10 scariest movie trailers for non-horror movies, ranked
The best horror movie trailers manage to be themselves like miniature horror movies. Sometimes even a trailer for a non-horror movie can be seen as creepy or unsettling. It all depends on how the preview displays the series of events.
Typically, these trailers are meant for real-life thrillers with real-life ramifications. However, some of these creepy previews are even about films meant to appeal to children’s audiences. No matter what genre or demographic you are looking for, some trailers can lift the hair on the viewer’s neck if watched in a dark theater.
ten Nightcrawler (2014)
Somnambulist isn’t a horror movie, but Jake Gyllenhaal’s Louis Bloom is certainly a scary character. He’s one of the few main characters to be the villain of their own movie. The trailer makes it clear that he is a scavenger in society, effectively feeding off the suffering of others for his own benefit.
Gyllenhaal’s appearance in the trailer alone is enough to make your hair stand on end; he’s thin and bony with an evil smile. Then, looking at himself in a mirror, he loses his smile in favor of a cry of rage. Bloom seems to enjoy recording crime, and it’s not just because he could advance his own career. The trailer informs the viewer that they actually enjoy capturing the carnage on their camcorder.
9 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Based on the classic book by Roald Dahl, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) is undoubtedly equally appreciated. The trailer shows the factory and the beautiful settings inside, but it starts off by showing the group of screaming children.
Then he moves over to Charlie, introducing mirth to him and his family. After introducing Gene Wilder as Wonka, he steps into the film’s iconic and trippy scene. Then the trailer jumps into a jarring cut of naughty kids ultimately meeting their candy-less fate (including Veruca Salt falling through the hatch and Augustus Gloop getting sucked out of the pipe). This is the trailer for a children’s film showing children being punished in a chocolate factory; parents would be less afraid than children.
8 No Country for Old People (2008)
“Let me ask you something. What have you ever lost the most in a raffle? Javier Bardem says as his Anton Chigurh opens the trailer. Before the other person can even respond, the audience knows this is a tense exchange. There are then a few quick shots of a windmill and a few dead bodies (heavily implicating the only man the audience has encountered).
The man facing Chigurh is visibly puzzled. He said, “Look, I need to know what I have to gain. In his croaked voice, There is no country for old peopleThe villainous hitman says “Everything. Call him.” Anyone who watches the trailer knows that when he tells the man that he has everything to win, what Chigurh really means is that the man is standing by. to lose all.
seven Coraline (2009)
Starring one of fiction’s darkest fantasy worlds, Coraline has an equally sad and scary trailer. The trailer begins by showing Coraline Daniels (Dakota Fanning) arriving at a new dilapidated house. Next, she walks into the bathroom where the shower rains muddy water on her head (using an awesome stop-motion technique).
The character design is disturbing, as is the rest of its surroundings. This is high when taken to a parallel universe that looks like a Halloween themed park. There, she and the audience meet a parallel version of Coraline’s black-eyed mother.
6 Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Requiem for a dreamThe trailer for contains a host of stressful images. The rise of relatively slow-paced music doesn’t help. Next, Ellen Burstyn’s Sara Goldfarb is shown rushing around her house in a montage. It’s clear that she’s feverishly looking for something, but it’s not clear exactly what.
There are quick shots of pills slapped in the palms, heroin being injected, men running through alleys, guns, Marlon Wayans character running in panic, Goldfarb in electroshock therapy watching another version. of herself adorned with a sumptuous dress. Even the very first trailer showed many of these gruesome footage, revealing that the film wouldn’t be for the faint of heart.
5 Deliverance (1972)
The trailer for Issuance begins by firmly establishing that the quartet of protagonists lived a suburban life. Now they are in the woods of the Appalachians with sinister inhabitants and dangerous terrain. The iconic Dueling Banjos plays softly in the background.
He then presents the four characters by indicating their professions. The Dueling Banjos gets stronger. Then, as the names of the actors are listed, the clips become more and more intense. Jon Voight’s character screams that “something’s wrong” as they paddle the increasingly turbulent river. Next, images of their descent down the river are interspersed with images of them burying a body. It’s an intense trailer that adequately showcases the hellish journey. As a full movie, Issuance still stands today.
4 Contagion (2011)
Steven Soderbergh’s preview Contagion was intentionally chaotic. People run in panic as the main characters scream into the phones. However, the big moment that makes the movie feel like an outright horror flick involves Gwyneth Paltrow’s Beth Emhoff.
She is lying on a bed, looking unhealthy, before staring right off the screen with a moan of pain. His appearance is pale and somewhat skeletal, informing audiences that the film would have no problem killing characters played by big celebrities. Fear of the trailer has only increased since the onset of COVID-19.
3 James and the Giant Peach (1996)
James and the giant peach is in itself a scary movie. The trailer matches that, starting with the announcement that it’s from Disney before moving straight to some rather dark content.
The visual style is horrible if not equally beautiful. The characters are quite unique in their characterization as a humanoid insect, which makes the film technically astute but probably a bit too much for younger people. Additionally, the trailer states that James and the giant peach is somewhat adult in another way: innuendo. Around the 30 second mark, Richard Dreyfuss’ Mr. Centipede is looking at hidden ghosts as he shouts “Holy shipwreck!” and is shot off camera.
2 The Marathon Man (1976)
The plot of John Schlesinger man marathon follows a graduate student (Dustin Hoffman) who finds himself caught up in the ploy of a Nazi, Christian Szell, to seize a stash of diamonds.
The trailer for man marathon begins with the character of Hoffman panting at the sight of an intruder. His quick thrills don’t end there, as William Devane’s character comes up with the concept of using Hoffman as a bate. Then Laurence Olivier’s Nazi war criminal begins to mumble “Is it safe? Is it safe?” intermittently in the rest of the trailer. The composition of the clips has been creepily edited before, but showing off some snaps from the dental torture scene makes the trailer for this thriller appear to be for a horror movie.
1 Back to Oz (1985)
It’s confusing to imagine someone thinking Back to Oz would suit children. The trailer alone is unsettling, featuring animatronic talking chickens and a hideous Nome King.
It starts with Fairuza Balk (as Dorothy) soaring through the air as a rocky-toned narrator mentions that the movie is from Disney. Next, it reviews some of the legitimately disturbing creatures from the movie: Jack Pumpkinhead, the Wheelers, the Scarecrow (with a very different appearance to the character in the 1939 original), and the aforementioned Nome King. The film itself is notoriously dark, and the uncomfortable images from the trailer are present throughout. The Wizard of Oz has a somewhat creepy trailer, but Disney Back to Oz (an unofficial sequel) has a trailer that’s a nightmare fuel.
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