Best Horror Movie Opening Scenes.

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Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
The Netherlands
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.
The Exorcist is my overall favourite ever, away from Argento. It's like a short movie on its own. The very opening where a boy is followed running through the scene of an archeological dig seems to have been done often since in that way, but I think The Exorcist was the first to do it.


Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
The Netherlands
There are many great ones. An opening scene obviously has to capture the attention of the viewer, so I think directors in general work a little harder on it.

Since I'm an Argento-fan those come to mind first. A lot of his films have a great opening. The gallery murder witnessed at the beginning of Bird with the Crystal Plumage, the amazing title sequence of Four Flies on Grey Velvet, the double murder of Suspiria, the underwater ballroom under the appartment building in Inferno, the Danish tourist (Dario's daughter Fiore) in Phenomena finding a house in the Alps where something is about to break loose from chains, a raven in Opera seemingly singing along to the music, Dario's other daughter Asia in Stendhal Syndrome literally falling into a painting in the Florence museum, the tense scene on a train from Sleepless where the killer follows a prostitute who has taken some evidence from his appartment.

But there are many great ones from other directors as well.
Fiore even has the opening of Phenomena as her IMDb profile pic. I always thought she was a real lovely girl, but unlike her (half-)sister Asia, she didn't feel like pursuing an acting career. She remembers her experience on Phenomena to be quite horrible, with her father screaming at her on set in front of many people. She still did appear in Demons, produced by her father and directed by Lamberto Bava (the son of Mario Bava), after that.
I think she ended up doing something with fashion, although she appeared (again shortly) in Trauma and The Card Player. And she worked as a production manager on Stendhal Syndrome.

Fiore Argento - IMDb

This is a great pic of Dario with his daughters:
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1984 was not supposed to be an instruction manual!
Mar 16, 2010
The Howling had a good intro. I prefer that movie to An American Werewolf in London. Always thought the werewolf effects were better. Done by Rob Bottin who did the effects on The Thing. Both are great films though.

The Amityville Horror had a good opening scene as well. The original version anyway.


"Have I run too far to get home?"
Sep 25, 2011
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?
Complete AGREE on the opening of Sinister. That opening scene set the mood for the whole movie. That's one of my favorite horror movies from the last few years.

Doc Creed

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2015
United States
...I have to go with the "glove construction" scene from Nightmare on Elm Street....
This was what I was going to choose. I would also mention the opening to Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) because it has a similar feel and look.

I like the opening to Psycho because of the masterful and thrilling score. I like how the camera slowly zooms in to the window- just an ordinary day. Scares come much later. A masterpiece.
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