Horror movies bring out some truly captivating stories, whether it’s through the plotline or just the characters themselves. The genre has been influential in so many different aspects of our society, and music is no exception, with tons of artists writing direct tributes to the scary films that have been heavily integrated in our minds.
Take a look below for 10 songs paying tribute to horror movies in the best way possible.
Misfits – “Night Of The Living Dead”
The horror fiends’ entire catalog screams Halloween vibes, but “Night Of The Living Dead” is easily the best example of Misfits paying tribute to the genre. The song is dedicated to the legendary first zombie flick from George A. Romero and captures the ghoulish vibe of the movie perfectly in its sound.
Dokken – “Dream Warriors”
Back when A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors dropped in 1987, glam metal was at the height of its popularity, and movies were snatching bands up fast to appear on their soundtracks. Case in point: Dokken’s “Dream Warriors” was made for the film and features a ton of footage from the movie in its music video.
Alice Cooper – “He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask)”
The original shock-rock master oozes horror vibes in everything he does, but Alice Cooper’s “He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask)” is a more direct ode to one of the all-time best horror movie villains, Jason Voorhees. The stabbing synth sounds on the song would fit in so well played at Camp Crystal Lake while Jason pulls up with his hockey mask and machete.
Deicide – “Dead By Dawn”
Evil Dead has become a cult classic despite the first film being hilariously bad, but once the series leaned into its comical side, it became a perfect subject for bands to write about. Death-metal veterans Deicide push a hard anti-Christian lyrical stance in everything they do, but they took a step away from Satan for a moment on their debut to pay homage to one of the most iconic Evil Dead lines out of any of the films: “We are the things that were and shall be again.”
Broken Hope – “Mutilated And Assimilated”
Death-metal originators Broken Hope went a bit further than most in their ode to horror with their 2017 record, Mutilated And Assimilated, which is themed entirely around The Thing. The title track is the most obvious tribute to the film, but the gory space creature on the album cover and the remaining tracks do an equally good job of capturing the movie’s hyper-terrifying feel.
The Ramones – “Pet Sematary”
The Ramones weren’t screwing around with their song, referencing Stephen King’s Pet Sematary and going for a straight-forward tribute to the classic novel and film. Better yet, King is a huge fan of the band, although there are conflicting stories about how the song actually came into existence. In his memoir, Marky Ramone wrote that the author invited the band to his home and handed Dee Dee Ramone a copy of the book, whereas King has told Rolling Stone, “They never even came to the house. We ate at Miller’s Restaurant, the only fancy restaurant in Bangor.”
Rob Zombie – “Living Dead Girl”
Rob Zombie has paid tribute to a number of horror movies in both his solo band and White Zombie as well as his career as a director, but “Living Dead Girl” is easily one of his most well-known tracks. The song pulls sound clips from Wes Craven’s The Last House On The Left and references a number of other horror films, making for a pretty solid horror mashup.
Lizzy Borden – “Red Rum”
The Shining is easily one of the most iconic Stephen King stories and arguably one of the best horror movies of all time. Glam-metal act Lizzy Borden based many of their songs on classic horror movies and books, but “Red Rum” is their most overt tribute to the genre and hits as hard as Jack Nicholson’s ax hits the door in the legendary “Here’s Johnny!” scene in The Shining.
The Black Dahlia Murder – “Raped In Hatred By Vines Of Thorn”
Taking a note from Deicide, the Black Dahlia Murder took arguably Evil Dead 2’s most unsettling scene and turned it into a song. Although the movie is comical, the band do an incredible job of turning this moment into an even more horrifying telling than what plays out onscreen, and the riffs are just as brutal as the subject matter.
Stormtroopers Of Death – “Freddy Krueger”
Although crossover thrash act Stormtroopers Of Death were mostly a joke band, they came out with some huge riffs and solid songs. Their ode to the razor-gloved murderer was less humorous than their other material, though, and is a fantastic track to dedicate to Freddy Krueger.