It’s one of the most recognizable movie themes of all time and also one of the scariest. It’s heard everywhere from the recent “The Simpsons” Halloween episode to greeting cards to commercials. The theme song from John Carpenter’s Halloween is iconic and arguably the most memorable horror theme music ever made.
Although the basic pattern remained the same in the movie’s sequels, each put its own spin on Carpenter’s terrifying composition. It’s pretty hard to rank different versions of the same song, but I’m in the Halloween spirit so I’ll definitely try.
8) Halloween 5
This one is just kind of weird. It’s almost like a sped-up and distorted version of Alan Howarth’s theme for Halloween 4. It opens with those slashing sound effects that went with the slashing visuals from the opening credits of this movie, which were equally as awkward. The slashing sound effects and other random stingers continue throughout and just take away from the creepiness.
7) Halloween H20
I’m a bit torn on this one, as it is one of the most different and unique takes on the original theme. John Ottman uses an orchestra on this version, and the flute gives it a very haunting feel. Unfortunately, around the 1:40 mark, it goes a bit too far out there and sounds like something written for a different movie. This was the hardest version for me to rank.
6) Halloween 6
Alan Howarth took the reins on the score for his last Halloween film, but the results are a bit mixed. He dispensed with the weird slashing effects and stingers and went back to basics, but this version sounds a bit too 90’s for me. It almost has more of an action movie vibe to it. It just sounds a little too “electronic.”
5) Halloween Resurrection
The movie was absolutely horrible, but the theme was actually very faithful to the original. It’s more piano-based rather than synthesizer, like many of the other sequels, and the low notes hit really hard, which makes this one of the more threatening-sounding versions. I think it’s too similar to the original, but it puts its own little spin on it without going too far. Too bad it was in one of the worst sequels.