Published on March 11, 2014
Film Poster Analysis Marwa Saroya Horro r
‘From the makers of…’ The audience would be familiar with the other movies the makers have produced such as SAW and Paranormal Activity. SAW, a horror film franchise, has grossed over $873 million at the box office, worldwide. Similarly, Paranormal Activity, a horror film series has grossed over $755 million at the box office. Both films are clearly widely known and very successful. Re assurance for the audience showing the film has been praised. The title of the film stands out clearly as it is mostly in a strong white colour against a dark background. The word ‘insidious’ meaning ‘intend to entrap‘ indicating what the film is about. The font is kept really simple as the word Insidious itself is strong enough to stand out without needing to be that bold. The billing block at the bottom of the poster which contains names of the crew/cast, writers, producers and directors is a way to further promote the film as audiences may recognise the names of their favourite directors/producers or even actors. Although the font and size of the text is kept very small therefore it doesn't take audiences attention away from the more important aspects of the posters. Background The dark dismal clouds accentuate the destruction of nature creating a sense of evil, a convention of horror posters. It is a way of foreshadows the ominous events that are going to take place throughout the film. Image of boy The fore-front image of the young boy on the poster is a mid shot to get a closer angle of the boy of him in his pyjamas showing his vulnerability. However, his eyes capture the audience’s attention through the abnormality of them. His very pale looking face shows that he is possessed and evil forces have taken control of him. That make him come across as the antagonist instead. The image of the house and tag line The house looks really big and isolated, straightway the audience assumes that it's the house that's haunted. However (punctuation needed) the tag line ‘ITS NOT THE HOUSE THAT'S HAUNTED’, a cinematic technique of directing the audience away from their incorrect assumption, makes the audience question what it might be if it is not the house that's haunted. Building up curiosity to watch the movie and daunts the audience because they start to doubt their own way of thinking as the poster plays with their minds. The colour of the tag line, green, connotes nature is used to portray nature itself being trapped within evil and darkness. Moreover it challenges the conventions of horror posters as it is an irregular colour used within the genre of horror because usually the colours used are very sombre.
The image of the house and tag line The house looks really big and isolated, straightway the audience assumes that it's the house that's haunted. However (punctuation needed) the tag line ‘ITS NOT THE HOUSE THAT'S HAUNTED’, a cinematic technique of directing the audience away from their incorrect assumption, makes the audience question what it might be if it is not the house that's haunted. Building up curiosity to watch the movie and daunts the audience because they start to doubt their own way of thinking as the poster plays with their minds. The colour of the tag line, green, connotes nature is used to portray nature itself being trapped within evil and darkness. Moreover it challenges the conventions of horror posters as it is an irregular colour used within the genre of horror because usually the colours used are very sombre.
However, the image of the woman's aggressive screaming shows the stereotype of women being victimised however her screaming show that she is trying to fight out what's inside her. The black clouds are hidden shadows which is another convention of horror. Bad weather is usually used to show disorder of nature and create the feel of something satanic and the prowling of evil which builds up the fear in the audience as it foreshadows danger that’s approaching. The woman is getting dragged/pulled down to bottom of the poster (hell) by burnt hands, we do not see who it is which is another convention of horror as there’s always a secret – something has to be hidden from the audience to create suspense and grab attention whilst the woman is getting tortured. The house being present in the background, is another horror convention for posters, is seen as large and isolated. The house is lit downstairs and the assumption that there is something in the house. The facial expression of the woman show her anger, showing that there are paranormal elements as she is possessed which also conveys the woman's agony and distress. The font is plain however edgy and sharp linking in with the title making the audience feel they are being taken control of. The main image attracts the audiences immediately, the title adds to the tension as the words ‘Drag me to hell’ have religious connotations. Commonly used in supernatural horror movies. The tagline builds up more questions for the audiences, gets them to wonder what events might take place. The point is to get them involved ‘Christine Brown has a good job, a great boyfriend ,and a bright future. But in three days, she’s going to hell’. The audience can relate to this because the character is living an ordinary life. However only up until something paranormal takes over her life. The colours, orange, dark grey, orange and white have been used for this poster, these colours show the conventions of horror movie posters as the colours are usually dismal and dark. White connotes the woman's innocence whereas the dark grey connotes death and darkness. The orange accentuates dominance and fire linking to the title of the film.
Again, we see the convention of using previous recognisable films to draw in the audience.’ The background represents darkness of the victims life showing evil has taken over , fitting into the convention of horror, the brown and black background comes across as a reminder of the past, old memories that may be erased out it represents the past haunting back which has been decayed making the poster more effective and mainly dark as the pictures are shaded in together. The smaller images are trapped within the face showing memories of a family. By looking closely the audience is able to spot images such as children growing up, weddings. Which shows the happy times and bonding of family. 'The most terrifying images are the ones that real' this tag line adds to the terrifying atmosphere of the poster, it makes the audience question reality. By giving a double meaning it tells the audience that it is not their imagination they should be scared of but reality. The colours used for this poster are mainly very gloomy such as dark browns, black and white. White representing innocence and black for diabolic therefore shows the contact the evil has with the innocent. The colours fit into the conventions of the horror posters. The title if the film, Shutter, gives a sense of closure from the outside world this is further enhanced having the S at the beginning being larger than the rest of the letters and the R is larger therefore showing entrapment within Shutter. Which links to the image showing the smaller images being shut, the face on the poster. The font is very sharp representing control, the title is in upper case letters representing authority and solidity. The face on the poster, mostly shaded out, shows a silent scream of a woman, another convention of horror posters, representing the entrapment of the characters. The eyes being blacked out completely give the idea of being haunted with a demonic atmosphere. The mouth being blacked out as well, portrays isolation and not being able to speak out, a silent scream.
The colours grey, white and red fit into conventions for colours used on all horror posters. The background being grey and dull portrays isolation and indicate that the girl is suffering on her own. White is a colour that represents purity and innocence which in the case of this poster shows evil coming together with purity and innocence. The protagonist, female is being victimised by the evil again fitting into the conventions of horror the female stereotyped as the weaker sex. The close up shot and the position of the face leaning back shows the girl is being controlled and is in pain- she's being tortured. The hand coming out of her mouth makes it obvious that she's possessed and that the evil is inside of her and has fully taken control. The colour red is only used for the font of the date for when the film releases to make it stand out from the rest of the bill block . ‘Based on a true story’ - This builds up the fear for the audiences and makes the audiences want to see the film even more . If it based on a true story then people would usually like to watch something with more realism. Again, the line tagline adds to the sense of uncertainty the audience feels. 'Darkness lives inside' - This adds a sense of conundrum as the audiences would question why darkness would live inside. The title gives away the sub-genre of horror through the title itself. The audience know that the film would involve paranormal concepts, ideas of evil, devil. The font and colour white help make the title stand out also although the word 'the' is much smaller than the word 'possession' it still stands out because it's in block capitals. This builds up the importance of the word ‘Possession’ representing the dominance it has over the victims life .
The title Sinister and the definition of the word is giving the impression that something harmful or evil is happening or will happen. This gives away the concept of the film making the audience aware of the genre. The font gives an impression of something dripping and as the font is really dark it stands out from the background causing fear. 'Once you see him, nothing can save you.' - The tag line gives a warning , another, convention of horror as the audience are being warned which adds to building up the fear. The image is really powerful as the audience notice the girl smearing the blood over the wall. The stereotype of females being victimised and being weaker is shown as its the girl who is the victim which fits into the conventions of horror. The face shown through the smeared on the wall give the idea of evil and devil straight away. Although the audience cannot tell exactly who it is which is another convention of horror where some things are kept a secret and not everything is usually fully seen. The background is a light grey wall with a lot of cracks on it. This is portraying cracks in the life of the girl and to show the effect of evil in her life connotes decaying of her life. ‘From the producers of…’ Promotes the film as targeted audiences who are aware of the horror films in the past would definitely go and watch this one. This creates a bond and familiarity with the audiences. The 'coming soon' stands out from the bill block as it's in block capitals also as it has no date for when the films out which creates more excitement for the audience.
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