A few months back, with a video by Jacob T. Swinney, we talked a bit about the impact the first and final frames of a movie can have on the viewer. It seems Swinney’s videos have inspired others to take a look at other films, and we couldn’t be happier that more of these are surfacing across all manner of video sites. Case in point, this horror edition that comes just in time for Halloween.
Compiled by Plot Point Productions this supercut gives us a side by side view of the first and final few frames of some classic and contemporary horror films. As with Swinney’s “First and Final Frames” series, it’s eye-opening to see how deliberate some film makers are on what we see as bookends to their creations. Some mirrored shots in framing and blocking, some almost identical but with different context.
Whats becomes apparent with some of these films is that there are distinct narratives in some of the first and final frames. While this can be said about any movie, there’s something a little more special about horror films. They stay with us a bit longer after we watch them, and we hope the monsters on screen aren’t here in real life. Great horror films end with us knowing it’s not over for the characters – no one really “wins.” This is especially true in films like Evil Dead, where the evil force is just as motivated and floaty as ever, or Hellraiser‘s near-identical shot of the puzzle box on a table ready to, well, raise more hell.
What’s also apparent is the affinity for jump-scares in modern horror. I’m going to be a crotchety old man here, but a lot of classic horror films gave us a fade-out or last shot that made us think while more modern ones just give us the equivalent of a visual shout. Come on horror; you’re better than that.
What are your favorite first and last frames of horror? Let us know in the comments below!
Image: Hellraiser: Entertainment Film