4. Alien (1979)
It’s also one of the only movies I can think of where the trailer is scarier than the actual film.
Oh my god that trailer is terrifying! Given that the first half is nothing but unnerving silence over a closeup of an alien egg which leaves only the last sixty seconds to scare the pants off you. So without wasting any more time the trailer hits you with a rapid succession of cuts between grainy closeups, smoke filled corridors, people running for their lives, bright lights, and a way too close up of a cat followed by more panicked closeups of crew members/victims.This is David Fincher level scary ambiance until the trailer kicks into overdrive with a series of high pitched shrills and people freaking out over loosing their shit.
The trailer has become so famous and iconic that the recent relaunch/reboot of the Alien series, the much maligned Prometheus, copied the style of this trailer for it’s own use.
Go ahead. Turn the lights out, enlarge the screen, crank the volume up and tell me you’re not the least bit freaked out by the time this trailer ends. Now imagine it’s the late 70’s and your in a theater full of strangers with all the blown out speakers surrounding you piercings your eardrums with those shrieks.
In space no one can hear you scream. But in movie theaters this trailer surely caused plenty.
FUN FACT: Many of conceptual artist H.R. Giger‘s original designs for the alien were changed several times because of their blatant sexuality.