The 50 Greatest Trailers of All Time
From "Watchmen" to "The Minus Man," we count down the greatest trailers out there.
Masterfully cut and artful to boot, the first glimpse of Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-horror classic features not a single word of dialogue and begins in abstract: a ride through a star field, a hover above some sort of moon rock, blocky shapes that slowly materialize into the letters of the title, craggy landscape traversed with a macro lens before pulling back to clarify what lies on that cratered surface — the egg of an alien life form. It cracks open, releasing an ill-omened white light and the high-pitched alarm (an animalistic squeal?) that unnerves throughout the rest of the trailer.
Astronauts tiptoe into an extraterrestrial ship, crosscut with Sigourney Weaver inexplicably running through corridors, with confounding/enticing images flashing almost subliminally in between (a space crew awakening from hyper-sleep, Harry Dean Stanton’s bewildered close-up) before all hell breaks loose (an obscured Ian Holm spurting milky blood, a cat hissing, a never-before-seen “face hugger” in a frenzy). From above the planet, an onscreen title ultimately seals the deal, seeming all the more foreboding for the vaccuum of diegetic sound that came before it: “In space, no one can hear you scream.” It’s one of the most famous taglines of all time, though I’m quite partial to the far less effective “Alien3″ slogan that ambiguously referenced either a breeding alien or Weaver’s Lt. Ripley, believe it or not (“In case you haven’t noticed, the bitch is back”). –Aaron Hillis
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