Thriller Film Openings

Now onto film openings.  In this post I will be looking at and analysing actual thriller openings. I picked the ones that caught my eye for various reasons! Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure you’ll find them amazing too. I’ll even analyse them for you too so I can express why I find the opening so amazing.

Okay, so let’s start off with why film opening’s are actually important… so why are they important well I’m glad you asked. Film openings are important as the opening of the film basically establishes a tone in order to draw in the audience’s attention and in order to make the audience fall into the same mood as the film that they are about to watch! A good thriller would mean a big budget right? Well not necessarily;  film openings do not have to always have to be big budget explosive opening in order to grab the audience’s attention and you know that saying, sometimes ‘less is more’. Sometimes directors might get over excited and come up with an over the top opening with would cause risk upending the structure of the film with a sense of ‘where do we go from here?’ 

Usually  the most successful film openings grabs the audience’s attention by conveying a well established sense of intrigue that will have the audience dying to know more about the story and the character that will be occupying their time and attention for the next hour and a half. If the opening is particularly innovative, some dramatic foreshadowing will allow the opening to hint the problems that will be occurring during/throughout the story.

The film opening which was ranked #1.

What would I expect to see?

For me, a good thriller film opening must have an element of mystery yet be able to send chills down my spine at the same time. I would expect to see abnormal events taking place or people being put in abnormal situations. Yes, I get pleasure out of that!

I won’t keep you waiting in anticipation any longer, be ready for this mind-blowing thriller opening and one of my personal favourites, it’s called SE7EN.  

What really caught my eye from this opening is how simple yet effective it is. You know that saying? ‘Less is more’. If the director added a ‘scary’ face, I honestly do not think it would be as effective. The music too, the music definitely sets the tone of the whole opening by increasing the speed as the pace of the transitions increase from shot to shot. I also found it very different to any other thriller opening. It’s just plain weird, probably another reason that the audience are drawn in. You want to know what the hell is going on! Another thing that I love about this opening is that the audience are drawn in and want to watch it even though it does not give away the story line and have not made it into what is my pet hate, making an opening which has a massive story line itself. I mean where are they planning to go next?! Anyways, I found that the editing of the opening to be phenomenal. The transition of scenes fit in very well as one scene faded into another whilst the ‘shaky’ camera work that was used made it more eye catching to the audience.

Okay, so we’ve now looked at a thriller opening which has less obvious conventions yet has the power to immerse the audience instantly into the film. Now let’s look at an opening that includes what some may say is a more obvious methods of conventions through using all that stereo-typically titled scary stuff ‘blood and bruises’. Not to give too much of it away, here is the opening itself..

Enticing or what? I mean it grabs your attention by starting off with a very graphic imagery without any warning or starting point so they had no idea what to expect. I didn’t expect that anyway! And that’s probably one of the reasons why it’s so rightfully successful. The opening does not use or required any additional music or sound affects to emphasize and bring the ‘thrill’ and ‘suspense’ factor to the opening and we can only hear the weak breathing and painful sobs of a vulnerable female. This sound is very much enough to convey the suspense in which the opening brings without any dramatic music having to create the atmosphere. The shot is filmed so close-up that we can see all the bruises and the sweat that’s falling down her face and makes the audience very uneasy and nervous to even gaze at her. The opening being filmed in black and white creates more atmospheres and furthermore sets a mysterious mood as to where she is or how she got there. A vital role was played by the camera, sound and mise en scene in terms of grasping the audienes attention in the first graphic second that we as the audience are taken back by it instantly as we are put in a dilemma as to whether we should look away as it is too graphic and scary but then again we’d miss parts of this amazing opening if we did.


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