Unlike its more action-oriented counterpart Resident Evil, Silent Hill has never really been about blistering combat or taking out huge monsters with rocket launchers.
In fact, to drive this point home from the get go, the original game actually makes you defenceless for a good chunk of the opening. Throwing you straight into the depths of Silent Hill itself, the introductory minutes are spent exploring and following increasingly ominous noises, before you get stranded in a dead end.
Cornered and with nowhere to run and nothing to fight back with, you're quickly surrounded by monsters and shanked to death. Thankfully, it only turns out to be a nightmare (and foreshadowing of horrifying events to come), but it certainly leaves a lasting impression and sets the tone perfectly.
The opening fake-out is something that would not only be repeated in this series, but just about every survival horror game going forward, but it was undoubtedly the most effective in this seminal title.