I was thinking about opening credits of television shows the other day, and it occurred to me that some shows have some exceptional credits to open with, whether those shows be good and bad. Some of these credits stick with us because they are awesome, some because they are fun, some because they are annoying, and others because they linger after the fact because they got under your skin. Seeing as this is the month of October and all that, I figured I would take some time to pick out some opening credits for shows that I loved for all sorts of reasons, but the primary reason being that they are all hair-raising in some way. I would not call this the definitive list, but here are five choices.
If you have opening credits that you would like to have added to the list, give me a shout with a reason why (email me or just stick it in the comments) and I will most certainly put it up here!
Okay, right off the bat we all know that I am a huge Hannibal addict. In fact, when it was announced that NBC would not be continuing with the show, I went into a mourning state. How dare those bastards cancel such a great show?! I hope another network picks it up and continues, but if not? Season three ended flawlessly, so even if that is the end of our journey, it was at least a good one. Now, the intro of Hannibal is perfectly suited for the show – stark, clean white background with these face moulds that are drenched with red
blood liquid to enhance their features and that tune that is just poignant, understated and chilling the entire time. The Hannibal intro highlights the fact that less is certainly more sometimes. It didn’t go overboard for guts, gore, or darkness, but it went for white, stark and creepy – definitely drives home the entire concept of the show!
This is likely going to be the most well-known intro of the list, and for a damn fine reason! The X-Files was an excellent show that I absolutely loved watching with my folks when growing up (I know – I was way too young to be watching it with them but they had no qualms and I was totally not going to complain). The into is scary, it is weird, it’s awesome and entertaining as hell – that tune is infamous for a reason and speaks of nothing but bizarre and freaky, and the images as they are displayed on screen? They just fit. In fact, as soon as I am free of my exams I am definitely going to be doing an X-Files marathon – I just can’t wait!
I apologise – again something I cannot get to play while embedded in the post!
A show that ran rampant and gained incredible popularity for all the right reasons (well, season one at any rate – I haven’t heard anything good about season two thus far). Dark country song Far From Any Road sets the tone and scatters disjointed images of the South, factories, Rust and Cohle, religion, desolation, stark reds, fire, plenty silhouettes and just more plain down strange to drive the point home. The opening credits linger, and really get you into the feeling of a season that was executed with precision and really chills you to the bone. The credits don’t rush, which reflects the show down to a tee, and they are weird, which really captures the essence of what True Detective season one had in spades.
American Horror Story
Come on, no matter what happened with this show, the intro has always been one to scare the hell out of people (with the exception of Freakshow – which had so much wasted potential). I have uploaded a compilation of the seasons and their respective intros, because while that disturbing music plays, the most grotesque and spine-chilling pictures/short clips play on the screen, and they are all so dark and messed up and absolutely perfect. They are like the epitome of freaky, horror filled opening credits. It is a pity that eventually the show no longer reflected the super wicked intros – maybe Hotel will be the redeemer, but I have my doubts. I know that this is a great choice because I have plenty of friends who get too unnerved to watch the intro for this show (and even struggled with the content of the first two seasons) and so they always skip it. Now, if that does not attest to the forbidding nature of the intros, then I don’t know what does.
I am sure most people are familiar with True Blood, the show renowned for all its insanity and the way it embraced its absolute cheesiness and ludicrous nature and played it up for seven seasons, that was fun but went downhill at a crazy pace. However, the one thing that was always excellent about the show was its intro. Jace Everett’s Bad Things was an excellent choice for song, being all heavy and seductive, and meanwhile there is this montage of all this crazy stuff – lonely swamps, kids with bloody mouths (but fruit people!), religious exorcisms or just getting real up close and personal with the Spirit, river baptisms, highly sexualised encounters, dancing, all flickering across the screen? I thought it was brilliant, and I have always loved it. Truly a great piece.
Now this is a great intro that peeves me no end. Why? Because the show freaking sucks and does in no way reflect the intro really at all. Which is a real pity. When I hooked the show up to watch and it opened with a brand spanking new Manson track (Cupid Carries A Gun) I was so amped. The song is suited, brash, in your face, haunting, all underscored with this insane little intro – I mean people were bound to chairs, dumped in water, hung, full moons, flames, torture and messed up dolls swinging in trees? Scratchy writing naming the cast? Sweet goodness, sign me the hell up! That was freaking fantastic! However, in no way does it really highlight what is coming, which will rankle me for life. I mean just watching the intro again I am amped to watch it, except, sadly for me, I know what an immense disappointment it will be.
Ah, how could I forget this one?! It’s unforgivable! Thanks to Adam over at Consumed By Film, this has to be put up here. Daredevil’s intro is sullen and dark, what with everything bleeding red tones and being built up with images taking shape, the symbolism of religion and justice, it all comes together in a very chilling way and is all highlighted with that beautiful tune that builds into a driving crescendo as the credits continue. Adam is right, it is so moody and eerie, two words to perfectly sum up the intro. Daredevil itself is dark, gritty, and heavy, and the intro does not miss a beat when it showcases all these things seamlessly in the opening credits.
The Twilight Zone
The lovely Miss Mutant of Cinema Parrot Disco volunteered The Twilight Zone, providing the following:
I’d add my favorite TV show EVER. It’s not “creepy” in the same way these are but the music became so iconic and is so often spoofed now for when anything is “weird”.
Vic of Vic’s Movie Den has said that Sleepy Hollow has a creepy into, and so I have added it to the list!