4 Great Horror Openings

4 Great Horror Openings

by | Jul 17, 2015

Film openings are important. They are an introduction to the films plots and characters, but more than that, they can also build an atmosphere, and foreshadow things to come. Here are four films that did an amazing job of introducing the film.


Brain Dead


In Peter Jackson earlier masterpiece. The film starts with Stewart McAlden, an explorer returning from the depths of Skull Island. His team have captured a rat-monkey, a rare creature only found on this island. They are stopped by fierce warrior natives that demand the return of the monkey, the team escape but McAlden is bitten by the monkey Seeing the wound,  his team grab hold of him and amputate the bitten hand. With the hand now severed, they then spot a wound on his other arm, so they cut that off too. As McAlden screams and blood pumps from his wounds, the crew than spot a wound on his head. Just as the machete come down, blood splats on the screen and the title is revealed. It’s a really shocking and gory moment and paints a picture of what’s to come.


The Shining


Opening on a large lake and flying across it’s still surface, a simple melancholy tune plays over the beautiful landscape, as the camera fades to the winding roads of the Colorado mountains. Flying high above, the camera follows a yellow Volkswagen Beetle as it weaves through the tree lined landscape. Over the top of the music, ghostly noises can be heard , building voices that start to scream and shrill as the credits roll over the screen. It’s a chilling moment, one that gives us a sense of how desolate and alone these people are.


The Fog


The film opens with a stop watch hanging on screen, it’s hands almost at minute. Fire light licks at its edges as me see children hunkered together, wrapped in blankets. “11:55, almost midnight. Enough time for one more story. One more story before 12:00, just to keep us warm.” say Mr. Machen. He’s telling ghost stories to entertain the children by the campfire. He tells of the the Elizabeth Dane and how she sank off the coast of Spivey Point. This creepy little tale explains the back story and introduces the men of the doomed ship. It’s creepy, haunting and one hell of a way to start a film.


Return Of The Living Dead


What I love most about the opening moments of this comedy horror, is how effortless it feels. There’s nothing spectacular about it, it’s just two guys talking. But the dialogue and picture they build is amazing. They manage to give us a backstory and start the plot of the film with just a few lines and some theatrics . In a medical supply warehouse in Louisville, Kentucky, a foreman Frank tries to impress Freddy by showing him the military barrell that had been accidently sent to the warehouse. Frank accidentally unleashes the toxic gas inside the drum and the films events start to unravel. The gas fills the room, and floats up and out into the rest of the warehouse, reanimating the dead bodies stored there. It’s nine minutes before the Title pops up on screen.

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