© A24 Music / Warner Music UK Limited

Top 10 Horror Movie Soundtracks

Last updated on March 10th, 2024

Is it just me, or does the soundtrack of a horror movie actually have the power to affect your experience and overall opinion of the film itself? Throughout my life, I’ve seen horror movies that are certifiably “bad” but the soundtrack changed my impression of the movie to the extent that I ended up almost liking it, or in some extreme cases, actually loving it, thus giving it more credit than it might have deserved. But is that such a bad thing? I don’t believe in horror movie gatekeeping and am of the belief that both movie and music tastes are deeply personal, and are meant to be enjoyed without shame and judgment. So if you like a critically panned movie just because it has a good soundtrack, you do you! With that said, here is a list of my favourite horror movie soundtracks that I recommend for your listening pleasure.

Disclaimer: This is a ranking of soundtracks only, not the movies themselves. Each entry is judged solely on the following criteria; either: a) the playlist as a whole, or b) the impact of a particular song, based on my personal taste. Also, this list will be largely focused on songs and not scores (so the 1978 Halloween theme by John Carpenter won’t be on here this time, chill).

1. Scream (1996) Soundtrack

It’s no surprise that the soundtrack to my all-time favourite horror movie, Scream tops this list. Maybe it’s my nostalgia glasses or maybe it’s my love of all things 90s, but I won’t apologize for it. In my humble opinion, its excellence is not a matter of taste, but rather how perfectly the soundtrack fits every beat of the movie. Nothing is more iconic in the Scream movie canon than the song Red Right Hand; and then, of course, there is the memorable makeout scene between Skeet Ulrich’s Billy Loomis and Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott where Gus Black’s cover of Don’t Fear The Reaper plays softly in the background as a foreshadowing of who Billy’s true character will later be revealed to be. Upon first watch, it’s almost romantic in the context of the scene, and it isn’t until you look back on the movie in retrospect and are alerted to its ominous undertone.

My Favourite Songs:

  • Red Right Hand – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  • Don’t Fear The Reaper – Gus Black

2. Promsing Young Woman Soundtrack

Some consider Promising Young Woman to be a horror movie (or a thriller) and some don’t, but either way, the soundtrack is on this list because it’s epic. The juxtaposition of the candy-coated imagery and bubblegum pop with the dark subject matter in this movie is *chef’s kiss* perfect. From the pop numbers to the edgier tracks, each and every song compliments its respective moment in the movie perfectly. The instrumental cover of Toxic will give you chills, guaranteed.

Editor’s Note: The instrumental cover of Toxic that was shown in the Promising Young Woman trailer is not included on the official soundtrack (rather, an alternate version by Anthony Willis that appears in the movie was included on the soundtrack). Because the trailer version by Archimia is equally amazing, I’ve included it on this list and embedded it below.

Favourite Songs:

  • Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby – Donna Missal
  • It’s Raining Men – DeathByRomy
  • Toxic – Anthony Willis (movie version)
  • Toxic – Archimia (trailer version)
  • Come And Play With Me – DeathByRomy

3. Scream 6 Soundtrack

No surprises here, another Scream soundtrack has made this list — but it is based on its own merit, not favoritism. Like the game-changing new location of Scream 6, New York, this soundtrack features fresh new songs that are a tonal shift from previous soundtracks. The playlist is diverse, from Demi Lovato’s single, Still Alive (that reads as a bona fide anthem for trauma survivors), to In My Head by Mike Shinoda (of Linkin Park Fame) with Kailee Morgue, to October Passed Me By by the iconic girl in red, that will give you all the feels.

My Favourite Songs:

  • In My Head – Mike Shinoda, Kailee Morgue
  • October Passed Me By – girl in red
  • Still Alive – Demi Lovato

4. Fright Night 2011 Soundtrack

You may feel meh about the 2011 remake of Fright Night, but you can’t deny the soundtrack is pretty damn good. It has laid-back, cool vibes that compliment the movie’s horror-comedy subject matter well.

My Favourite Songs:

  • Bad Bad Love – Alex Ebert
  • 99 Problems – Hugo

5. Jennifer’s Body Soundtrack

This movie and its respective soundtrack are a fun throwback to the early aughts. Truth be told, I actually loved Through The Trees by the fictitious band, Low Shoulder (it perfectly captured the emo songs of that time period) and I will die on that hill.

Favourite Songs:

  • I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You – Black Kids
  • Through The Trees – Low Shoulder
  • Ready For The Floor – Lissy Trullie
  • New Perspective – Panic! At The Disco
  • Death – White Lies
  • Chew Me Up And Spit Me Out – Cobra Starship

6. Scream 4 Soundtrack

Put simply, this soundtrack is a banger. Along with the film itself, this soundtrack catapulted the Scream franchise into a hipper, more contemporary realm.

My Favourite Songs:

  • Bad Karma – Ida Maria
  • Something To Die For – The Sounds
  • Devils – Say Hi

© A24 Music

7. Bodies Bodies Bodies Soundtrack

The hits on this soundtrack may not be horror-themed but they sure are bangers. The likes of songs such as Daddy AF by Slayyter and 212 by Azealia Banks & Lazy J may be painfully Gen-Z to some millennials, but they’re undeniably fun. However, the most memorable needle drop is without a doubt the credit sequence with Hot Girls by Charlie XCX which fittingly follows a hilarious final line in the twist ending. Complimenting the Gen-Z hits, the creepy scores from Disasterpiece are a major vibe in and of themselves.

It is also worth noting that the bonus song, Alice (Bodies Bodies Bodies) is not only a total earworm, but a little Easter egg for the queers. By virtue of being performed by Amandla Stenberg, it’s confirmation that a hook-up between Amandla’s character, Sophie and Rachel Sennott’s character, Alice is canon in the Bodies, Bodies, Bodies universe (and let’s be real, we all love Alice).

Favourite Songs:

  • Hot Girls – Charlie XCX
  • 212 – Azealia Banks, Lazy J
  • Daddy AF – Slayyter
  • SLIME – Shygirl
  • Alice (Bodies Bodies Bodies) – Amandla Stenberg

8. Disturbia Soundtrack

I watch this movie once every 2 years or so, and its soundtrack has become synonymous with summer (perhaps it’s because of the movie’s setting?) Ever since I first watched it when I was seventeen, One Man Wrecking Machine by Guster has gone on to become one of my Top 5 all-time favourite songs. I also credit this soundtrack for introducing me to one of my favourite bands, Kings Of Leon. A majority of these songs would not feel out of place in a romantic “teen” movie, which makes it perfect for Disturbia that dishes out the scares with a side of summertime romance.

Favourite Songs:

  • One Man Wrecking Machine – Guster
  • Don’t Make Me Wait – This World Fair (see YouTube video below)
  • Taper Jean Girl – Kings Of Leon
  • Always Love – Nada Surf

9. The Stepfather 2009 Soundtrack

The soundtrack for the 2009 remake of The Stepfather is a perennial playlist on my Spotify account. It has similar summery vibes to Disturbia’s soundtrack, but it’s peppered with some angsty alternative songs that are part and parcel for the late aughts. My favourite is the (in my opinion) legendary cover of So Happy Together by Filter that provides the perfect backdrop for the final scene and epic outro music to close out the movie.

Favourite Songs:

  • The Funeral – Band Of Horses
  • Melee – Drew Smith
  • So Happy Together – Filter
  • Secret Things – Ken Andrews
  • What Is Real – Ken Andrews

10. Saw 2 Soundtrack

This one is for all the nu metal fans out there. Regardless of your views on the torture p*rn horror subgenre, you must admit that the early Saw soundtracks are pretty spot-on for the subject matter. I know I promised that I wasn’t critiquing musical scores, but I have to take this opportunity to mention that Charlie Clouser nails it every time, and Hello Zepp is dare I say, kind of a banger…

Favourite Songs:

  • Burn The Witch – Queens Of The Stone Age
  • Three Fingers – Buckethead, Saul Williams
  • Rev 22-20 “4-20 Remix” – Puscifer

Honourable Mentions

Fear Street Part 1: 1994 Soundtrack

Regardless of your opinion on the Fear Street trilogy, this soundtrack is a nostalgic time capsule of 90s songs that immediately transports you back in time. Some critics of Fear Street Part 1 say that there were too many songs shoehorned into the film’s runtime, but I disagree. I was excited every time a 90s classic came on, and it kept up the energy of the movie for me from start to finish. Obviously, not every song is unique to this movie by any means, but it is a fun compilation nonetheless.

Disturbing Behavior Soundtrack

You might be noticing a 90s bias theme here, but I would be seriously remiss to leave Disturbing Behavior’s soundtrack off this list. This soundtrack is a snapshot of quintessential late 90s alternative that introduced me to one of my all-time favourite songs (don’t judge me), (Got You) Where I Want You by The Flys.

Bride Of Chucky Soundtrack

Name a more iconic opening credit sequence than Jennifer Tilly + Rob Zombie’s Living Dead Girl. I’ll wait. This campy soundtrack needed to be included somewhere on this list.

House Of Wax 2005 Soundtrack

The scene where Elisha Cuthbert’s Carly Jones is tied up while Marilyn Manson plays is *peak* early 2000s in the best way.

I Know What You Did Last Summer Soundtrack

This cover of Hush by Kula Shaker is everything.

Fear 1996 Soundtrack

The infamous roller coaster scene when a cover of Wild Horses is playing. Need I say more?

Do you agree with this list? What are your favourite horror movie soundtracks? Share your thoughts in the comment section below to start the conversation.