In light of the scariest night of the year, we present the data story on movies for Halloween. We identify the dominant emotion in the movies’ soundtracks and analyze the scariest movie music-wise. Read on to find out more.
Dracula
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a classic vampire story. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, the movie revives the long-forgotten character of Vlad Dracula and saves it from its previous crazy interpretations. In the movie, Dracula is looking to reunite with his lost love which prompts him to seduce and terrorize a group of friends in London

Dracula’s soundtrack is quite dark, sad, and scary, though the dominant mood is dark with 16% of dark emotions throughout the whole soundtrack.

28 Days Later
An enchanting apocalyptic story, 28 Days Later tells the story of a mysterious virus that takes over the United Kingdom. The four survivors have to rebuild their lives back while they fight everyone who was infected by the virus. In 2007, Stylus Magazine named 28 Days Later the second-best zombie movie of all time.

28 Days Later soundtrack is epic and sad rather than scary. It only scored 4% on scary which makes it one of the least scary movies on the list. 

Corpse Bride
Not so much a scary movie but a dark fantasy film, Corpse Bride was the third stop-motion movie directed by Tim Burton. The plot features Victor, a troubled fiancee, who accidentally marries the skeleton-like creature called Emily. The newlyweds spend a lot of time in the Land of the Dead before returning to the Land of the Living. 

Mostly sad, epic and chilled, Corpse Bride’s soundtrack doesn’t pursue to scare its viewers. It is actually also one of the least scary movies on the list with only 4% of the scary mood. 

The Shining
The Shining is a psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubric. The film is based on Stephen King’s novel and tells the story of Jack and his family who move to an abandoned hotel with a mysterious past. Jack’s psychological health deteriorates in the hotel as he starts dreaming about killing his family. 

The Shining music is dark, scary, and sad with some energetic notes across the soundtrack. It is one of the three scariest movies on the list.

Halloween 2
A murderer who terrorized the people in the small hometown on the eve of Halloween was imprisoned. As soon as he gets out, he starts his murderous affairs again. Halloween 2 is a typical American slasher movie co-produced by the original Halloween creator – John Carpenter.

Halloween 2 soundtrack scores 18.6% on being scary only preceded by 21.8% of the dark mood. The soundtrack is also quite energetic and aggressive.

Midsommar
A quite recent release, Midsommar features an ancestral commune in Sweden where strange things connected to the Scandinavian pagan cult are bringing uneasiness and fear. This is also a movie about a woman’s revenge against a man who could not meet her emotional needs

Midsommer’s soundtrack is 16.2% dark, 15% sad, and 12.7% spherical. It is also mildly scary with 10% of the scary mood. 

Stranger Things
Extraordinary mysteries are explored in this science fiction horror drama. A group of young friends witnesses supernatural events occurring around the town, including the appearance of a girl with psychokinetic abilities. Stranger Things is the only Netflix series on this list but it is worth a mention for its critically acclaimed atmosphere, plot, directing, writing, and soundtrack. 

The series’ soundtrack is sad, spherical, and dark. It is also quite calm but not that scary. 

Genre Analysis

We also analyzed the genres of all the movie soundtracks. The results are as follows:

The most classical soundtrack is Dracula. It is 67.46% classical and only 7.11% ambient

The most ambient soundtrack is Stranger Things. The movie’s soundtrack has the most ambient and electronic dance profile out of all. 

Apart from that, the Corpse Bride scored very high on the jazz genre with 23.89%, and 28 Days Later boasts some rock tunes with 21.34% for the rock genre. 

Overall, it seems that the movie makers prefer classical, ambient, electronic dance, jazz, and rock compositions.

Emotional Profile and Energy Levels 

Our analysis uncovered the energy level and emotional profile of each soundtrack. The emotional profile tends to be negative with only two movies being somewhat positive which are 28 Days Later and Corpse Bride. For horror movies, it is quite a natural result.

The energy levels are varied. For example, Midsommer and Stranger Things have low energy level soundtracks, whereas Dracula has a medium level energy soundtrack. All other movies scored high on the energy level.

The Scariest Movie Soundtrack for Halloween is…? 

And the title of the scariest soundtrack for Halloween goes to Halloween 2 with 18.6% of the scary mood. John Carpenter co-wrote the movie, but he’s also the composer of the film’s iconic soundtrack. This is not surprising considering that the previous movie’s soundtrack – Halloween I – was named the greatest horror soundtrack by Rolling Stone in 2019 and served as an inspiration for many movies to come.

We hope you enjoyed this data story and wish you a Happy Halloween! If you’re interested in doing a joined data story or analysis reach out to rano@cyanite.ai. 

If you want to get the first grip on Cyanite’s technology, you can also register for our free web app to analyze music and try similarity searches without any coding needed.

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