Like the man behind the mask, I’ve risen from the dead to strike terror into the hearts of men with one of my all-time favorite segments — Spooky Sounds of The Season! There’s nothing that gets me in the Halloween spirit more like some spooky tunes! If you haven’t already, check out the original Spooky Sounds of the Season and Spooky Sounds of the Season II!
It’s that time of year once again and I figured I’d take a different spin on things. This go around I want to focus solely on the movie soundtracks that drive my spooky playlist. There are many films out there with phenomenal soundtracks that can put you in the mood for the haunting season. Some of them are downright classics and some of them are honestly better than the movies they are featured in. For this list I tried to avoid obvious picks. This means no Halloween ’78 or A Nightmare on Elm Street. Those are both obvious classics that should be in full on your listening device this season, however, I want to focus on some of the soundtracks (and only one score) that truly speak to me this time of year. So let’s kick it off!
5. Queen of the Damned
Listen, there should be absolutely no surprise that this is on the list. Composed by Jonathan Davis, whose new original songs on this record are sung by the top of all nu-metal vocalist lists, the Queen of the Damned soundtrack is the quintessential, “Wow that movie is kinda lame but the soundtrack rules” album. Jonathan Davis has been on this list before. Regardless of how you feel about Korn/nu-metal as a whole, Davis’s haunting lyrics and painful vocals will reach down to your core. Unfortunately, due to right’s issues, other artists had to be brought in to sing Davis’s songs. Now they do passable impressions at best, here’s to you Wayne Static, but these songs can be truly heard in all their glory on the “Alone I Play” live record Jonathan cut back in 2007. In regards to this album though, between the darkness in the new original songs and the choice cuts like Deftones’ “Change” and Tricky’s “Excess”, this is an incredible early 2000’s spooky compilation record.
4. Freddy Vs. Jason
I swear this entire list isn’t going to be made up of metal and nu-metal soundtracks but I can’t go through a list like this and not mention the album that got me into Type O Negative and Murderdolls (late bloomer on both by 2003, I know). People had been waiting for this flick forever and while Stephen King just tweeted about his disapproval, I think it’s a perfect watch for this season. It’s dumb fun with characters we know and love. The soundtrack is the perfect fit of crazy “metal” of all types. How anyone can sit still during that “Snap” demo by Slipknot is unknown to me. The album features one of the few great ill nino tracks and ends on the the very haunting “(We Were) Electrocute”. Does it stand up like the scores of the previous characters’ flicks, not exactly, but it’s definitely fun for this time of year.
3. Return of the Living Dead
The Cramps, T.S.O.L, 45 Grave, The Damned, The Flesh Eaters — I should be able to stop right there! Few soundtracks capture the feel to a film quite as perfectly as Return of the Living Dead. The thing about horror punk is that it’s not quite as grim as other music with horror roots. Most tunes in this genre are geared toward spooky fun and moving around as quick as possible to the sounds of the graveyard. This soundtrack is comprised of the best of the best of that style. DO YOU WANNA PARTY!?!?!
There are movies that reach down and tug at my heartstrings in the best way possible. ParaNorman is one of those movies. From the moment I sat in the theater it was love at first site. I can’t get passed the scene of Norman walking through town without tearing up and eventually blubbering like an idiot. This is also do in part not only to the beautifully made film, but the perfect score composed by the brilliant Jon Brion. For those unfamiliar, Brion has done film scores for movies such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Lady Bird, and many others. While it may not be the spookiest soundtrack it invokes the special side of this magical holiday. The moment Norman’s Theme hits and the piano starts playing you’re pulled away into a different world. If you need a little break from trying to cram as many spooky things into this time of year, just sit back, relax, and throw this on.
1. Trick or Treat
If I could put this album in every single article I write I would. Few records speak to me like Trick or Treat by Fastway. There’s not much more I can say about this record than I’ve said before so here are my original thoughts from 2017’s Spooky Sounds article: “In 1986 one of the greatest rock n roll horror films of all time was released: Trick or Treat aka Ragman. This is hands down one of my favorite horror films of all time. The soundtrack kicks ass and the film just encompass everything I love about 80’s horror.” While in the previous list I continued on by saying that this album didn’t get me into the Halloween spirit, just two years later I’ve listened to this album all the way through at least 10 times this month and it’s getting the job done. Just do me a favor, support everything involving this flick because man do I want an official release! DEATH TO FALSE METAL!
Scream and Scream 2
This is less of full soundtracks and more of just specific songs. When speaking of the original Scream I mean come on: “Youth of America”, “Red Right Hand”, Gus’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper” cover! As for Scream 2, I had to include it for the sheer fact that it defined me as a music listener for a few years to follow. “Suburban Life ain’t what it seems!”
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
The only reason this isn’t on my full list is that I feel as though it’s another obvious choice. This soundtrack is right up there with the original for me. It’s a lot more synthy than the original but it’s just so damn right for this time of year. Go listen now!
Obsessed with all things horror, video games, comics and vinyl, Dylan has been surrounded by all things geek culture since birth. Along with writing for Icon Versus Icon he’s also the co-host for the year long Christmas podcast, “Christmas 365”.
“No wimps. No False Metal.”