The Blair Witch Project (1999)
We know it’s hard, but try to forget the Paranormal Activity franchise and The Blair Witch Project parodies featuring snotty noses and hysterical shrieking. Think back to when Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez’s shaky cam classic arrived on the scene and how everyone you knew was playing detective, trying to uncover any possible real-life story behind the movie. Blair Witch was a phenomenon when it was released, and the film’s trailer proves why. The directors managed to create a mythology that felt real — with ties to the occult and urban legends (something everyone is familiar with) — and delivered maximum fear on a minimum budget. This teaser was a perfect translation of that.
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
This rare trailer for Roman Polanski’s satanic apartment chiller starts out with a lovemaking session, but quickly devolves into a surreal nightmare. At first the psychedelic track softens the blow, and black candles help make the clip feel dark and… sexy. Then, everything goes silent, and we’re left with the sound of wind and a baby wailing, its carriage perched atop a rocky cliff. Cue a gravelly voice-over telling us the movie is for mature audiences only. Spine. Tingled.
Black Christmas (1974)
One of the earliest slasher films, Bob Clark’s Black Christmas sounds like a movie you’ve seen a thousand times — except it’s executed a million times better. Many of the slasher conventions movies employ today were established in Clark’s sorority house screamer. Even this 1974 trailer for the movie, which intercuts a serene holiday scene with ear-piercing screams and disturbing shots of women being brutally attacked, feels fresh and unique almost 40 years later. And like the film, the trailer shows almost no gore, but manages to be extremely creepy. This clip highlights some of Clark’s awesome camerawork, including some of the earliest killer POV shots put to film.