    Maybe not top 20 but the score to Sinister with the imagery definitely creeped me out

  • Matthew D. Berkshier

    Not a bad list at all. I definitely echo all the others who enjoy “Hellraiser.” My top 5 horror scores list would be, in no particular order:

    Evil Dead – Roque Baños
    Bram Stoker’s Dracula – Wojciech Kilar
    The Wolfman – Danny Elfman
    Wolfen – James Horner
    Outlast – Samuel Laflamme (I know, this one isn’t a movie, it’s a game. But I have it in heavy rotation for writing. It’s some of the creepiest music I’ve EVER heard.)

    • Sinful Celluloid

      Nice man. Glad to see the Wolfman getting some love and totally agree with Outlast. Good stuff!