×

13 Scariest Horror Movie Trailers Ever Made

By Evan Jacobs — October 30th, 2015

What makes us want to see any movie? Is it really the actors anymore? If that's the case, why do big name actors have so many movies that are losing money at the box office? What makes people want to go a see a movie is quite simply the trailer. Yes, that 2-3 minute snapshot of a film is the thing that draws us in. And, when dealing with genres, horror movies, aside from science fiction, seem to have all the others licked. In fact, the time constraints and story constructs of the trailer seem perfectly suited to this genre.

How so, you may wonder? Well, horror movies need only have a few elements to make them workable. In fact, 2-3 minutes might be too LONG for sneak peeks at these films. At their core, a horror film needs to have thrills, chills, girls, guys and gore. Yet, you don't want to reveal too much. However, that is where the horror genre is able to exploit these structural elements to their fullest potential.

So, is that all you need to have? Will people flock to your movie over that of one with a name actor if you present them with the requisite elements? No! This is the film business, right? The elements need to be put together in a way that is tantalizing to the viewer. Then, once you have that, if your film can also be interesting, unique or feature a surprise that promises to be one of those two, you just might have a film that will make viewers part with their dollars or hit BUY or RENT on their On Demand remotes.

And what better way to both display this and continue to celebrate Halloween than give you a list of the "13 Scariest Horror Movie Trailers Ever Made"? We know you remember them. They were the ones you saw in a theater or rewatched on DVD because you liked them so much.

They were the ones that had something about them that made you feel like you were going to be scared like never before. They were the ones that made you fall in love with this crazy, fun, quixotic genre called horror films. Or, maybe you are new to these films and want to know what all the hype is before you spend your precious time watching them. Think back to when you were a small child. Sometimes, the trailer was the only part of any given horror movie you were allowed to see. And it still worked, because the short spools of film still had all of their scary parts!

Do you remember any horror movie trailers that scared or scarred you as a kid? Chances are, a movie trailer first introduced you to some of Hollywood's scariest boogie man. Before you really got to become intimate with Freddy, Jason and Michael, these are all probably creeping shadows you first witness in a sneak peek not meant for your eyes. That first introduction is possibly what still makes them scary to this day.

Most of the best scary trailers were made way back in the day, as you can see by our list. In the 70s and 80s, trailers weren't as slick as they are today. They were truly terrifying pieces of blood-soaked cinema cobbled together by some maniac in a studio dungeon somewhere. These collections of horrifying images were made even more terrifying by a lack of structure and narrative. It's like being thrown in a pitch black room without a flashlight before hearing someone scream, 'Run!' These are the monsters that lurk in your closet at night. These are the things that give you nightmares!

And sometimes, a trailer can bring you to the edge of your seat with complete silence, as is the case with the first Alien movie. Trailers know how to play into your emotions, banging out beads of sweat like a coal miner digging for that elusive blood diamond. There are creatures of the night, serial killers, killer animals, space creatures, boogey men, babadooks, bleeders, slashers, and screamers. They're all here. And they want to munch on your guts and get deep inside that shallow brain of yours. Nesting, resting and ready to strike without a moments notice!

Whatever the case may be, sit back, heat up some popcorn, read our list and sample what we think are the horror movie trailers that really told it like was! We've also included all of the trailers, so you can bath in the blood, scream along and get a fear boner just like Pete and Kevin!

1The Exorcist 1973

With its ominous opening and red letters, nobody knew quite what was coming when this trailer burst onto the screen. Whether it was the image of the demons being on the screen for a few seconds, or young Regan (Linda Blair) writhing on the bed in full on possessed mode...If The Exorcist trailer didn't scare you, then you've got serious horror movie issues. The world had never seen a film like this before. Sure, this thriller was based on a best selling novel, but nobody thought that what was on the page could be converted to the big screen. Man, was it ever! This trailer also features the striking songs of The Exorcist theme which continued to haunt the film and viewers long after it first aired. Director William Friedkin certainly rose to the occasion with this film. This trailer was probably one of the few times where non-horror fans were intrigued enough to see a film that non-horror movie fans would've otherwise stayed away from.

Your browser doesn't support HTML5 video.

Related Stories