John Carpenter & Spooky Movie Music


It's that time of year again…spooky season! Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot revisit their conversation with horror writer, director and composer John Carpenter. Then, they share their favorite spooky movie music. 

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John Carpenter


John Carpenter is best known as the director of horror masterpieces like Halloween and They Live, but his innovative film scores elevate the films to a whole other level. Carpenter explains to Jim and Greg that he initially started composing synthesizer-based scores for his movies as a cost-saving measure. He downplays his musical skill, but says he does enjoy performing his music in a group with his son and godson.

Spooky Movie Songs

Horror films wouldn't be nearly as scary without their soundtracks. Jim and Greg share moments in movies where songs are either recontextualized or scoring is done just right to deliver maximum frights.


  • Frankie Valli, "The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)" from Midsommar
  • Childish Gambino, "Redbone" from Get Out
  • Magnet, "Willow’s Song" from The Wicker Man (1973)
  • Mike Oldfield, "Tubular Bells" from The Exorcist
  • Colin Newman, "Alone" from The Silence of the Lambs
  • Bauhaus, "Bela Lugosi’s Dead" from The Hunger


  • Goblin, “Suspiria” from Suspiria (1977)
  • Wayne Bell and Tobe Hooper, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
  • David Lynch and Peter Ivers, “In Heaven (Lady in the Radiator Song)” from Eraserhead
  • Tangerine Dream, “Rain In the Third House” from Near Dark
  • Krzysztof Komeda, "Main Title" from Rosemary's Baby
  • Philip Glass, “Helen’s Theme” from Candyman (1992)

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