10 Horror Movie Trailers That Gave Away The Entire Plot

These horror trailers took the saying, "show, don't tell" way too literally.

Quarantine movie ending
Sony Pictures releasing

Cutting together a film trailer is a very difficult job. A teaser needs to condense a story's premise in two minutes in a way that urges viewers to see it. To ensure it stays in one's mind, promos tend to be filled with shots that are exciting, funny, or cinematic.

However, executing the perfect teaser is extra difficult when the genre is horror. For a film to be effectively frightening, it needs to slowly build up tension. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and The Exorcist don't jump into the scares immediately. They give the story time to breathe so the audience can get to know the characters, which makes it all the more horrifying when the heads roll.

But if you try and convey atmosphere and tension in a snippet for a scary movie, it can come across as boring. So, what do most horror trailers do? They show EVERYTHING. Every jump scare is revealed, every gory scene is on full-display, every twist is spoilt, and sometimes, even the ending is ruined. If you are considering watching any of these movies, avoid the previews at all costs.

And before you ask, MAJOR SPOILERS lie ahead.

10. What Lies Beneath

Quarantine movie ending
DreamWorks Pictures

In Robert Zemeckis' supernatural thriller, What Lies Beneath, Norman and Claire Spencer are a happily married couple until their life is turned upside down after a ghostly encounter.

For the first half of the movie, Claire suspects her neighbour murdered his wife and her spirit seeks justice. However, this turns out to be a red herring. In reality, the ghost belongs to college student called Madison who had an affair with Norman. When Madison was about to make the affair public, Norman murdered her. Now that Claire knows the truth, Norman is forced to kill her too.

Because the film spends so much time setting up the neighbour as the killer, the big reveal is made far more shocking. At least, it would have been if you didn't see the trailer.

The teaser makes it so abundantly clear that Norman is the murderer, it doesn't even feel like it's meant to be a plot twist. In fact, most of the promos don't even mention the neighbours! Although the film has a lot of great jump scares and clever misdirection, the experience was completely ruined for anyone who saw the preview.


James Egan has written 80 books including 1000 Facts about Superheroes Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Supervillains Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about The Greatest Films Ever Made Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Video Games Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about TV Shows Vol. 1-3 Twitter - @jameswzegan85