We love the frightful sights, but don’t forget the sinister sounds. Here are five great horror soundtracks for the Fall holiday season.
‘Tis the season for Holiday Horror Soundtracks. From Halloween to Black Friday, we’ve got your Fall covered! Here’s a look at five film scores and soundtracks. Some are pressed on gore-geous vinyl and readily available for purchase. Others are out of print but can be hunted down or found on digital download. I even included one that tops my Christmas wishlist. It hasn’t made it to vinyl yet, but fingers crossed that someone awesome — like the great Waxwork Records — picks up the Butterball Turkey and runs with it very soon.
While the typical classics like Nightmare Before Christmas and John Carpenter and Alan Howarth’s Halloween series never disappoint, I wanted to recommend a few options that don’t always land on the haunted radar. Enjoy all the musical thrills this sinister season.
1. Trick or Treat OST (1986)
Directed By: Charles Martin Smith
Music By: Fastway, Christopher Young
Label: Real Gone Music
Album Artwork: Theatrical Poster
Limited Edition Vinyl Variants: 2022 Record Store Day Hellfire (Red) Release (2000 copies) and October’s 180 Gram Flaming Orange (1500 copies)
Often confused with Trick ‘r Treat, this underappreciated soundtrack meshes heavy metal rebellion with horror on Halloween night. Former British Motörhead guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clark soars as lead vocalist in the self-titled track Trick or Treat and After Midnight. The 1960s metal angst against censorship comes to life with Don’t Stop the Fight, Stand Up, Tear Down the Walls, and the defiant Get Tough.
The rest of the album slows down and has less to do with Halloween. But if you love metal music from that era, Fastway will not disappoint as the legend of Sammi Curr (Tony Fields) enthralls.
2. Trick ‘r Treat OST (2007)
Directed By: Michael Dougherty
Music Composed By: Douglas Pipes
Label: Waxwork Records
Album Artwork: Francesco Francavilla
Vinyl: 2 x LP 180 Gram “Jack ‘o Lantern” Orange & Crystal-Clear Split Colored Vinyl with Black Splatter, plus a bonus Spooky Sound-FX on Side D*
Anthology Horror and Douglas Pipe’s (Krampus) composition blend perfectly in taking the listener into an array of dark emotional themes. The Main Titles invokes an eerie children’s choir. It’s Halloween, Not Hanukkah infuses the cello, base, and a strong orchestra with musical shock cues.
Emotionally, The Halloween Schoolbus Massacre is still haunting. Not A Trick/Red and Black is an adventurous ominous ride. Lastly, the strings section in Old Mr. Kreeg plays on the senses like a thousand humming bees.
Thanks to the October theatrical rerelease, the visual and musical experience of Trick ‘r Treat can be relived in all its true Samhain form!
3. Tales of Halloween OST (2015)
Directed By: Axelle Carolyn, Mike Mendez, Dave Parker, Darren Lynn Bousman, Neil Marshall, Lucky McKee, Andrew Kasch, Paul Solet, John Skipp, Adam Gierasch, Jace Anderson, Ryan Schifrin, and Jack Dylan Grazer
Music Composed By: Joseph Bishara (Malignant), Christopher Drake (Creepshow TV Series), Christian Henson (Black Death), Lalo Schifrin (Mission: Impossible), Bobby Johnston (Mother’s Day), Kung Fu Vampire, Austin Wintory (Grace), Sean Spillane (The Woman), Michael Sean Colin (Hell Hole), Edwin Wendler (Unnatural), and Jimmy Psycho
Label: Burning Witches Records 2019
Vinyl: 2 X 180g Black Audiophile Vinyl* Orange 2 X 180g Vinyl, Limited to (200 copies) * MP3 Available. The Special Edition Blu-Ray includes the CD soundtrack. *
One of the finest Halloween-themed soundtracks ever produced, Tales of Halloween comes with great character and a vast musical range. Lalo Schifrin brings anticipation to the Opening Credits harrowing each segment to follow. Sweet Tooth, composed by Christopher Drake, captures childhood innocence and intrigue through the keyboard, knife-wielding cues, and one startling creature reveal.
Bobby Johnston and Kung Fu Vampire stir up a jazzy evening of daunting tricks in The Night Billy Raised Hell. Spell-bounding violins meet the electric guitar in Michael Sean Colin’s The Means War, an intensified and spectacular competition montage.
When it comes to what is not seen but sensed, Joseph Bishara is the master in Friday the 31st. The score ushers in a wide range of escape through hallowed and echoing strings in conjunction with Edwin Wendler’s shrilling, twisted surprise of Limbchoppalooza.
Ending on a perfect and ghostly rocking note, Jimmy Psycho’s Tales of Halloween reminds me of a blended influence of the B52s, the Ramones, and Oingo Boingo.
4. Blood Rage OST (1987)
Directed By: John Grissmer
Music Composed By: Richard Einhorn
(Future Hopeful) Label: Waxwork Records
As Maddy (Louise Lasser) puts it, “I’d say this big bird is ready for carving!” That’s how I feel about the overdue NEED for Blood Rage to have an official soundtrack release.
This Thanks killing ‘80s slasher film would make for a colorful 1 LP Vinyl stuffing release with in-between tracks of its best oozing and campy dialog. The intro to this film flourishes the synthesized 1980’s keyboard exercise beat score that makes me want to break out the headband and leg warmers.
Composer Richard Einhorn (The Prowler) skillfully constructs the plot along with limited repetitive notes and Bach-inspired arrangements. Gonna Get You by Elliot Sokolov boldly rocks out as the featured car radio song.
If anyone can bring such a feast onto vinyl in the future, I place all my bets on Waxwork Records!
4. Black Friday OST (2021)
Directed By: Casey Tebo
Music By: Patrick Stump
Label: MP3 Amazon, Apple, or other Digital Music Services
The phrase “Customers from hell” takes on a new meaning in the film Black Friday. Starring the ever-so-sassy Bruce Campbell, it was finally time for the day after Thanksgiving to get an honorary Horror Holiday movie. Black Friday gives me hope that Ann Arbor Day could still happen.
The most notable track to get you running or shopping is the sultry, swinging number “Have I Got A Gift For You,” written and performed by Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy). It’s Not Safe Anywhere, Evaluate, Evacuate, The Grummying, and Chat with Shopzilla capture the classic suspenseful orchestrated chases as Fire Sale sounds off like taiko drumming in the background.
The MP3 is worth it to add “Have I Got A Gift For You” to your electronic Christmas library.
*Currently sold out, but still available through other retailers online.