Thriller Film Score

The Staple Of Cinema

Corinna Osei

09 Aug 21

From Alfred Hitchcock's classics to the oceanic chills of Jaws score,  thriller scores are perfectly designed to put you in the mood for all the danger that filmmakers want to convey. Settle in for an intense listen: here are ten of our favourite thriller film scores.

Wildland (2021) 

The award-nominated film's score manages to capture the eeriness of this dysfunctional family. It perfectly informs the audience that all is not what it seems, as the family at the film's heart have a dark secret that affects everyone involved. The way the score builds up manages to keep you in suspense throughout.

Parasite (2020)

A more operatic score, Jung Jae II knows how to perfectly capture both the intensity and the comedy of this film. With 'The Belt Of Faith' playing throughout the dramatic, meticulously constructed scenes in the film, to 'The Family is Busy' playing when the movie takes a shocking turn, this score leaves you wanting more. 

Get Out (2017)

From the beginning, Jordan Peele's directorial debut's score puts you in an uncomfortable position as you learn alongside the film's protagonist that it's not all what it seems to be. You're truly immersed in the strange world Peele dissects.

Psycho (1960)

The most iconic film score out there, this is a classic for a reason. Bernard Herrmann exceptionally captures the intense shock you're almost guaranteed to get from watching this film – and its iconic stand-out piece 'The Murder' perfectly enhances the infamous shower scene, and has been used and replicated in countless films ever since. 

Zodiac (2007)

Just like the film itself, this score takes a more subtle approach to the thriller. Its chilling score works perfectly with the quieter moments of the film, leaving you with a greater understanding of the build-up of the story itself. 

We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)

The score for this clever and captivating adaptation perfectly captures how dangerous Ezra Miller's Kevin is – and eerily evokes what danger is to come. Its notes hauntingly capture the anxieties of Tilda Swindon's protagonist as it jumps backwards and forwards through her life, always keeping you on edge as it does.

Gone Girl (2011)

From two-time Oscar winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross comes a haunting approach to scoring this popular page-to-screen adaptation, perfectly capturing the perfectly constructed chaos and sinister feel of the film. It's their second collaboration with David Fincher after his previous film, The Social Network, and cemented them as an in-demand pair for bringing any feature some much-required intensity.

Sicario (2015)

Composed by the late, great Johann Johannsson, this score perfectly encapsulates the grittiness and intensity of the film. It perfectly uses drums, strings and brass to build the score for the intense scenes, and slows down its pace for the more sombre scenes.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Another staple in the crime thriller sub-genre, this score manages to capture the cannibalistic chills and horrors that are in this film so perfectly, keeping in line with the suspenseful and shocking scenes throughout the film. You'll immediately picture Anthony Hopkins' iconic performance when you hear it.

Knives Out (2019)

It might have a little more comedy in its story than some of the other films on this list, but Knives Out's score perfectly encapsulates its murder mystery elements. Its archly dramatic feel fits so well with the exaggerated aesthetic of the films, and director Rian Johnson knows exactly how to use it where it counts.