Song of the Day: Halloween Theme (by John Carpenter)

The penultimate choice for this week’s horror-themed “Song of the Day” feature brings one of the best theme songs ever composed and put on film. I am talking about the Main Title theme for John Carpenter’s classic horror film (also one of the best grindhouse films ever made) and one which launched a whole new horror subgenre with Halloween. This theme would become synonymous with the “slasher film” that when the many copies and imitators of the film came out in droves a year later they would try to replicate this keyboard synthesizer-based theme and fail miserably.

It’s actually a pretty simple theme. Carpenter composed the theme as a piano melody played in a 5/4 meter that even the most novice piano player could play with ease. This theme could be heard throughout the film whenever Michael Myers appears and/or in the vicinity. Some have even started calling it the Michael Myers theme and they wouldn’t be far off. It’s become the film’s leitmotif that Carpenter ends up relying on it to set the mood and tension in the film. Other kids of songs could be heard throughout the film but outside of the Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper” the rest of the score is forgettable until this theme kicks in.

This theme will be the final of the instrumental themes for the week. With one more day left in this special week-long horror-themed week for “Song of the Day” the last one will definitely usher in another awesome Halloween and help kick off the premiere of what will probably be the best thing to ever grace the tv screen past, present and future.

2 responses to “Song of the Day: Halloween Theme (by John Carpenter)

  1. As the midnight hour has struck (or is about to strike, depending on your location), ushering in the next All Hallow’s Eve, I just wanted to wish you all a Happy Halloween – my favorite holiday.

    It would also seem an appropriate time to express my appreciation to you for this site. While encompassing many genres, forms, and media of entertainment, it has a definite horror theme. As a fan of all things spooky, and a creature of the night, I have really enjoyed your explorations of so many films with/of which I am familiar and fond. I have also enjoyed the introduction to so many things with which I was not familiar – films, music, animation, etc., horrific and otherwise. It is nice to read reviews and commentary by such knowledgeable and invested hosts. Thanks for all of your hard work.

    Happy Hauntings….


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