The 50 Greatest Trailers of All Time
From "Watchmen" to "The Minus Man," we count down the greatest trailers out there.
Surprise is key to the “Cloverfield” teaser, which — without any marketable stars to pivot its sales pitch around — instead expertly plays up its film’s reality-caught-on-tape conceit. Opening with home movie footage of a Manhattan loft party in which revelers wish their friend Rob a fond farewell, the trailer immediately intrigues by positing a familiar scene of merry 20-somethings that could just as easily be the set-up for an indie rom-com or a serial killer thriller.
Couching its action in the sweetly ordinary is the trailer’s (as well as the film’s) grand stroke of inspiration, creating such relatable, everyday circumstances that the sudden mysterious roar that interrupts the festivities — and the subsequent, fiery explosion spied from the building’s rooftop — proves fantastically chilling. From there, one is jump-cut-plunged into an unexpected scene of chaotic monster mash terror that, taking a page from “Independence Day”’s monuments-loving playbook, culminates with one of the most chilling money shots — Wait, did something just throw that into the street? — in trailer history. There’s nary a mention of a title, in part because one wasn’t finalized yet, but also because the creators seemed perfectly confident that a release date was all that was necessary. –Nick Schager
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