The best soundtracks work on two levels. First, and probably more importantly, they complement the film. They generally reflect the emotion that the director is trying to get across to the viewer, be this tension, sadness, fear or humour. Secondly, it helps if they are good to listen to in their own right, outside the cinema. Given these two aims, here’s a list of some of my favourite soundtracks, both specially composed and ‘found’ – no particular order:

  • Excalibur
  • Hellraiser
  • Return of the Living Dead
  • Cat People
  • Repo Man
  • Paris, Texas
  • Salvation!

Another interesting idea is working out your own ‘soundtrack’, either for an already existing movie, or a theoretical one. As an example, here’s a possible track listing for a modern vampire film (might please those who think my music tastes are dull!)

  • Propaganda – P-Machinery
  • Laibach- Drzava
  • Bauhaus- Stigmata Martyr
  • Cabaret Voltaire – Sleepwalking
  • Fashion- Citinite
  • Talking Heads – Psycho Killer
  • Yello – I Love You
  • Sisters of Mercy – This Corrosion
  • Ultravox – I want to be a Machine
  • The Human League – Introducing

Any more suggestions?