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Now this is how to sell a horror movie

We don’t know much about Longlegs but we know it looks scary and we want to see it

Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

Marketing horror films is an art form all to itself. From classics like The Exorcist to more recent examples like The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, and even Smile, great marketing campaigns have always been a hallmark of the horror genre. And 2024 has already given us a strong one with the promotion of Longlegs, Nicolas Cage’s mysterious new serial killer movie.

Neon’s marketing campaign for the movie is mostly based around what we don’t know. The studio has released a variety of creepy teaser trailers and images, none of which explain the movie (and possibly don’t even show anything from it). But every single one is unnerving.

All of the teaser images and videos seem to center around a family who are the victim of some kind of occult killer who broke into their homes. Meanwhile we see FBI agents digging something up, a nun in a blood-stained habit, and even a woman pointing a knife at her own stomach. It’s great, creepy, and most importantly, it’s so unsettling and peculiar that you can’t help but wonder how it relates to the movie.

In a time when most trailers give away the entire movie in just three minutes, Longlegs’ trailers don’t really tell us much about the movie at all. Instead they’re invested entirely in vibes. They’re painting a very creepy picture of a movie that looks awesome and terrifying. And that’s a great way to get horror movie fans to show up to the movie theater.

As for what the actual movie is about, it seems that it follows a serial killer who has been working for a number of years, since the teasers give us reports of crimes ranging from 1974 all the way up to at least 1992. We know that Maika Monroe (It Follows) will star in the movie as an FBI agent investigating these crimes, and we know that Nicolas Cage is in the movie — possibly as the killer, though we don’t know for sure.

Longlegs is directed by Osgood Perkins, who specializes in a specific brand of dark and brooding horror, often with particularly unsettling results like Gretel & Hansel or The Blackcoat’s Daughter.

Longlegs will arrive in theaters sometime this year.

Update (Feb. 2): Longlegs now has a more complete trailer, which has been embeded below. It gives us our best look yet at the movie, but it still isn’t giving much away.

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