Forget the slow burn, let’s get this show off with a BANG! It doesn’t guarantee that the movie is going to be great, but making a good first impression, like a blind date, can shape the rest of your experience.
Think about your favorite horror movies. Was it the opening scene that did it for you? Like a great first date, a horror movie can win you over with a fantastic introduction. Later on you may discover that your date has back hair and is an unrepentant drunk, but hey, that first date was a winner! And you never know, you might have found a horror movie you will love to the end of your days. Awwww… true love! Who says love at first sight isn’t real?
Many of the greatest horror films of all time, took their time with the scares. Psycho. The Shining. Audition. Hereditary. The Changeling. The Exorcist. Rosemary’s Baby. They all built their horror with layers of dread, investing you in the plights of the protagonists, and then coming in with the full horror in the third act. It was the way for much of 70’s horror, and now that we are back to story and plot heavy character study horror, we see the slow burn back in a big way.
But sometimes, you just want to see somebody get dismembered in the first five minutes of the movie. Don’t you? We know our audience. You’re a bloodthirsty lot, and sometimes the masses demand blood! Right from the get go! But there is an art to delivering a shocking opener. You don’t just go for the cheap jump scare. No, no, you have to do something dramatic or epic, and all of these films do just that.
This was a tough one, not because there is such a limited selection (like our Plant themed podcast) but rather the opposite. There are so many other good ones that we didn’t talk about, that it suggests that we may have to revisit this topic. Mike and Eric could have gone on for a full top twenty, so don’t be surprised if we come back to this topic. Many thanks to our own Amy Faust for suggesting this subject, and she’ll be happy to know that I agree with her favorite movie opener, and I’ve included it in this episode.
Before you dive into our podcast and try and accuse us about missing the obvious classics, I think we need to recognize some of the greatest opening scenes of all time. Easily recognized and iconic, we did not include the following, but recognition needs to be properly made here for these hall-of-fame openers:
Jaws: Queue the cello. (the G.O.A.T.)
Scream : Do you like Scary movies?
Night of the Living Dead : They’re coming to get you Barbara!
If you want to see the video clips of our favorites, we have made a sister post HERE, so you can check them out for yourself, either as a refresher course or to get some insight as to how we think. We do suggest that you listen to the Podcast first, and then watch the video clips. And, we hope you like ’em bloody, because a good horror opener tends to bring the mayhem!
What are your favorite opening scenes? Let us know! Send us a comment here or on our Facebook page. We’re always anxious to know what our fans are in to. It’s never too late to fall in love with a bloody horror movie opener. So listen in and then go to the clips post to see what all the fuss was about.