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Iconic Horror Movie Opening Credits

By Josh Bate

It’s a testament to how scary a film is that its opening credits can send chills down viewers’ spines. The horror genre has a long history of iconic opening credits sequence, but there’s a few that especially stand out.


John Carpenter’s Halloween theme coupled with the imagery of the jack-o-lantern is a masterpiece to say the least. The orange contrasts beautifully with the pitch black of the background. It’s a credits sequence that can be watched over and over again.

The Shining

An aerial shot of a car traversing a road shouldn’t be scary, but it absolutely is in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. The booming, haunting music sets an ominous tone for the story that will unfold. And the car’s long travel along a twisting, remote road tells the audience just how secluded the Torrance family is on this journey.


Saul Bass’ opening credits for Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho put the audience on the edge of their seats. It’s a surprisingly simple, yet effective title sequence. Lines appear and disappear, similar to the highway Janet Leigh’s character is escaping from after her robbery.

The Thing

Carpenter is not only a master of horror – he’s a master of opening credits in horror films. Ennio Morricone leads the audience into the film in a quiet, haunting manner that builds and builds in intensity before the stunning title flashes on screen.

Get Out

Get Out’s opening sequence is disturbing and chilling. As Lakeith Stanfield’s character is suddenly kidnapped and “Run Rabbit Run” plays, the music abruptly cuts out to a score and the credits. Translated from Swahili, the lyrics read “Brother, listen to the ancestors. Run! You need to run far (listen to the truth)!” After several moments, the music changes yet again to Childish Gambino’s “Redbone.” Each musical transition works perfectly and sets the stage nicely for the rollercoaster ride ahead.

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