You could argue that the final scene is the most important of any movie. This is what the audience is going to be leaving with, and if it doesn’t wrap up in a satisfying way, chances are it will cast a shadow on everything that came before it.
However, equally as important is exactly how a movie begins. It’s the same as any story, if the audience isn’t gripped from the very start it is all too easy to lose interest, which would leave an almost impossible uphill battle to win them back around.
Opening scenes come in all different forms in an attempt to grab the viewer’s attention. While some go down the path of exposition, ensuring almost every bit of information needed for an audience to understand the movie is offered up front, some take completely the opposite approach.
Is there a better way of getting someone so invested in a movie than by offering mystery, forcing them into asking questions they know they don’t yet have the answers for? Giving them only a hint of what’s to come, leaving them begging to see what comes next?
That’s what these ten movies did, and they did it incredibly well.
10. Knives Out
Who doesn’t love a good old whodunnit story? Judging by the wild popularity of Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, no one. The Star Wars: The Last Jedi director bounced back from such a disappointing stint in a galaxy far, far away with arguably his best work yet.
The story is what is planned to be the first of many based around Benoit Blanc, in which Daniel Craig’s Southern detective is pitted against what seems like an unsolvable case. The twists and turns, fake-outs and false finishes in Johnson’s tale would leave even Agatha Christie shaking her head.
As with all good murder mysteries, Knives Out started of course with a murder victim. Harlan Thrombey lay in his mansion with his throat slit, blood everywhere, to be discovered by his maid while delivering his breakfast. This was a simple opening, but it raised so many questions.
Who was the victim? Who killed him? Why did they kill him? How did they kill him? What did the dogs have to do with anything? What secrets did the giant mansion hold? This was easily the simplest part of the entire story, but opened the door to one of the greatest murder mysteries told in recent cinematic memory.