10 Great Opening Scenes In Otherwise Terrible Horror Movies

9. Urban Legend

Ghost Ship
Sony Pictures

In the 90s, the success of Scream paved the way for many imitators though most failed to achieve the impact of Wes Craven's classic film.

Among them was 1998's Urban Legend which featured an ensemble teen cast and replaced Scream's commentary on horror films with the discussion of urban legends and folklore.

The film opens with Michelle Mancini driving to a gas stop where a creepy gas station worker tends to her. His odd looks, his stuttering speech, and the fact that he is played by Brad Douriff all point to him being the source of danger. When he tells Michelle to enter the station as her credit card is declined, he locks her in but she escapes after a brief struggle. As she drives off to safety, Douriff shouts 'someone is in the back seat,' and as Michelle looks at her rear mirror, a hidden figure decapitates her. In keeping with the film's subject matter, the scene is a recreation of the urban legend, 'The Killer in the Backseat.'

The scene succeeds by using multiple elements such as misdirection and the casting of Douriff to provide a memorable opening for the film.


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