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01.07.2016by: Alex Maidy

Top 10 Greatest Movie Teasers of All Time

With almost every trailer released, we lament the mystery and magic of a well made teaser. In fact, most studios these days are content to release teasers for trailers to build anticipation rather than give us a true tease of the movie to come. But, even in recent years, we have had some excellent teasers that have had us question and theorize about what the movie will be to come. Here is our ranking of the ten best teasers of all time. Some show footage from the film while others are nothing more than expertly constructed shadows and light. If your favorite teaser didn't make the cut, feel free to let us know in the talk backs below.

#10 - INDEPENDENCE DAY

Back before destruction porn became a common sight on the big screen, INDEPENDENCE DAY gave us the iconic images of a fireball engulfing blocks of New York City streets and the unmistakable sight of an alien ship blowing the White House to smithereens. We have seen destruction like this since ID4, but it was so shocking to see in this brief teaser that we all wanted to know what the hell Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin had coming our way.

#9 - THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT

A micro-budget horror film that kickstarted the found footage craze of the last couple of decades, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT was a word of mouth phenomenon that generated buzz coming out of film festivals before unleashing this mysterious teaser on the general public. No one knew what they were in for, but the promise of such a realistic experience sold countless on seeing this film in theaters.

#8 - INCEPTION

The phrase "from the director of THE DARK KNIGHT" would have been enough to put asses in seats, but Christopher Nolan had to go and give us a puzzle audiences tried to unlock for the months leading to the release of INCEPTION. What the hell was it going to be about? There are MATRIX-esque fight scenes, slow motion shots of Leonardo DiCaprio emerging from a bathtub, and that trademark "BWAAAAAAAM" sound that became overused in the following years. Few filmmakers can create original properties these days but Christopher Nolan is the master.

#7 - JURASSIC PARK

This teaser, composed of scenes that show no dinosaurs, managed to sell us on the magic and excitement Steven Spielberg's film would deliver on in spades. The heavy-handed narration used to be a staple of old school teasers and trailers but works to great effect here. John Williams' music plays beautifully over images of a mosquito caught in amber and defines what a teaser should be.

#6 - THE SHINING

Stanley Kubrick's labyrinthine horror film has countless iconic images that could have been used for a teaser, but by focusing on the slow motion elevator full of blood and some scrolling text, THE SHINING manages to have the most simplistic and frightening teaser ever made. If you had never heard of the novel before seeing this teaser, you likely would have run to the book store to see what the hell this was all about. That is how it is done.

#5 - SPIDER-MAN

After the tragic events of September 11th, this teaser was pulled from circulation. But, living on in the annals of YouTube, fans can see one of the best teasers ever made. Using no footage from the film itself, this teaser serves more as a short film introduction to the first live action Spider-man film. The action feels more like Michael Bay than Sam Raimi, but it still managed to confuse audiences until the final shot of the webslinger himself.

#4 - MEN IN BLACK

This teaser is really comprised of three parts: the exposition intro by Tommy Lee Jones of who the Men in Black are, the hilarious clip of Jones and Will Smith facing down a crashing UFO, and the logo reveal. All three work together so seamlessly that you feel like this video lasts more than the mere two minute run time. This teaser also captures the odd couple dynamic of the two characters and teases endless possibilities for what the movie would actually be. Good thing it delivered.

#3 - ALIEN

When Ridley Scott's PROMETHEUS debuted a teaser that evoked the one for ALIEN, fans felt the geek credibility behind the effort. Unlike the PROMETHEUS teaser, the one for ALIEN feels like it shows even less footage while still driving home the gothic horror tone of the movie. The brooding and ominous sound effects and fleeting glimpses of scenes from the film coupled with the slow title reveal help make ALIEN one of the best teasers of all time.

#2 - CLOVERFIELD

J.J. Abrams' films have resulted in some damn fine teasers over the years. From SUPER 8 to STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, Abrams' effort to keep his movies mysterious has touched the marketing which has resulted in teasers in the most literal definition. With CLOVERFIELD, Abrams' Bad Robot productions and director Matt Reeves made a found footage monster movie and yet we were unable to discern exactly what we were in for. From the vague title to the teaser that only betrays what is coming with the final shot of the head of the Statue of Liberty plummeting to the street, CLOVERFIELD's teaser is one of the best of all time.

#1 - TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY

Seven years after James Cameron's THE TERMINATOR, Arnold Schwarzenegger returned in a slightly different capacity as the killer robot, this time with a heart of gold. But, this teaser was designed to show us that the terror of the T-800 was being rebuilt followed by Arnold's trademark visage and the reveal of the film's title. For just a couple of minutes, TERMINATOR 2 was teased as the most amazing film coming to a theater near you and yet we don't see a single glimpse of actual footage. Nobody has done it better.

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+0
8:07AM on 01/09/2016
I always liked Hulk (2003)'s teaser [link]
Also remember that time in the early 00's when they tought logo's would be great teasers, ugh.
I always liked Hulk (2003)'s teaser [link]
Also remember that time in the early 00's when they tought logo's would be great teasers, ugh.
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+1
4:31PM on 01/08/2016
My favorite teaser is another Arnie's masterpieces, Total Recall.
[link]
My favorite teaser is another Arnie's masterpieces, Total Recall.
[link]
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4:31PM on 01/08/2016
My favorite teaser is another Arnie's masterpieces, Total Recall.
[link]
My favorite teaser is another Arnie's masterpieces, Total Recall.
[link]
Your Reply:



12:23PM on 01/08/2016
I've always loved the 98 Godzilla one (even though the movie was terrible). Just the old man going to fish like a normal day and then suddenly the giant wave come out of nowhere.
Another one is LEGEND. Tim Curry's voice over is creepy as fuck and painted the movie way scarier than it actually was.
I've always loved the 98 Godzilla one (even though the movie was terrible). Just the old man going to fish like a normal day and then suddenly the giant wave come out of nowhere.
Another one is LEGEND. Tim Curry's voice over is creepy as fuck and painted the movie way scarier than it actually was.
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11:32AM on 01/08/2016

My personal favorite

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11:30AM on 01/08/2016
The reason why this teaser works it didn't even make sense. Love this.
The reason why this teaser works it didn't even make sense. Love this.
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11:23AM on 01/08/2016
A perfect teaser.
A perfect teaser.
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10:12AM on 01/08/2016
Still may favorite Nolan film.
Still may favorite Nolan film.
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9:54AM on 01/08/2016
This teaser had everyone talking that summer! Some people even thought it would be Voltron!
This teaser had everyone talking that summer! Some people even thought it would be Voltron!
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6:29AM on 01/08/2016

A long time ago... (ok, 1998) in a galaxy far, far away...

I'm surprised the very 1st teaser for "The Phantom Menace" that debuted w/ "A Bug's Life" didn't make it onto this list. Deny it all you want...but throughout fall / winter 1998 & spring 1999...the hype surrounding "Episode I" was just as big (if not bigger) than "Force Awakens". Who could forget that *very* first image we all saw of the desert sand dunes we knew to be Tattooine or the glimmer of color & light when a lightsaber ignited on the big screen for the first time in so long.

And
I'm surprised the very 1st teaser for "The Phantom Menace" that debuted w/ "A Bug's Life" didn't make it onto this list. Deny it all you want...but throughout fall / winter 1998 & spring 1999...the hype surrounding "Episode I" was just as big (if not bigger) than "Force Awakens". Who could forget that *very* first image we all saw of the desert sand dunes we knew to be Tattooine or the glimmer of color & light when a lightsaber ignited on the big screen for the first time in so long.

And then....Darth. Fucking. Maul. [sighs, grabs kleenex] haha

It can be argued that since this was the 1st new live - action, canonical "Wars" movie fans would be getting to see in 16 years since "Return Of The Jedi"...that's why the hype was so deafening. (Well...that and It's. Fucking. Star. Wars!)

It came @ a time where most of the kids / teens / 20 something's from the late 70's & early 80's who were the original fanbase still had those fond memories of the OT & were just starting to have kids of their own. They all couldn't wait to pass this awesome franchise down to their young ones. Unfortunately...it just wasn't for everyone.

Prequel Trilogy haters outnumber it's fans 20 to 1. (I myself LOVED the prequels. All of them) And even tho people seem to hate on "Menace" more than most....that teaser in '98 certainly brought out the fanboy in EVERYBODY!
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7:29AM on 01/08/2016
I remember Episode 1's buzz back then was pretty big - as big as The Force Awakens. I remember it took me a long time just load it on Quicktime to watch the trailer back then, haha.
I remember Episode 1's buzz back then was pretty big - as big as The Force Awakens. I remember it took me a long time just load it on Quicktime to watch the trailer back then, haha.
6:02AM on 01/08/2016
The Spidey teaser was epic to me. Probably as pumped as I've ever been for a movie.

T2 is probably a close 2nd. Most pumped I'll ever be in my life for a sequel.
The Spidey teaser was epic to me. Probably as pumped as I've ever been for a movie.

T2 is probably a close 2nd. Most pumped I'll ever be in my life for a sequel.
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5:57AM on 01/08/2016
Definitely my favorite. This thing had me soooooo stoked to see this movie.
Definitely my favorite. This thing had me soooooo stoked to see this movie.
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12:34AM on 01/08/2016
I think Watchmen or 300 should have been on the list. I mean, isn't that the one thing about Zack Snyder that everyone agrees on? That he makes the best teasers/trailers?
I think Watchmen or 300 should have been on the list. I mean, isn't that the one thing about Zack Snyder that everyone agrees on? That he makes the best teasers/trailers?
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11:57PM on 01/07/2016
Oh, I agree that it was a great teaser, but the movie sucked!
Oh, I agree that it was a great teaser, but the movie sucked!
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11:54PM on 01/07/2016
Remember way back before the internet the first time you'd hear about a movie was when you saw the trailer or poster? My dad had no idea they were making a second Terminator and when we saw this in the theater he freaked out like an 8-year-old.
Remember way back before the internet the first time you'd hear about a movie was when you saw the trailer or poster? My dad had no idea they were making a second Terminator and when we saw this in the theater he freaked out like an 8-year-old.
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11:45PM on 01/07/2016
This might be my favorite teaser of all time. I saw this in front of Jurassic Park III and was so damn excited.
This might be my favorite teaser of all time. I saw this in front of Jurassic Park III and was so damn excited.
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11:31PM on 01/07/2016

Red Eye

Red Eye had the best teaser. It starts off as a romcom and then you see "From Wes Craven".
[link]
Red Eye had the best teaser. It starts off as a romcom and then you see "From Wes Craven".
[link]
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+0
10:39PM on 01/07/2016
Spider-Man, absolutely. Though they shouldn't have even shown him at all. Cue titlecard after the web between the towers and you have yourself the ultimate teaser.
Spider-Man, absolutely. Though they shouldn't have even shown him at all. Cue titlecard after the web between the towers and you have yourself the ultimate teaser.
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10:34PM on 01/07/2016
This really is a great teaser. They just don't make teasers like this anymore.
This really is a great teaser. They just don't make teasers like this anymore.
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10:31PM on 01/07/2016
It really is tragic that this trailer was pulled from the circulation because it was such a great teaser.
It really is tragic that this trailer was pulled from the circulation because it was such a great teaser.
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10:29PM on 01/07/2016
This trailer scared the crap out of me when I was a kid.
This trailer scared the crap out of me when I was a kid.
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