The 13th Floor

Get Your Ghoulish Groove On With These Horror Movie Musical Numbers

Music is one of most important elements in every genre, but if you want haunting melodies that will send chills down your spine, go no further than the nearest horror movie. Over the last decade in particular, we’ve experienced some extremely memorable horror film scores and soundtracks — the screeching piano line that sets the tone for INSIDIOUS, the eerie vintage synth beats of IT FOLLOWS, and the deliciously horrifying tones underscoring THE WITCH, to name just a few.

Image Credit: FX

With that being said, a smart horror films or TV show can also flip our expectations of what horror music should sound like, shocking viewers with truly bizarre, out-of-nowhere and even joyful musical moments in the midst of malicious mayhem. For example, when Jessica Lange goes loco and fantasizes singing and dancing to “The Name Game” — surprising us with one of the rare gleeful scenes in the otherwise grim landscape of AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM.

Today we’re going to examine a few musical numbers that accomplish the same thing: switching up our expectations of horror-movie music with a surprisingly uplifting bit of song-and-dance that will get your feet moving and grooving… even as the characters on screen get mutilated, possessed, or turned into zombie beavers!

ZOMBEAVERS

“Zombeavers Theme Song” — Music and lyrics by Jon & Al Kaplan, Performed by Nick Amado

What was I saying about zombie beavers? Yeah, well… if you thought there couldn’t be anything more bizarre than that particular movie concept, you’d be wrong. Just stay put for the end credits, and you’ll find yourself singing along to this catchy, gleefully weird musical conclusion.

THE VOICES

“Sing A Happy Song” — Written by Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff, Performed by Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick, Ella Smith, Michael Pink and Olivier Bernet

This surreal and loony horror-comedy features a naughty talking cat convincing our anti-hero, Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) to kill people… and while it seems like a huge contradiction, it’s one of the most optimistic and joyful serial killer films you will ever see. It’s a bittersweet tale, and closes perfectly with a musical number featuring the entire cast of characters… and even Jesus himself!

SHAUN OF THE DEAD

“Don’t Stop Me Now” — Written by Freddie Mercury, Performed by Queen

We don’t have to remind you that SHAUN OF THE DEAD is one of the most-beloved horror-comedy films of all time… so let’s just watch one of the most iconic zombie kill sequences in horror history, hilariously synchronized to this classic Queen track. We dare you not to tap your feet as the pool cues start swinging!

HARDCORE HENRY

“Don’t Stop Me Now” — Written by Freddie Mercury, Performed by Queen

Yes, it’s the same song again… the same version, no less. But it’s worth including here, even if HARDCORE HENRY may not technically be a horror movie. Anyway, the film’s final bloodbath sequence is as gruesome, gory, and gut-wrenching (or maybe even more so) than a lot of horror films we’ve seen over the past year. Just like in SHAUN OF THE DEAD, this uplifting anthem makes the over-the-top killing rampage even more fun to watch.

BEETLEJUICE

“Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” — Written by Lord Burgess & William Attaway, Performed by Harry Belafonte

Aaaaand… who in the world of horror could forget this hilarious, classic dinner-table dance routine? Possessed by resident ghosts Adam and Barbara Maitland (Alec Baldwin & Geena Davis), a roomful of obnoxious flesh-and-blood guests unwillingly provide their own cabaret act, dancing and lip-syncing to the Calypso classic. Don’t you wish you could sing this every day at your own dinner table? I would!

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