31 Days of Halloween (2018): Best First Scenes in Horror

Happy All Hallows Eve Eve!

We’ve talked about how the first line of novel can set the stage for everything that follows. The same is true of the first scene of a movie. Below are some of my favorites. Sometimes, the first scene is the best part of the movie. That includes our first entry, Ghost Ship.

Ghost Ship

Ghost Ship is an entirely forgettable movie with a cool premise and an awesome first scene. Watch it below. Skip the rest.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

A scene that announced to the world that this was a different kind of horror movie. It has stood the test of time.

Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Technically this is the second scene, and it’s a shame, too. I’d like to include the first 10 minutes or so along with this scene, as the juxtaposition between everyday work and everyday family life and what is about to happen is stunning.


Scream is a horror classic, reinvigorating a slasher genre that had grown stale. Its best scene is probably its first, and even if you haven’t seen the movie, you probably recognize the iconic opening.

It Follows

Sometimes it is the not knowing what in the world is going on that makes an opening scene so powerful. That’s what we have here in the wonderful beginning to It Follows.


Not much happens in this first scene from the classic Suspiria, and the death scene that follows I discussed earlier in my best scenes in horror. But the way this scene sets the stage for all that is to follow. The wind, the storm, and that score. Man.


You can’t talk iconic opening scenes without mentioning this one. It requires no introduction.

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