There are certain film openings that just stick with you forever. Whether they are iconic bits of movie history, like Halloween’s first scene, or if they build thick enough tension that a knife couldn’t hack through it, such as Leigh Whannel’s incredible adaptation of The Invisible Man.
Opening your film with something shocking is usually a surefire way to hook the audience, making sure that you either show them something that outwardly terrifies them or instead fills their mind with terrible implications. This is a challenge that many filmmakers have taken to heart and delivered on confidently.
So yes, it's time to look at some of the strongest horror movie openings out there. Specific attention has been given to ensuring a real range of supernatural, psychological and monster horror but made sure they all have one thing in common: their openings are seriously messed up.
Going into watching these bad-boys you really need to save up some energy, because within the very first stretch of the viewing you’re going to be battered with whatever horror the director chooses to throw at you.
10. The Empty Man
This 2020 supernatural horror does well to set up expectations in the audience right from the offset. We start with a group of people in 1995 - they’re on a nice hiking trip in Bhutan which is imminently about to become less than fun.
After hearing something, one member of the group (Paul) goes to investigate and takes a nasty fall. By the time his group finds him he has become catatonic, needing to be helped back to safety by the others.
Their efforts were all in vain, because he goes missing again and ends up exactly where they found him. However, before anyone is able to start dragging him back, lecturing him about safety in numbers, one member of the group (Ruthie) goes rogue and murders everyone (apart from our beloved Paul). She then promptly throws herself off a bridge as if it’s no big deal.
Straight away we’re left utterly confused about what we just watched and frankly quite upset that immediately almost everyone is dead. What did Paul hear? What made Ruthie kill everyone? Why did nobody seem to have the smallest care for hiking safety and protocol? Yeesh.