Sound Off: John Grant Shares His Five Fave Scary Movie Soundtracks


In the spirit of Halloween, and with the release of Thom Yorke's soundtrack for the remake of Suspiria (out this Friday, November 2nd; listen here, here, here, here, and here), we wanted to ask horror film soundtrack aficionados what their favorite scary movie sounds are.  KEXP is thrilled to share the responses from singer-songwriter John Grant, the GMF himself.  Grant's fourth solo album Love Is Magic is out now via Bella Union and Partisan Records. KEXP proudly presents John Grant performing Tuesday, December 18th at Columbia City Theater, and be sure to tune in earlier that day to hear a special guest DJ set from John Grant on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole.

6) (Extra Ultra Bonus) Cat O’Nine Tails - Ennio Morricone

Transform your surroundings into even MORE of a horror movie than they already are with this exquisite masterpiece by Ennio Morricone. Trust me. I listened to many parts of this non-stop while recording my latest record, Love Is Magic.

5) The Exorcist: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Various Artists 

This score was originally to be composed by Lalo Schifrin but he and William Friedkin had some beef, so it didn’t happen. What they ended up using were pieces of music by various composers including, most famously, Mike Oldfield. "Tubular Bells" is truly an inspired choice for this film. The pieces by Krzysztof Penderecki are particularly disturbing. My favorite is his "String Quartet."

4) Cannibal Holocaust - Riz Ortolani 

Besides being a disturbing movie, the score by Riz Ortolani sounds so incongruous with its use of elements usually reserved for disco music; it really causes the viewer to feel very uncomfortable — it’s so good. Lovingly reissued by Death Waltz Records. Get it at your green grocer while supplies last!

3) Maniac (2012) - Rob 

I was so impressed by this score when I first heard it. It immediately became one of my favorites. It’s a synth-score and it really transforms the movie which I thought was a great reboot with Elijah Wood. It fills you with a sense of deep sadness throughout the film and truly enhances it. "Haunted" has one of the most gorgeous melodies I’ve heard. Very haunting indeed.

2) Halloween - John Carpenter

This is simply a classic and hard to beat. Once again, John Carpenter’s limited skills as a musician work only in his favor. "Laurie’s Theme" is my favorite part of the soundtrack. It’s so full of dread and sadness.

1) Halloween III - John Carpenter & Alan Howarth

I love the minimalism of this soundtrack and it is truly effective. The opening title is particularly beautiful with the digital pumpkin slowly coming into focus…

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