A powerful opening sequence is a sure-fire way to hook an audience, and horror movie practitioners have long sought to keep viewers rapt with front-loaded tales of terror. The folks at Looper have put together a list of films that will give you nightmares—even if you only watch the first 10 minutes!
Have a watch and let us know what you think in the Comments section! Do you agree with their choices? What are some other front-loaded horror movies that strike fast and hit hard? Let’s discuss!
If you can’t stream, the 6 horror movies that will give you nightmares within minutes are listed and briefly summarized below the video. Enjoy!
Official Synopsis: Establishing a mood from the get-go is monumentally important for a movie, especially for films of the horror-thriller genre. A movie’s first few scenes can either strike an audience with terror, or signal yawns to come … which is particularly scary for horror fans. In the case of these freaky flicks, the first ten minutes are terrifying for all the right reasons…
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984, Directed by Wes Craven)
Official Synopsis: In Wes Craven’s classic slasher film, several Midwestern teenagers fall prey to Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a disfigured midnight mangler who preys on the teenagers in their dreams — which, in turn, kills them in reality. After investigating the phenomenon, Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) begins to suspect that a dark secret kept by her and her friends’ parents may be the key to unraveling the mystery, but can Nancy and her boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp) solve the puzzle before it’s too late?
Wes Craven creeps us out as the credits roll, taking us into Freddy Krueger’s boiler room before unleashing him in nightmare form!
Related Article: Evolution of Freddy Krueger in Movies & TV in 9 Minutes
Scream (1996, Directed by Wes Craven)
Official Synopsis: The sleepy little town of Woodsboro just woke up screaming. There’s a killer in their midst who’s seen a few too many scary movies. Suddenly nobody is safe, as the psychopath stalks victims, taunts them with trivia questions, then rips them to bloody shreds. It could be anybody…
By dispatching Casey (Drew Barrymore) in the first 10 minutes, Craven delivered the most shocking first act kill since Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.
Jaws (1975, Directed by Steven Spielberg)
Official Synopsis: When a young woman is killed by a shark while skinny-dipping near the New England tourist town of Amity Island, police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) wants to close the beaches, but mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) overrules him, fearing that the loss of tourist revenue will cripple the town. Ichthyologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and grizzled ship captain Quint (Robert Shaw) offer to help Brody capture the killer beast, and the trio engage in an epic battle of man vs. nature.
The first 10 minutes of Jaws make skinny-dipping very unsexy! We never see the shark, but that haunting cello theme and underwater POV shots were enough to keep generation to follow out of the water.
The Ring (2002, Directed by Gore Verbinski)
Official Synopsis: It sounds like just another urban legend — a videotape filled with nightmarish images leads to a phone call foretelling the viewer’s death in exactly seven days. Newspaper reporter Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) is skeptical of the story until four teenagers all die mysteriously exactly one week after watching just such a tape. Allowing her investigative curiosity to get the better of her, Rachel tracks down the video and watches it. Now she has just seven days to unravel the mystery.
For Katie and Becka [Featured Image], a weekend sleepover takes a shocking turn when Samara crashes the party.
Final Destination (2000, Directed by James Wong) (Flight 180)
Official Synopsis: Alex Browning (Devon Sawa), is embarking on a trip to Paris. Alex experiences a premonition — he sees the plane explode moments after leaving the ground. Alex insists that everyone get off the plane and 7 people including Alex, are forced to disembark. All watch as the plane actually explodes in a fireball. He and the other survivors have briefly cheated death, but will not be able to evade their fate for very long. One by one, these fugitives from fate fall victim to the grim reaper.
An inside view of the destruction of Flight 180 makes the first 10 minutes of Final Destination nightmarish in the extreme. Each entry in the series kicks off with a front-loaded scene of tragic disaster.
Night of the Living Dead (1968, Directed by George A. Romero)
Official Synopsis: A disparate group of individuals takes refuge in an abandoned house when corpses begin to leave the graveyard in search of fresh human bodies to devour. The pragmatic Ben (Duane Jones) does his best to control the situation, but when the reanimated bodies surround the house, the other survivors begin to panic. As any semblance of order within the group begins to dissipate, the zombies start to find ways inside — and one by one, the living humans become the prey of the deceased ones.
“They’re coming to get you, Barbara!” Johnny didn’t know how right he was!
About Looper on YouTube: Looper is the go-to source for the movies, TV shows and video games we all love. We’re addicted to all things superhero and Star Wars, but we’re not afraid to binge watch some reality TV when the mood strikes. Whether it’s revealing Easter eggs and secrets hidden in your favorite films, exposing movie mistakes, highlighting the best deleted scenes, or uncovering the truth about reality TV’s strangest stars, Looper has endless entertainment for the discerning YouTube viewer.