Movie trailers are one of the few things in the industry that you really can’t improve upon with technology. It’s just editing – that’s it. Nothing else can make a trailer better besides skill. This is also why it seems like they generally get better every year (not always the case though).
It’s difficult to nail down exactly what makes a teaser trailer effective, which is why we’re going to focus simply on intensity. It’s the best part, especially when a film is already anticipated from the start due to being an adaptation or a sequel.
So here we go – fifteen movie teasers that have your heart pounding before the feature presentation even begins.
15. The Master
It felt right to have at least one trailer for a film that hasn’t seen theaters yet. After all – the quality of the film itself hardly matters when judging the trailer.
This teaser, the first of its kind released for the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film, manages to take the most mundane activities and make them ominous. It’s essentially just a dude being talked to intercut with some humdrum sand sculpting and beach fighting. But take that and add in some creepy-ass Joaquin Phoenix grimacing and off-putting experimental percussion that could only come from the guy from Radiohead and you got yourself a disturbing little teaser.
14. Jurassic Park
So I lied when I said that all trailers are is just good editing; sometimes they will actually shoot entire scenes just for the damn teaser. This is one of those cases.
It’s pretty old school in a way, lacking the slick feel of most modern trailers. However the slow tracking shot through a microscope and into the eye of a mosquito while the narrator explains the dinosaur cloning process is enough to make anyone pee themselves in anticipation for the carnage implied by the distinct roaring and whooshing sounds as the Jurassic Park logo flies into focus.
It’s the teaser that made entire theaters full of people stand up and say, “Whoa! Wait… what?”
Nothing more confoundedly vague than “Your mind is the scene of the crime” over swooping shots through a city and people flying through hallways while Leonardo DiCaprio stares intensely at nothing in particular. There’s literally millions of ways the film could have gone from this teaser, all of them were surely awesome.