Just like anything, movie posters have the capacity to be fantastic or horrific. Most times they do little more than let you know a movie exists. Some large picture, bold type, a date (and if you’re lucky, you might even get a quote or two). But sometimes we get something that is bizarre, intriguing, and pulls you in because of itself, not the information it was created to portray.
So I’ve collected six posters of films coming out that have grabbed my attention because of their design, and nothing else. While this may seem counter-intuitive – after all, a movie poster is meant to sell the film, not itself – I feel when questions are left unanswered, or the movie poster gives more than someone would expect, it stays with its viewer longer and leaves a more lasting impression.
1) THE LAST EXORCISM PART II
At a first glance, this poster is strikingly similar to its part one counterpart – a monochromatic, grainy image with a creepily contorted girl doing something demonic. I haven’t seen the first movie, and I haven’t yet seen the trailer for the second part, but I would assume its pretty run of the mill. Girl gets possessed, there’s screaming, ceiling climbing, and some priest gets his shit ruined. Whatever.
The poster for the second film is far more captivating. At a first glance it’s just another horror movie poster (as described above). Yet after looking at it for a few seconds, I fell in love. Someone had the amazing idea to contort the girl into the shape of a “2”, which is not only un-scary, but hysterical. I don’t really have much more to say about this, except the designers who made it must have had a great time thinking this one up.
I love this poster because I have absolutely no idea what’s going on. Did a man have his brain switched with a dog? Are there brain-dog creatures possessing people? Why is it wrong? WHAT IS HE? The fact that this movie poster is able to raise so many questions and keep my attention for so long makes it extremely effective. Instead of seeing a close-up of Tom Cruise, and pretty much knowing what Mission Impossible 47 has in store for me, the poster for Wrong only raises questions, and makes me want to see the film even more.
3) THE EVIL DEAD (2013)
This poster is all about it’s claim, “The Most Terrifying Film You Will Ever Experience.” The design is minimal, allowing that line to really jump out at you. Everything else, even the title and the image, are secondary to the copy. I like this, because I know my knee-jerk reaction was irritation, something along the lines of, “how do they know what I find terrifying?” But, in the end, highlighting that ‘controversial’ statement draws emotions from people. Whether it be irritation, confusion, intrigue, the claim sticks with you long enough to at least take the time to go home and watch the trailer. In my mind, this movie poster does more to engage its viewers by simply challenging them to think contrary to what it states, almost as if it’s daring you to take the time to see whether or not it is correct.
4) THE GREAT GATSBY (2013)
Unlike the other movie posters above, the poster for The Great Gatsby has our common understanding of what The Great Gatsby is working with it (the book IS considered “A great American Novel” after all).
Even if we don’t know a lot about the story, most people at least know its about some rich guy set in the early 20th century. Because of this, the poster isn’t burdened with trying to tell us what the movie is about, but instead is simply there to establish an aesthetic, and let us know how the film is going to feel. And in my mind, does so perfectly. With nothing more than the title, the date, and an Art Deco wrought iron pattern, the poster exudes a Atlas Shrugged or even Metropolis feel. It should be interesting to see how the film stands against its own poster.
5) KON TIKI
To start, I have to say I have a fear of large fish. The thought of them alone doesn’t terrify me, but the idea of floating in the ocean and then having something the size of several buses floating up to me is a little unsettling. It might just be me, but I don’t trust anything whose eye is bigger than my head. Needless to say, my feelings towards this poster might be a little skewed.
The poster seems to be a frozen moment from the movie itself, and seems to captivate the sort of adventure and excitement that the movie has to offer, but without giving up any explanation as to why it is happening. What are those people doing on that boat? What the hell is that fish doing there? These are the questions that keep me up at night.
6) LOS AMANTES PASAJEROS
Not much to say about this one, except the poster is absurd. What is it about? A school for drunk flight attendants? That’s pretty much all I can make of it. I have to say, though, the guys face on the right really does it for me.