Best Horror Movie Opening Scenes.

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melmo672

Member
Aug 25, 2015
9
62
47
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
I love a great, atmospheric opening scene; it can give you a hint as to what you're in for, or it can end up being the best thing about the film. Some of my favourites are:

Sinister (not a scene that you forget too easily; I haven't been able to look at a tree the same way since).

The Woman In Black (creepy and mesmerizing in the best Gothic tradition).

Ghost Ship (brilliant scene which, sadly, stood alone in what was otherwise a generic action thriller).

An American Werewolf In London (Two young strangers arriving at the mist surrounded Moors in a truckload of lambs? Yeah, John Landis kind of whacked us over the head with the ol' symbolism mallet with this one but, hey, it's sure as hell effective).

What are the scenes that you found the most memorable?
 

Dana Jean

Moderator
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
51,910
227,859
Thornfield
I love a great, atmospheric opening scene; it can give you a hint as to what you're in for, or it can end up being the best thing about the film. Some of my favourites are:

Sinister (not a scene that you forget too easily; I haven't been able to look at a tree the same way since).

The Woman In Black (creepy and mesmerizing in the best Gothic tradition).

Ghost Ship (brilliant scene which, sadly, stood alone in what was otherwise a generic action thriller).

An American Werewolf In London (Two young strangers arriving at the mist surrounded Moors in a truckload of lambs? Yeah, John Landis kind of whacked us over the head with the ol' symbolism mallet with this one but, hey, it's sure as hell effective).

What are the scenes that you found the most memorable?
I've not seen Sinister, but the others I agree with wholeheartedly.
 

Goremageddon

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2015
111
612
49
Clovis, NM
Dawn Of The Dead (2004) - From the character introductions to Sarah Polley’s reactions to the chaos breaking out around her.

Friday The 13th (2009) - There’s just something great about the quick dispatch of teens who could potentially have been the protagonists, right up until that great shot of Jason charging towards the camera smashes us into the main story.

Scream - The opening Drew Barrymore sequence. It’s lighter on laughs than the rest of the film, but makes up for it with a sadistic level of suspense.

I would also agree with Sinister (Not so much an opening sequence as an opening shot) and Ghost Ship.
 

Dana Jean

Moderator
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
51,910
227,859
Thornfield
Dawn Of The Dead (2004) - From the character introductions to Sarah Polley’s reactions to the chaos breaking out around her.

Friday The 13th (2009) - There’s just something great about the quick dispatch of teens who could potentially have been the protagonists, right up until that great shot of Jason charging towards the camera smashes us into the main story.

Scream - The opening Drew Barrymore sequence. It’s lighter on laughs than the rest of the film, but makes up for it with a sadistic level of suspense.

I would also agree with Sinister (Not so much an opening sequence as an opening shot) and Ghost Ship.
Yeah Scream is a good one.
 

Maskins

Well-Known Member
Jun 16, 2015
640
3,700
American Werewolf in London - definitely, excellent choice.

I am going Alien. Just the shot through space as the titles slowly appear, just showing how empty and lonely space is. It just set the tone and the atmosphere for it all.
 

carrie's younger brother

Well-Known Member
Mar 8, 2012
5,428
25,646
NJ
I'm going old school with the 1931 Frankenstein. The scene in the graveyard stills spooks me whenever I watch this movie. All the mourners at the graveside and then Dr. Frankenstein and Fritz digging up the grave; the stature of Death in the background watching over all this. This image is especially haunting/memorable.

 

ghost19

"Have I run too far to get home?"
Sep 25, 2011
8,856
55,904
47
Arkansas
I think John Carpenter's "The Thing" has a good intro. Antarctica setting with that creepy music in the background. It sets the theme of being isolated up very well. And, speaking of John Carpenter, the opening scene of "Halloween" is pretty good too. Seeing everything from the point of view of the kid while he's wearing the clown mask is pretty cool.
 

doowopgirl

very avid fan
Aug 7, 2009
6,933
24,999
61
dublin ireland
I love a great, atmospheric opening scene; it can give you a hint as to what you're in for, or it can end up being the best thing about the film. Some of my favourites are:

Sinister (not a scene that you forget too easily; I haven't been able to look at a tree the same way since).

The Woman In Black (creepy and mesmerizing in the best Gothic tradition).

Ghost Ship (brilliant scene which, sadly, stood alone in what was otherwise a generic action thriller).

An American Werewolf In London (Two young strangers arriving at the mist surrounded Moors in a truckload of lambs? Yeah, John Landis kind of whacked us over the head with the ol' symbolism mallet with this one but, hey, it's sure as hell effective).

What are the scenes that you found the most memorable?
Woman in Black is the best. I've seen it done on the stage and it is still powerful.
 

Goremageddon

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2015
111
612
49
Clovis, NM
I'm going old school with the 1931 Frankenstein. The scene in the graveyard stills spooks me whenever I watch this movie. All the mourners at the graveside and then Dr. Frankenstein and Fritz digging up the grave; the stature of Death in the background watching over all this. This image is especially haunting/memorable.

I think John Carpenter's "The Thing" has a good intro. Antarctica setting with that creepy music in the background. It sets the theme of being isolated up very well. And, speaking of John Carpenter, the opening scene of "Halloween" is pretty good too. Seeing everything from the point of view of the kid while he's wearing the clown mask is pretty cool.
Yes. These are both awesome. I'm going to add some more :

Night Of The Living Dead - Could you imagine being at the first screening of Night of the Living Dead? In 2013, zombies are old hat, but in the '60s they were still evolving.

Saw - Someone wakes up in a strange place with a strange man, making strange requests. You're held against your will and forced into a life-or-death situation. There's no handholding here.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - This intro is an example of a little doing a lot. Creepy voiceover? Check. Spooky location? Check. Decomposed body? Check.
 

The Space Cowboy

play my music in the sun
Apr 21, 2014
310
772
Ah nuts, people have already picked all the great ones.

As already said, A Nightmare on Elm Street is probably the greatest. Not just the glove construction, but the whole sequence of Tina being stalked through the boiler room and getting brief glimpses of Freddy's soon to be iconic sweater among the smoke and darkness. Not to mention the creepy score and the painful sounds of lambs squealing.

The Exorcist also has that incredibly ominous and foreboding opening of Father Merrin stalking through the streets of Irag, going on a long and arduous journey, until finally coming face to face with a statue of the demon Pazuzu. I recently read the book for the very first time, and the film did a dynamite job of keeping that eerie, epic tone to it.

There's also Martyrs (I'm trying to think up ones that haven't been mentioned), where a little girl, bruised, cut up and half naked, is running through a disused abattoir and letting out the most haunting screams. No music, just her screams and the sound of her bare feet thudding along the hard cement.

Manhunter has that cool slowmo POV shot of the killer coming up the stairs and shining a flashlight on Mrs. Leeds, the screen fading to titles just as she wakes up and tries to see through the glaring light.

Child's Play has an awesome gunfight that leads into a toy store, setting the stage for Brad Dourif to get a hold of one of those creepy Good Guy dolls.

The Shining, of course, has that incredibly beautiful opening of Jack's car journey up through the mountains, all while that creepy music is playing.

Dawn of the Dead '78 has that intro in the television studio where everyone's going apeshit and society's clearly breaking down fast.
 
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