The Best Teaser Trailers of All Time


10. JJ Abrams’ Star Trek

JJ Abrams is a director who likes to tease a mystery, so its no wonder that his films have such great teaser trailers. The first trailer for Star Trek grounded the previously nerdy Star Trek franchise in the history of the American space program with the grand reveal of the construction of the USS Enterprise.

9. Superman Returns 

The teaser trailer for Superman Returns used to give me goosebumps, the mixture of Marlon Brando’s voice over with John Williams original score teased over quick glimpses from Bryan Singer’s take on the classic character.

8. Blair Witch Project

The original trailer for The Blair Witch Project sold the film based on a lie: the premise that this was a real story, and a real documentary which went horribly wrong. We are told this with only few lines of text on the screen, accompanied by the audio from one of the tapes, and a few moments of Heather Donahue crying into the camera before concluding with the url. This was one of the first teaser trailers that drove viewers to the internet in droves. And it was one of the first movies to use the internet as a viral marketing platform. For all of these reasons, this teaser deserves a place in the top 10.

7. Jurassic Park

I didn’t hate the Jurassic World teaser trailer, but like many of you, I was hoping for something less revealing and more teasery. The teaser trailer to Jurassic Park was perfect, selling the core concept behind the film based not on any tentpole moments from the film itself, but on the backstory of the discovery of the prehistoric mosquito captured in amber.

6. Alien

One of the most haunting original teaser trailers ever released.

5. Requiem For a Dream

The teaser trailer perfectly captures the visceral hip-hop montage style of this early Darren Aronofsky masterpiece. The teaser almost feels like an experimental film, cut music video style to Clint Mansell‘s amazing score. Its amazing that this trailer is almost 15 years old but feels like something more contemporary.

4. Psycho (1960)

I stated in the opening that teaser trailers usually run under 90 seconds and usually no more than two minutes in length, but there are exceptions. The biggest exception to the rule is probably the six and a half minute teaser trailer for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic Psycho. The teaser follows legendary horror director Hitchcock as he gives us a tour of the Psycho house and the Bates Motel. Remarkably, the teaser, which runs almost seven minutes, only has a few seconds of footage from the actual film. I love how different and interesting this trailer is, and can’t even imagine a big director like Steven Spielberg or Christopher Nolan doing this sort of thing for their movies today.

3. Cloverfield

This trailer is near the top of this list because it does everything a great teaser trailer should do. It’s unexpecting as you could possibly get, it packs a surprise, yet doesn’t even reveal whats going on. No one even knew this movie was coming. Matt Reeves filmed the teaser before production even began, and Paramount attached the teaser trailer to Transformers in the summer of 2007. The teaser ended with only the date January 18, 2008. No title. Moviegoers leaving the theater immediately went on a search trying to figure out more about the movie. An online community quickly formed, chasing all the clues dropped by the production and marketing team.

2. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace 

The Phantom Menace teaser trailer might be the best of the released Star Wars teasers to date, giving us our first glimpse of the promise of another Star Wars trilogy. There are so manty things about this teaser trailer that are great, from Yoda’s fear leads to suffering speach to the reveal of Darth Maul’s double sided lightsaber. While the final film disappointed many, this teaser trailer didn’t.

1. Independence Day

This teaser trailer played during the Super Bowl that year and it was the commercial everyone was talking about the next day. The realism of the visual effects was unlike anything we had seen before, and the image of the white house being blown up by aliens was as visceral as you can get.

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