Anyone who knows horror knows John Carpenter. His contributions to not only the horror genre, but also the world of film at large are nothing short of landmarks. He has truly given us some of the most memorable film experiences of the past 40 years. His work as a director on  films like the great psychological masterpiece,”The Thing”  or the genre-defining “Halloween” stands alone.

For this post, I wanted to pay homage to another aspect of Carpenter’s talent… The role of composer.

John Carpenter has 22 credits to his name as film score composer on IMDB. That’s a heck of a record for one who’s primary focus is that of director. That alone is amazing.

But what really makes Carpenter so effective as a composer is the skill with which he uses musical progressions to create mood for film THROUGH composition. He has given us some of the most moody, and dare I say, chilling music in film. I would put his work for “Halloween” or “Prince of Darkness” up against any of the greats like “Jaws” for sheer effectiveness and memorability. When you hear that music, you feel something and you don’t forget it.

Here are a few classics. I’ve pulled just a few examples here, but legendary ones. Listen to these  ::


From “Halloween”

From “Prince of Darkness”

From “Christine”

From “In the Mouth of Madness”


Mr. Carpenter… I remain in awe of ALL of your prodigious talents. Thank you for all of the aural chills.


Author: David Edward Johnson

A bit about me :: My name is David Johnson. I'm a senior creative with over 20 years of experience. I am currently serving as the Director of User Experience and Product Design at Inmar. Previously, I have served as the Global Digital Creative Director for Whole Foods Market, several agencies at the VP level and co-owned my own agency in New York for seven years. I love genre film, a full range of music, art, kung fu, TM, design, good food and a great joke. I'm based in Austin, Texas and addicted to BBQ.

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