Are you a master of suspense or merely a novice of vague anxiety

By Alex Heigl
Updated October 08, 2015 11:00 AM
Credit: New Line Cinema/Courtesy Everett Collection

Halloween is approaching, and the only logical way of preparing (other than stocking up on candy) is by binge-watching horror movies until you’re rendered unable to speak or sleep because of the accumulated nightmare fuel of dozens of fright-auteurs coursing through your brain. (Well, that and the pumpkin spice lattes.)

A truly classic horror movie works on multiple levels: John Carpenter’s eerie score to Halloween pursues our ears as relentlessly as Michael Myers does Laurie Strode, and while we’re not belittling Mia Farrow’s performance in Rosemary’s Baby, the film’s visuals wouldn’t’ve been as strong in the hands of a lesser director than Roman Polanski.

But you can’t make an audience jump without first drawing them deep into your dreadful world, and that’s why the first scene of a horror film is so crucial. You can open with a bang or a slow creep, but you’ve got to craft a singular vision so you can gleefully hack it to bits with a chainsaw or knife or what have you.

Test your knowledge of the classic horror canon by seeing if you’re able to correctly guess which films these opening shots are from. //