Film trailers = portentous voiceover, something to whet the appetite and at least four major spoilers. Think how amazing it would have been to have watched Jurassic Park with no knowledge that it was about a park of dinosaurs. That "welcome to Jurassic Park" moment would have been even more mind-blowing. So, while plot spoilers are now routine, what about those trailers that make a film look completely unmissable?
Mission: Impossible II
This is a strong contender for Best Trailer (Most Disappointing Film): a heady mix of incredible looking action, snappy dialogue and the iconic theme. However, watching it again, as a fully grown adult, in the year 2016, there's a line of dialogue that stands out as staggeringly misguided. From the mouth of Hopkins no less. My mouth was agape.
I love Unbreakable. The film is a masterpiece, second only to TDK in its genre (that was my attempt to disguise a spoiler). The trailer doesn't give anything away, doesn't rush, just tells a story and then pulls the rug away. The first time I saw the trailer I was instantly sold. His trailers for Signs and The Village were also great, playing with the audience expectation in the same way Hitchcock used to.
North by Northwest
The Psycho trailer is very famous, where he takes us on a tour of the Bates Motel, and tells us a little about the horrendous things that have happened there. It's superb. Perhaps less famous is this one, for my favourite of his films. It's funny, full of spoilers and I love it.
I love trailers with voiceovers that overly explain the film. 70s and 80s horror films are a real joy for this sort of thing, see I Spit On Your Grave for another classic. The Hitcher gets in my list because it has to combine horror with action, which it does with élan (first time I have used that word, and I think I did so with élan). Also, the trailer shows the ending. Élan.
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole
I never saw the full film of this because I think the trailer is perfect, why spoil it by watching two hours that might not be as good. I love owls, it's so much fun to say "The Owls of Ga'Hoole" in a Kiwi/Australian accent, the visuals are stunning (the flying through the storm!) and it has one of the most ludicrous, over the top emo songs, Kings and Queens by 30 Seconds To Mars, as the soundtrack. I love it, properly, genuinely love it. But I'm a bit emo.
If you liked those trailers and you want to see how you probably shouldn't do it, then take a look at the film trailer I helped sketch duo Twins to make for their godawful film idea.