With the success of the Score: A Film Music Documentary [2016] earning many nominations and awards, which sadly omitted both the horror genre and one of the most iconic soundtracks on the late 70s and the slasher genre John Carpenter’s Halloween [1978]. A franchise that launched eight sequels, two remakes, and recently 2 newer additions to the Halloween franchise as well as igniting numerous careers and countless more slashers. Carpenter used his meager budget to create a great horror movie and an everlasting film with one of the most recognizable scores, which he composed himself, and launched into lasting stardom. His title theme likely ranked among the top-5 in horror themes, matched with The Exorcist [1973], Jaws [1975], Psycho [1960], and The Thing [1982]. John composed and performed the tracks with The Bowling Green Philharmonic on the original and with this newer addition Alan Howarth assisted in the sound design, a CD dedicated to the memory of Donald Pleasance.

Carpenter played a simplistic set of notes layered with a piano and synth chords, which references the mighty influence of the legendary band Goblin, an Italian progressive rock band’s music on many horror scores. Some of their work obviously transcends to Halloween, but gone onto dazzling scores by Steve Moore, with The Mind’s Eye (and soundtrack review). This music compilation echoes the various moments in the film of tension and fear stalking sensations, which the dedicated horror fans of film will know clearly which scene reference with each track.

While the movie generated frights and screams upon its unleashing terror on the screen this soundtrack has had two releases one in 1985 as well as another on its 20th Anniversary the difference with the latter is more tracks and movie sampling of scenes, other words, both worthy on owning. The main theme repeats a few times throughout the disc, and the Laurie’s theme falls slightly not truly as compelling as the lead, from The Shape (Michael Myers), then again his character bring the relentless killing to man, teen and even a dog.

As previously stated, the actual dialogue echoes a few tracks from the late great Donald Pleasance (Dr. Loomis), Jamie Lee Curtis (Laurie Strode), and others in the cast, and a few titles of the tracks do change from the original release. Now this does disrupt the smooth flow of music and might dismayed some from purchasing it however, it presents another quality release from Varese Sarabande.

The lasting mastery of Carpenter’s genius with both regard to his film and the music, make it a quality investment of time and money from the horror fans, truly a complete disc of music, though only can only imagine if the 40th edition awaits in the shadows, especially now with Halloween [2018], Halloween Kills [2021], and soon to be released Halloween Ends in 2022.


Track Listing:

1 – Halloween Theme (2:21)
2 – Halloween 1963 (3:11)
3 – The Evil is Gone! (4:03)
4 – Halloween 1978 (2:50)
5 – The Boogie Man is Coming (0:40)
6 – The Shape (1:43)
7 – The Hedge (1:35)
8 – He Came Home (2:40)
9 – Trick or Treat (0:39)
10 – The Haunted House (1:43)
11 – The Devil’s Eyes (1:39)
12 – The Boogie Man is Outside (1:27)

13 – Damn You for Letting Him Go! (1:34)
14 – Empty Street (0:33)

15 – See Anything You Like? (2:22)
16 – Lock the Door (2:53)

17 – He’s Here? (0:55)
18 – Light’s Out (2:49)
19 – Cut it Out (1:19)
20 – Tombstone (1:19)
21 – The Shape Stalks Laurie (1:35)
22 – Turn Around (0:33)
23 – Unlock the Door (2:09)
24 – The Hanger (3:04)
25 – Call the Police (0:28)

26 – Last Assault (1:34)
27 – Was it the Boogie Man? (0:32)
28 – End Credits: Halloween Theme – Reprise (3:36)


Total Running Time: 51:46, while the Original 1985 Disc Time: 33:49


Baron’s Rating: 5/5