The 50 Greatest Trailers of All Time
From "Watchmen" to "The Minus Man," we count down the greatest trailers out there.
Stanley Kubrick had already made Stephen King’s terrifying best-seller his own, as the novel never featured the ghostly vision of twin little girls, or “Heeeeere’s Johnny!” or the equally iconic Overlook Hotel elevator hallway that the trailer centers on. For nearly the first minute, this image of those menacing doors remains static as credits roll up, announcing all the major players of this collaboration: Kubrick, Nicholson, Duvall, King. A synth-heavy drone with tinkling notes soon builds into a swarm of ominous noise (one almost expects the Tycho Monolith to appear), and then in slow motion, gallons of blood pour out from the doors, splash up the walls and onto the camera, a tidal wave so thick that the furniture starts floating. (The combination of unsettling soundtrack and visuals was recently borrowed for the somewhat larger-scale teaser to Roland Emmerich’s upcoming apocalyptic disaster flick “2012.”)
Kubrick was a compulsive perfectionist, so while it only took three takes to nail this moment on a miniature set (each time spending nine days to reset the shot), it took about a year before he was happy with how the blood itself looked. This is especially ironic, since Kubrick still convinced the MPAA — who, at the time, would not allow trailers to feature blood if they were to be approved for all audiences — that the blood was merely rusty water. –Aaron Hillis
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