Minimalist horror movie posters

Alex Bigman

The minimalist movie poster re-design has grown into a full-fledged phenomenon. They may be tokens of shameless nostalgia, but they are also an invitation to clever visual play and a good way for today’s talented designers to show off their chops.

Of course, every trend yields its share of duds – and this one is no exception. Below, we’ve put together a quick roundup of some awesome horror movie poster re-boots, along with some not-so-awesome ones for comparison.

For the sake of orthodoxy, we also threw in some real posters from the horror movie canon that we think resonate on a particularly graphic level—plus a few that miss the mark in exquisite fashion.

Can you guess?

This series leaves out text altogether, allowing famous objects from the films’ narratives do the identification work. Can you name these? (Head to the source page for answers).

guess
via halloweencostumes.com

Dark Disney

This series puts a gruesome twist on your childhood favorites. The implications aren’t always obvious, so give them a minute to sink in.

disney
via Creative Spark

Hitchcock

A master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock had a healthy relationship with the world of graphic design and hired Saul Bass to do the title credits for several of his films. Many of these poster re-designs employ a nicely Bass-like quality.

hitchcock
Psycho redesign by milesdesign; The Birds redesign by Igor Ramos; Rear Window redesign by Creative Spark

Kubrick

Kubrick retained the skill of Mr. Bass, as well. But even if he hadn’t added this extra garnish from the history of design, the visually striking quality of films like A Clockwork Orange and The Shining would provide ample material for enthusiasts keen to produce a novel poster design.

kubrick
A Clockwork Orange redesign by Creative Spark; Full Metal Jacket redesign by Federico Mancosu

Spookily … uninspired

Minimalist posters are all about economy: the trick is to encapsulate a film as well as possible, using the minimum number of visual elements. Of course, if botched, this strategy can yield hilariously silly results, like the Texas Chainsaw Phallus and Striped Sweater Murderer below.

The combination of Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel and M. Night Shyamalan is really a joke in itself, but we also think those tree branches look mighty thin to be suspending a corpse.

lame

Killer originals

There are some posters that are simply too good in their original form to warrant a re-design. The selection below already possesses striking graphic qualities, often incorporating silhouettes and monochrome to dramatic effect.

Extra props to Akiko Stehrenberger for his unconventional placement of text in the poster for Funny Games.

real good
Funny Games design by Akiko Stehrenberger
Funny Games design by Akiko Stehrenberger

Nosferatu

Ah, Nosferatu. This vampire first hit the screen in 1922, and a creepier one has yet to come along. The various posters done for the film and its remastered versions are pretty excellent as well.

nosferatu

Shots in the dark

A lot of horror films get made. Very few are good. But just the same, a movie needs to have a poster. And so we have these gems:

real bad
Deadly Games; Blair Witch 2

What are your favorite horror movie posters, real or re-designed? Share in the comments!

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