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Today's Great Horror Movie Trailer: Suspiria, the horrifyingly artistic and bloody 1977 film from Italian horror legend Dario Argento. All the fun of boarding schools, ballet dancers, secret covens, and necromancy, in one Technicolor package.
The Best Thing About It: The whole trailer is fantastic, but obviously the big-ticket item is that opening. It's got all the elements. Sing-songy nursery rhyme complete with stark plinking. A turned-away face set against a black background. An over-the-top skull reveal. AND a kicky flower in the hair to complete the look. None of this is even in the movie, and it already counts as one of the greatest scares in horror history. All that plus the greatest turtleneck sweater in pop culture history.
Contributing Factors: Once the trailer moves into the scenes from the actual movie, the tension doesn't let up. You get a good look at Argento's surreal color palette, the melodramatic acting, the violent splashes of brightest blood. The film's title -- repeatedly hissed by a malevolent voiceover -- is accompanied by the letters spelled out in veiny, beating hearts. The killer tagline: "The only thing more terrifying than the last twelve minutes of Suspiria are the first 92." Foreboding AND providing the vital service of giving you the film's running time right up front!
Better Or Worse Than The Movie It Advertises?: Somehow, despite being one of the all-time best trailers and a hallmark for creativity in movie advertising, the trailer still pales in comparison to the actual film. Have you not seen this movie yet? Do you have a good excuse as to why not?
Final Assessment: This is how horror cinema ends up with some of the most ardent fanbases around. Every extremity of the filmmaking process gets an infusion of macabre energy. This is how you sell the work of one of the masters of horror.