[On a formatting note: I'll be posting two matchups per post, with multiple posts each day. Remember there will be TWO polls per post in which to vote. Also, I've tried to both embed the trailers (where possible) and link to the trailers someplace where I know they won't be pulled. If there's no embed, blame YouTube. Just click the link on the movie's title and you'll get it.]
1. Signs (2002)
Say what you will about the final product of M. Night Shyamalan's movies -- and I actually quite liked this one, despite the H2Oh-come-ON denouement. Shyamalan trailers are almost always better than the movies because you don't need to go beyond the smoke-and-mirrors that are his bread and butter. Here, the pseudo-archival footage of the crop circles combines with the excellent Hitchcockian score (while making sure to sell Mel Gibson's face back when there wasn't a downside to that) to deliver an almost perfect supernatural tease.
Awesome trailer attributes: teaser; creep-tastic; cool song/score
16. Hairspray (2007)
It's not a flawless trailer -- that voiceover at the beginning nixes that -- but for a movie I had just about zero interest seeing, this trailer actually turned me around on the project. The clip smartly puts the musical's best numbers front and center, and I like how the entire cast gets their names in lights, down to Elijah Kelly and Allison Janney. This is how you sell a mainstream musical.
Awesome trailer attributes: cool song/score
5. Mulholland Dr. (2001)
Oh, David Lynch trailers. For a guy who is so famously opposed to every ancillary aspect of movie marketing, his movies always lend themselves to brilliant trailers. Of course, Lynch was probably thrilled to see just how little of the Mulholland plot gets into this clip. So much to love here, with the retro song (that doesn't even lose points for featuring Melissa George) laid over imagery that veers wildly from beatific to terrifying. Once we get to the scary old couple and the "Silencio" guy and the screaming, I dare you not to pee your pants.
Awesome trailer attributes: cool song/score; teaser; creep-tastic
12. The Ring Two (2005)
The very definition of a one-trick pony in trailer form. But what a trick it is. The Ring Two trailer makes this list because I still have never, ever jumped at a trailer the way I did at the key point in this one. There's a bit of misdirection right before it happens, too; really well done. In the same split-second it affirms the TV screen as an iconic image of the (once-burgeoning) franchise, and then BAM, you're dead. Yes, the movie sucked balls, but not for lack of a killer trailer.
Awesome trailer attributes: teaser; masking crap; creep-tastic