Is there anything better than a killer opening
sequence to get an audience going?
Maybe it’s the still electrifying late night swim
which opens Steven Spielberg’s iconic great white blockbuster Jaws, all
moonlight and that unforgettable score. Maybe it’s the daring POV-style killing
which starts the carnage of John Carpenter’s Halloween, with its vintage synth
score and shaky verisimilitude. Maybe it’s that great bit in Lake Placid where
a world weary Brendan Gleeson sees some guy get torn in two by a massive
In any case, the answer is yes. Yes, there is something
better than a killer opening sequence, and that is a great movie. After all,
there’s nothing worse than the sinking realisation that nothing else in a flick
is going to live up to its dynamite opening. It’s uniquely disheartening, the
crushing moment when an incredible opening sequence ends and the audiences
slowly starts to see that the otherwise-forgettable feature film could as
easily have been cut down to a great short.
With that disappointment in mind, we here at
WhatCulture have opted to collate a list of movies which are well worth
watching for their great opening scenes—and nothing after that.