The art of epic movie trailers seems to be dying off. In years past, trailers hinted at what was to come in unique ways, some even using footage shot specifically for the trailer, in order to entice viewers to see a film in theaters. In recent years, a lot of trailers are nothing more than various shots of the film set to epic music that fans will analyze and figure out long before the movie hits the big screen.
Fans of horror have found, however, that many advertisements still have some spooky tricks up their sleeves. The horror genre has enjoyed a resurgence over the last decade, however, for a long while the genre had fizzled out in the public eye. Advertisers were tasked with drawing audiences back into seats for fright flicks, and some more than succeeded.
10 Blair Witch - The Woods (2016)
Whenever a well-known series gets another entry, those behind the promotion of the film will often use the title alone to draw in crowds. When The Blair Witch Project received a sequel in 2016, this was not the case. The early trailers showcased a film known as The Woods. This movie quickly gained attention and hype by how little it showed. The movie was about a group of people encountering something in the woods, and that's pretty much it.
Many were surprised by how similar the film seemed to the classic found footage film, and how right they were. When the mysterious films received another trailer during Comic-Con, it was revealed to be another entry in the Blair Witch series. What makes this trailer so unique was that it never claimed to be an already known property, and didn't reveal it until there was already hype around the film.
9 Halloween (2018)
While the trailer to 2018's Halloween seems to be just another basic movie advert, what it meant to fans is what makes it so special. The movie gained hype almost immediately after being announced, with John Carpenter returning to the franchise that made him famous.
This trailer gave fans the first look at the return of the original William Shatner-masked Michael Myers following in the footsteps in the 1978 classic. The trailer just added fuel to the fire of excitement fans felt for the film, which is exactly what a good preview should do. It promised a brutal film and a new look at some classic characters, without giving too much away.
8 The Conjuring (2013)
Today, The Conjuring is known as one of the franchises responsible for breathing new life into the horror genre. The name is synonymous with modern horror, but that wasn't always the case. When the movie began its marketing campaign, it had little to build upon. All it had was some familiar faces attached to it and not much else.
The first teaser had to scare audiences and get them talking about the upcoming film, and it fulfilled and far surpassed expectations. It showcased one of the film's most terrifying scenes, and outside of the title, fans were not sure what to expect, which was terrifying and effective.
7 The Visit (2015)
What makes the trailer for M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit so well-regarded was the fact that it began as an innocent family film. The trailer has happy music and a harmless vibe that tricks the viewer until the sinister core begins to show itself.
The film is somewhat a horror-comedy, and this trailer perfectly hints at that. The movie was believed to be a return for the director, and this trailer helped to fuel that rumor. The movie garnered a following after the preview's release, and the film really put Shyamalan back on the map.
6 IT (2017)
A revamped adaptation of the Stephen King classic IT seemed like a no-brainer to many. Although Tim Curry and the original 1990 miniseries have some serious scares, most agree it's not exactly terrifying. A newer take on the story could make a much darker, much scarier version of the novel, and the first trailer proved this to be true. It showcases some of the better-known scenes from the source material, including the sewer scene with Georgie.
It also showed that the scenes with the children take place in the '80s as opposed to the '50s, giving the story a somewhat modern twist. What really makes the trailer stand out is not only the now iconic sound effects, but the fact that Pennywise isn't fully seen until the very end, and it's a memorable jumpscare.
5 Evil Dead (2013)
Most horror fans don't expect much from YouTube trailers. However, in the weeks leading up to the release of 2013's reboot/sequel Evil Dead, an ad was released that was viewable before YouYube videos that sent shivers down people's spines.
The famous shot of the Deadite in the cellar was present, however, the demonic voice was warning viewers not to skip the following ad. The ad then just shows clips from the film. The voice and the unworldly editing make this intro surprising and unnerving, meaning that even if the viewer skipped it, they are already scared of the movie which makes it an ingenious marketing technique.
4 Annabelle (2014)
One of the standout characters in The Conjuring was only on-screen during the opening minutes. Annabelle and the legend connected to her chilled audiences, and it was only natural when she received her own movie a year later.
The first trailer shows a couple meeting a tragic fate, with the legendary doll being held by a member of the Manson family. When the girl also meets her end, the camera zooms onto the doll, merely hinting at the terrors the film has to offer. The movie seemingly shows the entire plot when in reality it is simply a prelude of sorts, showing audiences there is more to this horrifying story.
3 The Babadook (2014)
An unnerving children's book, a scary child, and a distraught mother. These are the ingredients that mix perfectly together to create one of the most frightening films in recent years, The Babadook. In a world of remakes and sequels, when an original horror movie appears, it turns heads.
The first trailer for the film showed the bare minimum needed to gain interest. All it shows is that a child seems to become obsessed with a creepy children's book and a single mother is desperate to discover why her son is acting the way he is. The titular creature is only shown on the pages of the book, making his sinister appearance in the film all the more terrifying.
2 Hereditary (2018)
Hardly anyone was prepared for the horror held within Hereditary when it was released in 2018. The film was released during festival season and was gaining traction as one of the scariest movies ever made. Practically every horror movie in existence claims this, so the general public mostly ignored these claims.
That is until the first trailer was released, and showed that it was not only a contender for the scariest movie, but it could very well take the crown. Upon release, audiences were shocked at how little the trailer actually revealed, and yet it still helped fill the seats with anticipating horror hounds, proving that with horror, oftentimes less is more.
1 Us (2019)
A completely original horror film from the man behind Get Out already had expectations high. Add in a unique trailer that doesn't dare reveal most of the plot and that's the marketing for Us.
The trailer showed a family encountering their doppelgangers while on vacation, and that's all audiences got. They had to see the film to see why there were clones, why they are bent on terrorizing the protagonists, andwhy they had some of the most unsettling smiles in film history. The trailer showed just enough to gain interest and little enough to create confusion to make people go see what it is all about.