John Carpenter Spent One Hour Making the Iconic 'Halloween' Theme

Halloween is a horror movie classic, and its iconic synthesizer score is among the most recognizable movie themes of all time: the unmistakable "doo-doo-doo" is right up there with the legendary themes from Star Wars and Jaws to Superman: The Movie and Batman. And it took director and co-writer John Carpenter, who also composed the music himself, less than the running time of the actual movie to come up with the movie's legendary theme.

In a new interview with Consequence of Sound, Carpenter says he conjured the theme in just an hour and the entire score in only three days.

"Oh no, hell no, god no," Carpenter said when asked if he scored Halloween to picture. "For both Assault and Halloween, I go into a studio and depending on how much time I had, I'd do several pieces. For Assault, I had a day; for Halloween, I had three days."

Carpenter clarified it was just the theme that, amazingly, he created in less time than it takes to watch an episode of your standard television drama.

"Not the theme, the whole score [took three days]," he said. "That theme was done in like an hour. We moved on."


Carpenter has had no involvement with the long-running Halloween franchise since scripting 1981's Halloween II — a script he famously says he was forced to write, and one he churned out at 2 o'clock in the morning with a six-pack of beer — but the Master of Horror will be reunited with the Shape with the upcoming Halloween from horror hit makers Blumhouse. Carpenter will score creative team David Gordon Green and Danny McBride's new spin on the franchise, which is bringing back Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis as original final girl Laurie Strode. The newest Halloween, which will ignore every movie past II, hits theaters October 19, 2018.

Carpenter recently released a studio album, Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998, collecting new recordings of his greatest composer works. Carpenter is also on tour, bringing his music to Las Vegas, Los Angeles (on Halloween, fittingly), Anaheim, San Francisco and beyond.