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Great Horror Movie Opening Scenes: Video Clips (NSFW)


Aaaaaand… ACTION! Here are the video clips of Mike and Eric’s Episode 60 favorite opening scenes from horror movies. Beware, some of these are pretty intense and visceral.

As promised, in our Podcast episode 60 discussion about the greatest opening scenes in horror, here’s your quick access to some of the greatest opening sequences in the genre. We recommend that you listen to our podcast first, then come back here to watch teh openers. Fair warning, several of these are grisly nasty, and are Red-Band R rated fare. And, because our friends at Facebook shy away from such things relative to their advertising policy, it’s best not to directly associate this post with the Podcast post in which we are trying to promote. (But that’s a little inside baseball for y’all.)

For each one of these selections, the opening scene sets the tone for the movie, whether it be dread (The Haunting) or terror (28 Weeks Later), and in some cases, the movie struggles to live up to the boffo beginning. That said, if you want to know how to properly get an audience immediately invested in a horror movie, take a cue from one of these.

OK, spoiler alert for our Podcast Episode 60!

With that done, you may proceed.

Eric’s #4 (And Amy’s #1): Ghost Ship (2002). The bloody deck dance sequence. All that celebration and fancy dancing, Senza Fine being dreamily sung in the background by a live band, cut short by a very sudden and savage cable snap. A nice blend of digital and practical effects. The scene was replicated somewhat in Resident Evil’s security tunnel sequence, (Very chunky) but this one is more of a surprise and an absolute jaw-dropper. Honestly, the physics here is all wrong, but the sequence is all right! (Ya dig?)

Mike’s #4: The Haunting (1963). Sadly, no clip of the sequence is available, so here’s the WHOLE MOVIE. Granted… it’s got a funky star field in the background, meaning that the provenance of the YouTube is a bit dubious, but the actual copy of the film is very clean. That narration, so droll, smooth and haunting. (Pun definitely intended). Hail, Hail, black and white cinema!

Eric’s #3: Haute Tension (High Tension) (2004) The opening home invasion goes on for about 15 minutes… and this is the opener NSFW! Pure unrelenting home-invasion horror. You can go check the sequences that follow this, as there are 11 clips in sequence to watch. Rarely has a movie opened so brutally as this, we never got a chance to settle in with Alex’s family before they are wiped off the plot.

Mike’s #3: Dawn of the Dead (2004) Chaos personified! The zombiepocalypse has never looked more harrowing than this. People forget sometimes how good a visionary story teller Zach Snyder is. Fabulous tracking shots, and a frenetic pace that is rarely matched in the genre. This scene put the fans of the Romero series at ease, as you realized that the franchise was in capable hands. And, FAST zombies, a fairly new notion. Watch this sequence, and remember!

Eric’s #2: 28 Weeks Later (2007) If the previous film didn’t put the fear of fast zombies into your mind, this one did. The film, in the end, didn’t live up to the fabulous opening sequence, but man, what a doozy! Robert Carlyle is Don, and he is both horribly cowardly and smart at the same time. You completely get it: if had stayed behind to save his wife, he would have died too. His wife made the bad decision, and he made the only sensible one… and yet… he’s a coward.

Mike’s #2: When A Stranger Calls (1979) The telephone trope to end all telephone tropes. The ultimate urban legend! Sadly, this is the very best part of the film, and it becomes a police procedural after the long opening scene with Carol Kane as the unfortunate baby sitter, and the creepy stalker crank caller. Aren’t you glad you have caller I.D.?

Eric’s #1: Jeepers Creepers (2001) ROAD RAGE! We’ve all been through this, right? Well, maybe ont THIS exact thing, but we’ve all been tailgated by a crazy person who spooks the shit out of you. As a whole, Jeepers Creepers was one of the better franchise horror monster movies of the era. They couldn’t quite pull of the Freddy Krueger-like franchise as the sequels were comparably flat, but this is a fun watch throughout, and a dynamite introduction.

Mike’s #1 (Also one of Eric’s Favorites): An exercise in how to provide a tremendously scary introduction to a movie, while setting the stakes, and yet not spoiling any of the great elements that made It Follows a modern classic. The build-up of dread and mystery is palpable and feeds your appetite for the story to come. “Hey, Are you OK?” Nope!

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