In the history of cinema, is there a piece of opening music more effectively chilling than the original synth theme composed by director John Carpenter in 1978’s Halloween? It’s such a minimalist sequence of notes, but from that simplicity, Carpenter drew pure, primordial terror. It doesn’t even matter if you’ve never seen Halloween—play that music for someone who has never watched a horror movie, and they’ll still be creeped out.
Now, the master is back in action with the just-revealed first track from the OST of the upcoming Halloween sequel by director David Gordon Green, which he composed alongside collaborators Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies. “The Shape Returns” feels like a central, “main theme” for the film, incorporating some of the familiar sounds you would expect with some elements of new composition as well.
“It was great,” said Carpenter of the experience of composing to Green’s images. “It was transforming. It was not a movie I directed, so I had a lot of freedom in creating the score and getting into the director’s head. I was proud to serve David Gordon Green’s vision.”
It’s certainly a big deal to have Carpenter directly involved in a Halloween film at all, given that he hasn’t made any contribution to the series canon since 1982’s Halloween III, and never directed a second entry after the original. It’s fitting, then, that this Halloween purges all previous continuity to bring the story of Laurie Strode vs. Michael Myers to some kind of triumphant conclusion … hopefully, anyway.
The Halloween OST arrives on Oct. 19 from Sacred Bones, on the same day that the film hits theaters. Carpenter and Co. will then embark on a European tour, performing the album, before concluding with what is sure to be packed Halloween show at the Palladium in Los Angeles.
You can pre-order the album here, and check out tour dates for the largely European performances here. And of course, listen to “The Shape Returns” one more time above.