8 Movie Trailers That Feature Horror Scores

8 Movie Trailers That Feature Horror Scores

by | Jul 15, 2022

Trailers are an important marketing tool for a movie. They need to attract the audience and sell the movie in about two minutes. Every trailer has a challenging task of setting up the story, giving us some insight into the characters while also leaving something to our imagination. The best trailers use techniques like music, editing, and cinematography to convey their message in the most persuasive way possible. And some trailers use familiar pieces of music to help sell the vison behind the movie. Today we are looking at eight films that borrowed from the world of horror to strike an emotional chord with its target audience. Here is 8 Movie Trailers That Feature Horror Scores.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) – The Wolfman (2010) Soundtrack

2011 Cold War spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, made great use of Danny Elfman’s energetic score from the gothic horror The Wolfman (2010). 

Wolf Suite Pt 1

Critters (1986) – A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) Soundtrack

Even hungry alien fuzz balls can’t resist the creepy dream like quality of Charles Bernstein score for iconic horror character Freddy Krueger in the very first A Nightmare on Elm Street film. The classic score plays throughout the trailer for Critters, given this sub-urban horror a sense of lurking dread. 


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005) – Aliens (1986) Soundtrack

Studios overwhelmingly favour one single track to foreshadow danger in a trailer, Bishop’s Countdown by James Horner for Aliens. This dramatic piece of music can be heard on a shocking mount of different trailers. From The Abyss, Misery, From Dusk Till Dawn, Dante’s Peak , Broken Arrow and many many more. We have picked a very cleverly edited trailer that showcases the use of Bishop’s Countdown to it’s most extreme, the 2005 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trailer. You can hear the score kicks in as the camera pans out to watch the earth explode. 

Bishop’s Countdown

Robocop (1987) – Terminator (1984) Soundtrack

When cinema goers first got their look at Detroit’s finest crime fighter Robocop, it arrived with another famous cyborgs theme tune. Thinking that they needed to reinforce the point, by adding the Main Theme from Brad Fiedel’s Terminator soundtrack. 

Terminator Main Theme

Demolition Man (1993) – Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) Soundtrack

The science fiction action film Demolition Man was a stand out moment in the careers of both Sylvester Stallone & Wesley Snipes. When the trailer hit cinemas, it was introduced with the music of Wojciech Kilar from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the films being just about as juxtapose as you could get, with Dracula being set in 1897 and Demolition Man in 2032. Other trailers that have used this piece of music include 12 Monkeys, Pirates of the Caribbean, Underworld and What Lies Beneath.

Vampire Hunters

Runaway Train (1985) – Lifeforce (1985) Soundtrack

The 1985 action thriller Runaway Train used Henry Mancini’s theme for the Sci-fi horror Lifeforce. The vampire thrillers score was quite epic in scope and the big band piece fits perfectly with the fast pace trailer. It’s worth noting that both films were produced by the Cannon Group, so it probably did not cost them any extra. 

Lifeforce –  Main Theme 

Dead Ringers (1988) – The Fly (1986)  Sountrack

Dead Ringers was a disturbing body horror film from director David Cronenberg. The trailer made great use of the score from The Fly, in which it borrowed several sections. The most prominent of which is Seth Goes Through, which plays at the start of the trailer.  Funnily enough, Composer Howard Shore worked on both the Fly and Dead Ringers.

Seth Goes Through

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) – Sunshine (2007) Sound Track

You may have never seen Danny Boyle’s psychological space thriller Sunshine (2007), but you would have certainly heard it’s epic sound track. John Murph’s epic Adagio in D Minor is a massively popular piece of music that heavily features in many film trailers and on TV shows. One of the most well used examples comes from the first trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past, that mixes the chilling orchestral score with Journey to the Line from The Thin Red Line.

Adagio in D Mino


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“Hey Horror Fans – I love film trailers, they are a real SCREAM! Did your keen ears ever spot these pieces of music? Maybe you know of a few others hidden out there? why not drop us message in the comments below… Until next time!

Keep Rotten”


“Morti” The Mortician



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