Whether they’re introducing the main characters, or setting up the narrative, the film’s early moments are some of the most important. We all love a kick-ass opener, as they set the tone for the rest of the film and give us a sense of what’s to come. The start is the film’s first oppurtunity to hook the audience and get us engaged with the story. Here is a selection of some of my favourite opening scenes in film.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
“Everybody be cool, this is a robbery!”
Pulp Fiction is an undisputed classic and this scene is a great reflection of Tarantino’s unique style, and emphasis on title sequences. It begins with a compelling and natural conversation between two lovers, before unexpectedly shifting into an armed robbery. This is a terrific opening scene as it has so much energy, zest and fun, and it really gets us excited for the rest of the film.
“Choose a life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television.”
No film has grabbed my attention in the opening moments quite like Trainspotting. The film blasts out Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life”, whilst Renton (Ewen Mcgreggor) berates his cynical view of society. We are introduced to two of the main characters as they run away from shop security guards, just before we meet the rest of the gang through several cutaways. The film’s start really draws us in into the crazy and drug-fuelled world of Renton and his misfit friends.
“What’s your favourite scary movie?”
I must have been in my early teens when I watched Scream for the first time, and I remember being totally shocked by the film’s opening. In my eyes, Scream is one of the greatest horror films of all time, and its opening scene is truly unforgettable. We are introduced to high school student, Casey Becker (Drew Barrymore), as she receives a phone call from a stranger, and the situation quickly escalates as the caller threatens her life. Within the first few moments, the film sets everything in motion for what is a delightfully suspenseful and comedic horror.