This is an updated version of a 2017 article. Since then, we’ve had three new Halloween films and it would be criminal not to add those themes to this list.
To me it is an interesting topic with each movie the theme changes. The major change came between the first movie and the second movie. But over the years it has only slightly changed. Of course Halloween III Season of the Witch has a theme of its own and it sets the tone for that film as the Halloween theme does for the rest of the series. The theme is one of THE most iconic horror movie themes, if not the most iconic. I think, if you play it for someone, anyone, they will know what it is from.
I have heard stories about Carpenter playing a cut with the film without the theme or the rest of the score. When Carpenter added the actual score, coupled with the opening credits, it changed everything. The score itself helps build suspense and terror. The opening theme screams Halloween and prepares us for the terror to come.
Let’s dig in. The opening theme has been played in nearly every movie.
John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978)
Halloween II (1981)
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
Halloween 4: the Return of Michael Myers (1988)
Halloween 5: the Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
Halloween: Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
Halloween H20 (1998)
Halloween Resurrection (2002)
Halloween II (2009)
Halloween Kills (2021)
Halloween Ends (2022)
There you have it! Other than the original, which is your favorite? I have to say originally I hated Halloween II’s opening theme, but I’ve grown to love it over the years.