If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, we may receive an affiliate commission.
In between eating copious amounts of candy and wearing clever costumes, October should be spent listening to spooky Halloween jams and watching horror movies. Sometimes you can even mix the best of both worlds by enjoying horror flicks that star musicians.
Though rock/pop/rap stars appearing on the big screen is pretty common, only a select few have opted to show off their pipes in a new way: screaming their way through a scary movie.
Just in time for Halloween, here are 13 musicians who have appeared in horror films.
Aaliyah in Queen of the Damned
Adapted from Anne Rice’s novel of the same name, Aaliyah captivated as the main character, a vampire queen named Akasha. This 2002 vampire flick marked Aaliyah’s last time on screen (she also appeared in 2000’s Romeo Must Die) and was released just six months after her tragic death. Queen of the Damned opened at No. 1 at the box office on its opening weekend.
Alice Cooper in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare
Shock rocker Alice Cooper is no stranger to the horror movie landscape, considering he’s appeared in Prince of Darkness, Suck and Dark Shadows, among others. But none are more memorable than when he played Edward Underwood in the 1991 slasher flick Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare. Cooper starred as adoptive (and abusive) father of the future nightmare fuel that is Freddy Krueger.
Kelly Rowland in Freddy vs. Jason
Alice Cooper isn’t the only artist that’s part of the Freddy Krueger cinematic lore. Case in point: in the midst of Destiny’s Child superstardom, Kelly Rowland took time away from the group to appear in 2003’s campy horror showdown Freddy vs. Jason. As Kia, Rowland eventually gets offed by Jason Vorhees, but not until she fires off an incredibly un-PC “f” word (nope, the other one) at Freddy.
David Bowie in The Hunger
The undead, insomnia and David Bowie: the 1983 erotic horror film The Hunger truly had it all. In it, the glam rocker played a cellist who finds himself in a love triangle with a vampire (Catherine Deneuve) and a doctor (Susan Sarandon). It’s a truly unsettling ’80s flick, even more so than Bowie’s other creepy classic Labyrinth.
Debbie Harry in Videodrome
The Blondie frontwoman isn’t just a music icon, she also starred in some of the ’80s most beloved cult movies. That slate includes appearing in David Cronenberg’s sinister 1983 sci-fi horror flick Videodrome. In an unforgettable role, Debbie Harry played Nicki, a radio host who finds herself enthralled by a disturbing episode of the titular videodrome.
Dee Snider in Strangeland
The Twisted Sister lead singer didn’t just star in the 1998 horror flick Strangeland — he also wrote the, ahem, twisted movie. Dee Snider even pulls double duty on screen as Captain Howdy/Carlton Hendricks, a psychopathic predator who lures people online to take part in his grotesque and deadly rituals.
Watch Strangeland on Amazon here.
LL Cool J in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
LL Cool J has a solid track record of surviving scary foes, including homicidal madman Michael Myers. As security guard Ronny in the 1998 Halloween follow-up, he managed to avoid getting slaughtered by the masked villain and then took those insights to outsmart crazed shark in 1999’s Jaws knock-off Deep Blue Sea.
Watch Halloween H20: 20 Years Later on Amazon here.
Busta Rhymes in Halloween: Resurrection
Since Michael Myers is never really dead, neither are the Halloween movies. Because of that a variety of stars get to appear in the horror franchise, including none other than Busta Rhymes. In 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection the rapper played Freddie, a reality show director who had the not-so-bright-idea to film in the serial killer’s childhood home. Nevertheless, like LL Cool J, Busta fared pretty well against Myers.
Watch Halloween: Resurrection on Amazon here.
Sting in The Bride
Sure, it might make more sense for Sting to star in a horror movie about, say, killer bees, it’s hard to turn down being in yet another adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. In 1985’s The Bride, the newfound solo artist took on yet another new role as ultimately doomed Baron Charles Frankenstein who attempted play matchmaker to his monsters.
Watch The Bride on Amazon here.
Brandy in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
With all due respect to Jennifer Love Hewitt, the only bona fide musician to star in the I Know What You Did Last Summer franchise was Brandy. In the 1998 slasher sequel, the R&B singer played JLH’s college roommate Karla who manages to outlive the nautical hooked killer.
Watch I Still Know What You Did Last Summer on Amazon here.
Ice-T in Leprechaun in the Hood
While this is arguably more of a comedy than a legitimate horror movie, this 2000 installment of the Leprechaun series has to be seen to be believed. If only for the moment in which you get to see Ice-T, as record producer Mack Daddy, smoking up the titular leprechaun.
Check out the 1986 horror movie Trick or Treat and you’ll get two iconic heavy metal rockers for the price of one. Both KISS lead singer Gene Simmons and Black Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne have cameos as radio DJ Nuke and Reverend Aaron Gilstrom, respectively, in the flick which is about — wouldn’t you know — the ghost of a rock star.