There are some phrases which should never occur out of a horror movie.
‘I have something to tell you’ which usually implies ‘and I think you ought to sit down first.’
‘I want a word’ and even worse ‘I’d just like a wee word.’
‘Can we have a chat?’
‘I feel it my duty to tell you’ (old fashioned but terribly foreboding)
‘I’m afraid that …’ Nothing good ever followed that.
Any of these phrases make me want to hide under the stairs with my fingers in my ears saying: ‘la,la,la.’
So what opening gambit really chills your blood?