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Scary Movies & Scary Posters

I am not a horror movie buff. In fact, I rarely go out to a movie theater. But when I do venture out in search of a movie, it’s usually with my friends, and we all go see a scary movie together.

One of the things that I find most interesting about scary movies is the posters that advertise the film just outside a theater. They’re not overly colorful. They don’t scream at people passing by. They’re simple and almost elegant in their designs, and they advertise the movie currently playing.

And they’re extremely creepy.

For example:

ASB_31_5_Promo_4C_6F.indd

As Above So Below, a film I saw last month, is only shown in red and black, but the brilliant shade of red evokes the instant thought of blood (an important part of nearly the entire horror genre). The Eiffel Tower is upside down, and at the top of the poster, a quote says “The only way out is down.” The way this poster is laid out is unsettling in that everything is literally flipped upside down.

The same goes for the new Carrie movie that came out last year.

Carrie 2013

All you see in this poster is the face of the actress, and yet you know that the liquid running down her face is blood. Most of pop culture knows what the main plot of Carrie is, but this simple poster evokes a kind of dread about what the updated version will have in store for its audiences.

Horror movie posters have a darkness to them, but they aren’t overpowering at all. Sometimes what’s most frightening about them are the images that imply the plot, like the poster for last year’s The Conjuring.

The Conjuring

Notice the shadow of a hanging person in the bottom right corner? Not only is it extremely unsettling, but that shadow is an important part of the movie’s plot.

These posters actively advertise the film and bring in customers, but they also do a subtle job of foretelling what’s to happen if you bravely step inside the theater and buy a ticket.

2 Comments

  1. swang18 wrote:

    the scary posters give people the space of scary imagination. usually, the poster is not terrifying at all, but the meaning behind the text or image makes us really scare. that is the successful of graphic design, let audiences imaging.

    Monday, October 27, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink
  2. spineda3 wrote:

    I think in order for a scary movie to have a successful movie poster, I think the poster needs to be every minimalist and not over the top. All the movie posters you mentioned above are very successful in getting the message across with out going overboard. I think the poster for “the conjuring” is the best of the three, it creates a scene thats mysterious and makes you look around. Grabs your attention and makes you want to see the film. Its very well designed.

    Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink