Some of the most entertaining scenes ever put to film have focused on cars. Whether it's a race, a stunt, or a chase, car scenes have always been a major part of cinema. Terminator 2, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Blues Brothers, and Bullitt don't just have great driving sequences but some of most sensational action pieces in the history of cinema.
But when it comes to horror, automobiles always seem to be a deathtrap. And we're not talking about big vehicles like buses, trucks, or tanks. In the movies, especially a horror or a slasher, a regular car feels like the most dangerous thing in the world.
In the real world, cars are seen as a source of safety. But when a character gets in a car in a horror movie, it's practically guaranteed to crash, blow up, or a combination of the two. Even coming near a vehicle in the film world seems to attract serial killers, dinosaurs, or flying children. If you've watched any of these films recently, you'll probably think twice the next time you get in your car.
10. Opening Scene - The Descent
In Neil Marshall's The Descent, a thrill-seeker named Sarah organises a cave exploration with her friends, unaware it is populated by savage humanoids called crawlers. Even though the crawlers are genuinely frightening, the most shocking moment occurs long before these nasty little creatures are introduced.
In the first scene, Sarah's husband, Paul, is driving her and her daughter through a forested area. Noticing how distracted Paul is, Sarah asks if he is okay. As he turns to her, he takes his eyes off the road for a few seconds, causing him to collide into an oncoming vehicle, which is carrying a pile of iron poles. The poles fly through the windscreen, impaling Sarah's husband and child, killing them instantly.
The reason why this scene catches viewers off-guard is because they assume the scares will only start when Sarah enters the cave. Instead, The Descent drops the biggest jump scare at the very beginning while the credits are still rolling. The scene may have lasted less than a minute and the victims' deaths were immediate, but it certainly leaves an impression on the viewer.