We don’t see “Music From and Inspired By” on the CD cases for soundtracks much anymore, if at all. This is not to knock on modern horror soundtracks. We’ve heard some amazingly beautiful and terrifying musical scores in recent years. This is an ode to the nostalgia of walking through the aisles of a Sam Goody or Media Play and buying a CD in hopes that one specific song you heard in the movie was actually on it.
The Crow (1994)
The soundtrack features Nine In Nails covering Joy Division, Rollins Band covering Suicide, and Pantera covering Poison Idea. The Cure wrote “Burn” just for the movie. At the 1995 MTV Movie Awards, Stone Temple Pilot’s featured song on the soundtrack, “Big Empty”, won Best Song From A Movie.
Graeme Revell’s musical score from the movie was also released and included Eric’s Devil’s Night rooftop guitar solo, “Inferno”.
The Craft (1996)
The Craft: The Music From The Motion Picture was released on CD and cassette. Nova’s cover of Peter Gabriel’s “I Have the Touch” was recorded exclusively for the film’s soundtrack and plays over the end credits. Songs by Siouxsie and the Banshees, Connie Francis, and Portishead were all played in the film but were not on the soundtrack release due to copyright issues from their record labels.
There’s an uncredited bonus track on the soundtrack entitled “Bells, Books and Candles” from Graeme Revell’s film score. The Original Motion Picture Score was released soon after.
The Scream Franchise (1996-2011)
Scream’s soundtrack opens with the teenage anthem, “Youth Of America” by Birdbrain, which is heard in the movie as the audience arrives at Stu’s house for the ill-advised party in a horror movie. The Last Hard Man covered Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” and “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” was covered by Gus Black.
In Scream 2, adorable boyfriend Derek serenade’s Sidney by singing The Partridge Family’s “I Think I Love You”. Less Than Jake’s cover of the song can be heard in the credits and is on the soundtrack release.
“Red Right Hand” by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds appears on the soundtrack for the first two movies, as it’s predominantly featured in the first three movies.
And there’s Scream 3...
The soundtrack for Scream 4 has two songs from The Sounds, with “Something To Die For” playing over the film’s title card. The soundtrack is full of alternative pop/rock with a few tracks of Marco Beltrami’s score mixed in.
I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
You almost wouldn’t suspect a movie about affluent teens, a beauty queen, and a working class Freddie Prinze Jr. would have L7, Type O Negative, and Korn on the soundtrack but there they are. Songs by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Bing Crosby were used in the film but do not appear on the soundtrack.
The Faculty (1998)
Marco Beltrami’s score of The Faculty got its own release next to the compilation CD. Two Alice Cooper songs were covered for the film, with Creed covering “I’m Eighteen” and Soul Asylum covering “School’s Out”. David Bowie’s “Changes” was performed by Shawn Mullins.
Bookending the soundtrack are covers of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall” Parts 1 and 2 recorded by Class of ‘99- the rock supergroup formed by Layne Staley (Alice In Chains), Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine), Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction), Martyn LeNoble (Porno For Pyros), and Matt Serletic.
Bride Of Chucky (1998)
This is about where we start seeing the trend of a lot of nu metal bands on horror movie soundtracks, whether their songs were used in the movies or not.
Rob Zombie (White Zombie) songs appear twice in the movie. The first being “Living Dead Girl” playing over the opening credits and later on when “Thunder Kiss ‘65” plays over the radio in the van and Chucky starts headbanging. Blondie’s “Call Me” is used in the movie and shows up on the soundtrack, too.
Then we also have Static-X, Coal Chamber, Judas Priest, Powerman 5000, Slayer, and Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden).
When a movie is written by the lead singer of a metal band, it’s a safe assumption that the soundtrack will be good and full of metal. Strangeland was written by and starred Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider. The soundtrack featured Dee Snider solo and with Twisted Sister, along with Megadeth, Anthrax, Marilyn Manson, Soulfly, Coal Chamber, and Hed P.E.
The Blair Witch Project (1999) and Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)
Trying to keep things as “real” as possible, the soundtrack for the found footage film was released as Josh’s Blair Witch Mix and featured Type O Negative, Bauhaus, Front Line Assembly, and Skinny Puppy.
The sequel, Book Of Shadows, had two soundtracks released- the musical score by Carter Burwell and compilation featuring the likes of Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Queens Of The Stone Age, System Of A Down, and Nickelback.
American Psycho (2000)
When you think of Mary Harron’s American Psycho, odds are your first thoughts are images of Christian Bale dancing around to “Hip To Be Square” before bludgeoning Jared Leto with an ax. However, the song by Huey Lewis and the News is nowhere on the soundtrack. Maybe the dispute between Huey Lewis and the film was the violent scene that the song was playing through or perhaps it was just a contract issue. We don’t know for sure. But, Koch Records, who were set to release the soundtrack, had to recall 100,000 copies right before the CD was to be released to the public and destroy them (and what a collector’s item that would’ve been).
The first song on the soundtrack is Dope’s cover of “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)” but that song is nowhere in the movie, not even during the credits. This one honestly took me by surprise when I bought the CD but I’m not complaining about it.
Ginger Snaps (2000)
This soundtrack is about as angst-filled as the movie is, so it works very well- Glassjaw, Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, Saliva, Fear Factory, Hatebreed, and Cradle of Filth.
The uncredited track listing at the end of the soundtrack are “Ginger Snaps – Opening” and “Ginger Snaps Theme Song” by composer Michael Shields.
Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
Freddy vs. Jason was another movie that released two soundtracks. The musical score was composed by Graeme Revell and performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, except for three tracks that were performed by Machine Head.
The compilation soundtrack was a gathering of metal heavyweights. Appearing both in the movie and the soundtrack are Spineshank’s “Beginning of the End” (played over the movie’s title card) and Ill Niño’s “How Can I Live” (closing credits). The soundtrack also features Killswitch Engage, Slipknot, Lamb Of God, Stone Sour, Seether, Type O Negative, and Sepultura featuring Mike Patton (Faith No More).
The Resident Evil Franchise (2002-2016)
The score for the first movie was a dual effort from Marco Beltrami (Scream franchise, The Faculty, Joy Ride) and Marilyn Manson.
An alternate version of Killswitch Engage’s “The End Of Heartache” was made for the Resident Evil: Apocalypse soundtrack (sans screaming vocals) along with an alternate version of the music video, edited to contain clips from the movie.
Extinction featured soundtrack-exclusive remixes from Flyleaf, Bayside, and Aiden.
Afterlife, Retribution, and The Final Chapter released their musical scores (Afterlife and Retribution composed by Tomandandy and The Final Chapter by Paul Haslinger) but none of the final three movies had a compilation soundtrack.
The Underworld Franchise (2003-2016)
Outside of the musical scores, the soundtracks are almost solely remixes. AFI, Thrice, My Chemical Romance, Senses Fail, Hawthorne Heights, Lacuna Coil, and Deftones,amongst other artists, were all given the electronic/industrial remix treatment and put on the soundtracks.
Resident Evil star Milla Jovovich, performing as Milla, contributes “Rocket Collecting” to the soundtrack of the first movie.
For Underworld: Evolution, Atreyu released a soundtrack-exclusive single, “Her Portrait In Black”, and released a music video for the song that featured scenes from the movie.
The Saw Franchise (2004-2010)
Along with the fantastic scores by Charlie Clouser, the Saw movies up through The Final Chapter had soundtracks featuring numerous metal subgenres. Kittie, Suicide Silence, Slayer, Static-X, Meshuggah, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, The 69 Eyes, Bullet For My Valentine, and many more have a spot somewhere on the seven soundtracks.
Avenged Sevenfold, Skinny Puppy, Ministry, and Emilie Autumn all make appearances on multiple Saw soundtracks.
“Killer Inside” by Hydrovibe is on the Saw III soundtrack and features Saw franchise star Shawnee Smith on vocals. The music video for the song can be found on the 2-disc director’s cut DVD.
Chester Bennington (RIP) who plays a white supremicist in the car trap in The Final Chapter appears on the film’s soundtrack with his project Dead By Sunrise with their song “Condemned”.
Snakes On A Plane (2006)
Break out the studded belts and neon sunglasses for this one.
Cobra Starship plus scene singers William Beckett (The Academy Is…), Maja Ivarsson (The Sounds), and Travie McCoy (Gym Class Heroes) teamed up for the title single “Snakes On A Plane (Bring It)”. The music video featured the star of the movie, Samuel L. Jackson, and was played regularly on MTV2. The soundtrack also featured songs from Panic! At The Disco, Fall Out Boy, and The All-American Rejects.
Jennifer’s Body (2009)
And you might as well keep out the scene gear for this one.
The soundtrack features Hayley Willams (Paramore), Panic! At The Disco, Cute Is What We Aim For, and All Time Low. The token teenage emo character, Colin, listens to Screeching Weasel’s cover of “I Can See Clearly Now” on his way to meet Jennifer (and get mutilated) and that song got a spot on the soundtrack.
But, sadly, no “867-5309/Jenny” on the CD.