Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have released their own version of John Carpenter’s classic theme for 1978's hit horror film Halloween. I’m not scared, what are you talking about?
Okay, I’m pretty scared, actually. Reznor and Ross give a grimy, distorted take on the theme, which at the time was noted for its minimalism and creeping unease. Composed by John Carpenter himself—who completed all the music for the film in three days—the original Halloween theme is a sparse, eerie keyboard melody. As performed by Reznor and Ross, however, it’s sprawling, loud, and filled with driving death rattles. Synths howl like chainsaws. When the piano melody finally kicks in, it’s a scream.
“I clearly remember my friends and I at 13 years old conning our parents into letting us see Halloween when it came out in 1978,” said Reznor, via Rolling Stone. “We left the theater forever changed. We were damaged and scarred, with the shit genuinely scared out of us and that theme stuck firmly in our heads. John Carpenter, it’s your fault that I turned out the way I did.”
The new Halloween film, a rebooted sequel set in an alternate universe where the events of the original’s sequels after II never happened, will feature music from Carpenter. Hopefully, he’ll scare the shit out of all of us—Reznor included—all over again. An album of Carpenter’s themes, Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998, will be released on October 20th.
Reznor’s version is below, and I’ve included the original for comparison.