Thriller features Jackson with former Playboy centerfold Ola Ray and the video was choreographed by Michael Peters and Michael Jackson. The video also contains incidental music by film music composer Elmer Bernstein. The video contains a spoken word performance by horror film veteran Vincent Price. Rick Baker assisted in prosthetics and makeup for the production. The red jacket that Jackson wore was designed by John Landis' wife Deborah Nadoolman Landis.
At the beginning of the video, there is a disclaimer by Jackson stating that, "Due to my strong personal convictions, I wish to stress that this film in no way endorses a belief in the occult." At the end of the closing credits, a disclaimer appears, saying that "Any similarity to actual events or characters living, dead, (or undead) is purely coincidental."
The video is considered one of the most influential music videos of all time as well as it was the most expensive video at the time, costing $500,000 US. Guinness World Records listed it in 2006 as the "most successful music video", selling over 9 million units. In 2009, the video was inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.
The video has been parodied in other music videos including "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Eat It", Alien Ant Farm's "Smooth Criminal", Bob Sinclar's Rock This Party (Everybody Dance Now), The Boys "Crazy". and Beatfreakz " "Super Freak",