Horror Movie Theme Songs That Will Haunt Your Dreams

9 best horror movie theme tunes


The theme song from Insidious, composed by Joseph Bishara, is a truly haunting one. As soon as you hear it, you are captivated by its unsettling nature, and it creates a sense of unease and tension that perfectly matches the atmosphere of the film.

I highly recommend checking out the composition, especially if you appreciate the power of a haunting melody. The predominant use of violins adds to its creepy and chilling effect. The way the violins are utilized in the composition creates an intense experience that stays with you long after the movie ends. [Listen to Insidious Theme]

The Thing

Composed by Ennio Morricone and John Carpenter, this is a masterpiece in building suspense. It starts off slowly, gradually increasing in intensity, mirroring the progression of the film itself. As the movie becomes more suspenseful and terrifying, so does the music. [Listen to The Thing Theme]


Goblin's composition for Suspiria  perfectly captures the unsettling atmosphere of the film and the use of violins (again) in the theme adds to its creepy effect, creating a sense of anxiety, and when you hear it once, you don't forget it in a hurry. [Listen to Suspiria Theme]


The Saw theme song sets the perfect mood for the movies. It's just intense, perfectly capturing the dark and twisted atmosphere of the franchise. The use of the theme song throughout the movies creates a consistent thread that ties them all together and makes it instantly identifiable. [Listen to Saw Theme]


This one is a classic piece of music that has solidified its place in horror movie history. Composed by the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra, the haunting melody of the theme song is synonymous with suspense and danger. The iconic opening notes, with its pulsating rhythm, immediately invoke a sense of fear and anticipation in the listener.

The repetitive, menacing motif builds throughout the movie, serving as a constant reminder of the lurking danger beneath the waters. [Listen to Jaws Theme]


The Psycho theme, composed by Bernard Herrmann, deserves a spot on this list due to its lasting impact and association with its powerful and suspenseful moments.

One iconic scene that is forever linked to the music is of course the shower scene, where the music intensifies the terror and probably plays the biggest role in that scene being one of the most iconic scenes of all time. [Listen to Psycho Theme]

Halloween/Halloween II

Composed by John Carpenter and Alan Howarth, the themes from Halloween and Halloween II both deserve mentioning.

The original Halloween theme is a classic, with a simple yet powerful melody, and it sets the tone for the entire movie in creating suspense and fear.

On the other hand, the Halloween II theme takes the original and gives it a remix with more synth. While it may not have the same level of sinister atmosphere as the first, it does bring a new level of energy and intensity to the table. [Listen to Halloween Theme] - [Listen to Halloween II Theme]

A Nightmare on Elm Street

The composition of this theme is amazing, it captures the essence of the movie perfectly. When you hear it, you can't help but feel a sense of terror and anticipation.

Personally, I enjoy listening to this theme song repeatedly and serves as a testament to the fantastic composition skills of Charles Bernstein. [Listen to A Nightmare On Elm Street Theme]

Cannibal Holocaust

This may be a surprise to some, but this theme song has a sad and chilling effect that will send shivers down your spine.

What makes this one so unique is the stark contrast between its haunting melody and the extreme horror depicted in the movie. The music creates an unsettling atmosphere that perfectly captures the disturbing nature of the film.

It's a piece of music that stands out among other horror movie themes. I highly recommend giving it a listen. [Listen to Cannibal Holocaust Theme]

Do you have a favorite horror movie theme? Let me know in the comments or on my Twitter!

Check out some of my other horror lists on Horror Movie Nerd.

The best horror films released in 2020
French horror movies you need to watch
The greatest horror movie remakes
Ranking The Child's Play movies
6 of the best Spanish horror films
The best British horror movies