Yesterday, I wrote a blog item noting that the Paranormal Activity 2 trailer, which is being screened before The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, had been yanked from some theatres in Texas because of complaints that it was too scary. Naturally, this provoked some conversation in the EW bunker about how frightening the clip actually was, and what other commercials for films had freaked us out.

Personally, while I found the PA2 trailer to be nicely discombobulating, and certainly a hundred times more frightening than the Twi-farce that followed it, I can think of several more commercials that in their day unnerved me more, including the ads for Phantasm, the Dawn of the Dead remake, and most terrifying of all, The Shining (look for all on YouTube, as well as the Paranormal footage in question).

Okay, so the ad for Phantasm looks a bit cheesy these days. But for some crazy reason, the small boy inside me still finds the idea of of a silver ball gouging out my brains to be kind of scary. And, if you can think of an a clip more scary than the one featuring Stanley Kubrick’s blood-unleashing hotel elevators, please do let us know.

Meanwhile, those with a hankering to explore the world of film ads further should definitely check check out the Joe Dante-curated Trailers From Hell website, where film notables such as John Landis, Edgar Wright, Eli Roth, and Mr Dante himself celebrate the wonderful and weird world of vintage film clips. I promise you it is worth a visit.

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