The first five minutes of a movie are everything. Whilst you don't want to set a precedent the film can't then live up to, the opening sequence is what is going to get your audiences to stick around, and in the case of horror movies: the bigger, the badder, the gorier - the better.
We want to know exactly what we're getting ourselves in for when it comes to the spooky central arc of the story, with filmmakers consistently delivering sample-sized scares to get a taste of the action coming up. More often than not, horror movie openings act as their own mini-narratives, delivering a separate precursory story to explain what our protagonists are coming up against without giving the game away entirely.
It takes time to build up intensity for monsters and to get us to care about the characters - so might as well bin some unknown off in the opening to sate the bloodlust for a while. We're a sick bunch.
For some truly bite-sized terror, there's nothing better than a eye-popping (sometimes quite literally) opening to get you going before you're knee deep into the good stuff: so you better bring your wellies along for the ride...
10. Trick 'r Treat
Following Halloween tradition and the unfortunate fate of those that decide to go against it, Trick ‘r Treat is a film featuring four intertwining tales of horror unfolding in a neighbourhood: linked by one strange, burlap-sack wearing little creature with a penchant for gory murder. Aww, what a sweetheart.
Before we get stuck into such menial stuff as school bus massacres and sex parties however, we’re introduced to the black comedy in dramatic fashion, starting with two Halloween revellers returning to their heavily decorated home.
Frustrated and wanting to finish up cleaning to make the job easier for the morning, Emma decides to start taking down the spooky ghost sheet props there and then - but punishment always comes for those that break Halloween rules. As it turns out, taking decorations down before midnight is one them.
This is useful information to know, considering she gets her throat slashed by a broken lollipop after an attack by an unseen force, then hung up on her own ghostly prop frame. It seems a bit of a lose-lose situation when it’s the choice between a raging house fire caused by unattended jack-o-lantern or bloody crucifixion via candy death, but hey.