What's New NetflixNewsTop 10 John Carpenter Movie Scores Besides 'Halloween' (2023)

Top 10 John Carpenter Movie Scores Besides ‘Halloween’ (2023)

Top 10 John Carpenter Movie Scores Besides 'Halloween' (2023)

John Carpenter is widely regarded as one of the most captivating and innovative filmmakers of our time. His movies are like thrilling rollercoaster rides, filled with suspense and excitement. Not only does he have an incredible eye for visuals, but he also has a knack for creating spine-tingling soundtracks that transport you into another world.

Carpenter’s unique style and ability to build tension are what make his films so memorable. You can’t help but get hooked as you watch his stories unfold. But did you know that he’s not just a master of the camera? He’s also a musical genius! His compositions are hauntingly beautiful and add an extra layer of magic to his movies.

It’s fascinating to learn that Carpenter stumbled upon his musical talent by chance. As a kid, he dabbled in music and even played in a band with some future directors. But it was his resourcefulness that led him to become a composer. With limited budgets for his early films, Carpenter couldn’t afford to hire an orchestra. So, he took matters into his own hands and composed the music himself. Little did he know that this decision would change the course of film music history.

The Halloween theme is undoubtedly Carpenter’s most famous creation. That simple yet eerie tune, played on his trusty synthesizer, has become an icon in its own right. But don’t let that overshadow his other incredible scores. Each one is a masterpiece in its own way, perfectly capturing the chilling essence of his movies. They give you goosebumps and leave you breathless as you dive deeper into the world of Michael Myers.

So, why not take a moment to immerse yourself in Carpenter’s mesmerizing music? Listen to his compositions and let them transport you to the edge of your seat. Get lost in the haunting melodies and allow yourself to be swept away by the magic. And hey, while you’re at it, why not share your favorites with us? We’d love to hear which of Carpenter’s spine-tingling scores send shivers down your spine.

1. Escape From New York

Escape From New York
Escape From New York is like a buddy film with Assault on Precinct 13, in more ways than you’d think. Even though the two movies are set in different eras, they share a common obsession with gritty urban landscapes and ruthless gangs. In fact, it’s almost as if Escape happens in a reality where the Street Thunder gang from AP13 came out on top.”

These films, despite the time gap between them, share a similar vibe. Both portray cities that are run-down and infested with crime, giving off a grungy and dangerous atmosphere. Escape From New York takes this concept to the extreme, creating a world where New York City has been transformed into a maximum-security prison.

Interestingly, one could argue that Escape From New York could be a glimpse into a future where the notorious Street Thunder gang from Assault on Precinct 13 gained ultimate power. In AP13, this gang was a force to be reckoned with, terrorizing a police station under siege. In Escape, we see a city ruled by various criminal factions, including the menacing Duke of New York.

So, in a way, Escape From New York can be seen as a spiritual successor to Assault on Precinct 13, exploring what might have happened if the gang culture portrayed in AP13 had continued to grow and dominate. Both movies tap into our fascination with urban decay, crime-ridden streets, and the battle for survival in hostile environments

2. Big Trouble in Little China

Big Trouble in Little China
Carpenter openly expressed his dislike for American movies portraying Chinese characters with stereotypical “rinky-dink, chop suey” music. Therefore, when he had the opportunity to score his own San-Fran-Chinatown-mystical-action-adventure-comedy, he made sure to create a unique and personalized sound for it.

3. They Live

They Live
You can’t help but love Carpenter without loving They Live. It’s a clever and satirical masterpiece that perfectly targets the corrupt and foreign core of ’80s consumer culture. And the best part is, it keeps getting better as time goes on.

4. Assault on Precinct 13

Assault on Precinct 13
Once you’ve heard the catchy, gritty melody of Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13, inspired by Rio Bravo, it’s guaranteed to stick in your mind. This score was composed prior to Carpenter creating the iconic Halloween theme that propelled him to fame. In Assault on Precinct 13, Carpenter demonstrates his knack for action-oriented music while maintaining his signature creativity.

5. John Carpenter’s The Fog

John Carpenter's The Fog
After Halloween, Carpenter really embraced the concept of horror movies being like campfire stories. “The Fog” captures the essence of a timeless tale: a quiet coastal town, a sinister curse, and a swarm of ghostly pirates.

6. Christine

Christine is actually the only time John Carpenter directed an adaptation of a Stephen King book. It’s pretty surprising, right? Both of them are known for their love of classic, in-your-face horror that goes against the trend of A24-style films. Just think about it, what if Carpenter had been the one to take on the first adaptation of It? It would’ve been something else, for sure.

7. Firestarter

Firestarter stands out as one of the most distinct John Carpenter scores on this list. It offers a glimpse into an alternate history, where we imagine a different outcome for Carpenter’s film, The Thing, released in the summer of 1982. In this parallel universe, Carpenter’s subsequent movie would have been Firestarter in 1983. However, fate had other plans.

8. Vampires

The film may not be regarded as one of JC’s best works, but Vampires manages to capture the essence of his long-awaited western. It revolves around Jack Crow, a tough vampire slayer who lives in the shadow of Snake Plissken. The soundtrack perfectly encapsulates his rugged and rough lifestyle.

9. Prince of Darkness

Prince of Darkness
One of Carpenter’s many collaborations with Alan Howarth, this score doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, just like the film it accompanies. It’s the second installment in his unofficial “apocalypse trilogy,” starting with The Thing and ending with In The Mouth of Madness. In Prince of Darkness, Carpenter dives deep into metaphysical themes, showcasing his artistic prowess.

10. John Carpenter Presents Body Bags

John Carpenter Presents Body Bags
The opening theme of this Carpenter gem is a killer combination of hard-hitting rock ‘n’ roll and spooky vibes. It was created back in 1993 for TV, specifically as Showtime’s response to HBO’s Tales From The Crypt. In this underseen and underappreciated series called Body Bags, Carpenter took on multiple roles – he wrote, directed, and even served as the host, playing a character known as “The Coroner.”

Emma Isabella
Emma Isabella
Emma is a regular contributor to WhatsNewNetflix. She likes delving into the world of Netflix TV shows as well as studying films, especially comedies.


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