Horror Movies With Scores Scarier Than The Story Itself, Ranked

Horror Movies With Scores Scarier Than The Story Itself, Ranked
Image credit: Legion-Media

The plot may be crucial but it is always the music that creeps into every cell of your body and mind.

While a compelling plot is a key element to any great horror movie, a disturbing score is the one that sets the perfect tone for the story. Here are the best, most haunting horror movie scores that tighten your stomach more than the plot.

6. The Exorcist (1973)

William Friedkin's 1973 horror giant tells the chilling story of a young girl possessed by an evil demon and the desperate attempts to save her. And while time has dulled the film's effects, Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells, incorporated into the score, remains eerily powerful to this day.

Underscoring the enduring power of music in horror, this musical choice became timeless in its dread.

5. The Shining (1980)

Stanley Kubrick's unique approach to scoring his films was solidified with his adaptation of Stephen King 's The Shining. Composed by Rachel Elkind and Wendy Carlos, the music serves as a precursor to the malevolent energy of the Overlook Hotel, which intensifies as the protagonist descends into madness.

The film’s soundtrack is infused with avant-garde music by György Ligeti, Béla Bartók, and Krzysztof Penderecki, adding a radical blend of classical and modern to the score.

4. Suspiria (1977)

Dario Argento's Suspiria is a visual and aural assault on the human senses. However its score, eerie yet catchy, holds more mystery than even Argento's creation itself. Composed by the Italian progressive rock band Goblin, known for its haunting and atmospheric qualities, the score is celebrated for its eerie electronic sounds and intense rhythms, perfectly complementing the film's horror theme.

3. Midsommar (2019)

Bobby Krlic's unsettling musical score enhances the disturbing visuals in Ari Aster's cult classic, which brings horror to the bright, sunlit fields of a Swedish commune. Krlic's reimagining of traditional folk melodies with a modern twist adds an unsettling dimension, blending ancient and contemporary sounds to create an eerie atmosphere beyond the film's setting.

2. Insidious (2011)

Not only with its eerie visuals and portrayal of the insidious world but also with Joseph Bishara's unforgettable score, James Wan's iconic dark horror takes audiences on a terrifying journey into the supernatural. Bishara's haunting and atmospheric score played a significant role in enhancing the memorable eerie and supernatural atmosphere of the film, and perfectly matched the escalating horror of the Josh and Dalton story.

1. Sinister (2012)

Scott Derrickson's horror film, which follows a true-crime writer who stumbles upon a series of disturbing home videos, understands the power of music to scare the pants off more than any other horror film. Christopher Young's score is a haunting composition that contributes immeasurably to the unsettling tone of the movie.

Immediately setting the mood with Portrait Of Mr. Boogie and carrying through to the end of the film, Young's music blends eerie sounds and melodic elements that will haunt viewers long after the movie ends.