How a horror movie begins is just as crucial as how it ends. Although certain filmmakers like to take a slow approach, setting up stakes and character dynamics, others jump into the deep-end straight away, scaring moviegoers before the title card has been revealed. Even though the audience may not fully comprehend what's going on this early in the story, they find themselves instantly hooked, desperate to see how the rest of the film plays out.
Now, the problem with making the opening too good, is the rest of the picture might pale by comparison. The Happening and Ghost Ship are prime examples, since they never topped their flawless prologue.
Fortunately, that isn't the case here. Not only did the following ten horror flicks knock it out of the park from the get-go, but they maintained that same high standard throughout the entire run-time.
We've covered 10 Horror Movies You Knew Would Be Good After The First 10 Minutes previously, but decided to give it a revisit. After all, there are still plenty of horror movies to talk about that viewers knew would be great within those first ten minutes.
10. The Hitcher
Even though the "evil drifter" trope is nothing new, few stories have utilised the idea more effectively than 1986's The Hitcher.
Robert Harmon's thriller introduces deranged hitchhiker John Ryder (Rutger Hauer) within the first minute. After being picked up by young driver Jim Halsey, John immediately makes Jim feel uncomfortable with his opaque answers and flippant attitude.
When Jim asks what John wants, he laughs manically, before saying those chilling words, "That's what the other guy said." With that single sentence, the audience realises John is slaughtering anyone foolish enough to let him in their vehicle. Worse still, Jim is intended to be the vagrant's latest victim.
As uncomfortable as this moment is, it only gets worse, since every word uttered by Ryder makes him sound more unhinged. When he starts talking about popping eyeballs and lopping off limbs, viewers feel just as unsettled as the protagonist.
The set-up couldn't be simpler, but Hauer's charming performance makes the scene riveting from beginning to end. Rather than hamming it up, the Blade Runner actor says every line with casual delight, which is far more unnerving.