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Soundtrack review: Tales of Halloween (various artists – 2015)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Tales of Halloween (various artists – 2015)


Eleven directors, renowned for their contribution to the horror movie genre, have joined forces to create a series of interconnected stories, each with a unique Halloween theme. Ten short films have been woven together by a shared theme of Halloween night in an American suburb, where ghouls, imps, aliens and axe murderers appear for one night only to terrorize unsuspecting residents. This is the plot of the “Tales of Halloween”, a love letter to this holiday by the best from the genre. And for such a project it was only natural that a lot of the great horror composers would join hands to write cues. We have everyone from Christopher Drake to red hot Joseph Bishara to Austin Wintory led by none other than a legend like Lalo Schifrin who wrote the main theme.

And what a cracking main theme it is. It’s that kind of rich, melodic horror mixed with Lalo’s usual smooth action sound. It’s just brilliant, as if Lalo and his sound have been trapped in a haunted castle and we’re hearing them try to escape. He could write horror scores any day. You can recognize echoes of the vibe of Mission impossible trying to escape from traps of horns and brass.

Christopher Drake comes next and his Batman scores are usually dark and meaningful without necessarily being scary. “Sweet tooth” offers just that, setting up an atmosphere, veiling the listener instead of scaring him straight. There’s the deceitful piano which plays the figments of happiness which come from a delusional mind. That is before it turns into something that scratches the walls and breaths and makes the Halloween feel real. He’s back with two more cues, “The ransom of Rusty Rex” and “It’s not a fucking kid”.

The album is quite varied and interesting, just like a Halloween party with many costumes. Everybody’s having fun; some cues are classic horror, others go towards country or horror rock, others are electronic. Joseph Bishara goes towards the gothic even and he’s cue is, as usual, one of the scariest. His second cue is even better. Some of them I don’t really get, like Sean Spillane’s “Ding dong”.

Edwin Wendler contributes with a straight up horror cue. Jimmy Psycho makes me think of the mood of “Tales from the crypt” with the title song of this album. Christian Henson brings a bit of synth nostalgia with the beginning of his schizophrenic and uncomfortable “Bad seed” which I think is my favorite cue from this compilation outside the main theme.

“Takes of Halloween” is a wonderful gift for horror movie fans. It’s fun and entertaining and brings exactly what a holyday like this needs. Get it!

Cue rating: 84 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 12 / 66

Album excellence: 18%


Tales Of Halloween Main Title


Friday The 31st

Tales Of Halloween

Bad Seed


Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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