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Friday, October 29, 2010

Scary trailer countdown. Oct. 29: 'The Strangers'

The scary trailer countdown to Halloween could easily have been restricted to films from the 1970s, especially if The Shining, released in 1980, qualifies. Coming up with spooky, memorable promotional material from the past 20 years has been surprisingly difficult — almost shockingly so, given the popularity of horror films and the viral video possibilities enabled by the Internet. Earlier we watched Twister's eerie trailer from 1996, and while the trailer for The Human Centipede can elicit nightmares, it trades on its disgusting premise more than its artistry. A few clever teasers have taken inspiration from ads and public service announcements, like this Hostel 2 commercial and particularly the warped slide-show teaser for The Strangers.

Can anyone come up with more from the past two decades? I suggest a few others after the jump:

M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense does a nice job of selling its premise and catch-phrase, while keeping the events of the film mysterious.

Following The Sixth Sense's wave of relatively low-key supernatural dramas, Nicole Kidman's The Others gets points for leaving audiences with a delicious weird image at the end:

Next year's remake of Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, produced by Guillermo del Toro, is a dandy, old-school teaser that uses whispers and darkness to build suspense very well:

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