An Artsy Ghoul Blog
Horror Movie Posters
One thing that film enthusiasts love just as much as a movie itself is the poster art used to promote it. The horror genre is known for having a lot of iconic poster art, going all the way back to the incredible artwork of the classic Universal Monster movies. During the 1980s, even the wackiest and campiest of horror films had some of the most extraordinary poster art I’ve ever seen. Most of those posters were commissioned artwork illustrated and painted by talented artists.
In the 1990s, there was a transition from an illustrated poster style to a new "photoshop" format. Although I prefer movie posters that are actually drawn, many of the photo manipulated posters of the 90s were still really fun and creative. However, once we hit the 2000s, things seemed to go downhill and a lot of horror films had poorly designed posters and were just rather lackluster. The Aughts arguably had the worst horror movie posters of all time, but not all of them were so bad. Here are five 2000s horror movie posters that stand out as some of the best of the decade.
Queen of the Damned (2002)
The Queen of the Damned poster keeps some of that 90s charm with beautifully photographed poster art that enhances the stunning costume design of the title character. It is enticing and is sure to capture the attention of anyone who sees it. The poster makes you feel the luring power of Aaliyah as the mother of all vampires, Queen Akasha. The strong lighting and icy blue color scheme only add to the vampiric energy that the poster radiates. Horror fans love their vamps to be badass and sexy, and this poster assures us that Queen of the Damned is both of those things.
The Descent (2005)
The Descent has spectacular poster art which showcases the bodies of the film’s main characters as they form the shape of a skull. Many horror posters have used a similar concept of shaping objects or people into a skull, but The Descent does it in such a memorable, unique way. The bodies of the women are linked together by their limbs, representing the bond between them while simultaneously foreshadowing how the flaws in their friendship will lead to dreadful situations and death. The poster design also transmits the feeling of claustrophobia that is present throughout the majority of the film. This poster was definitely a breath of fresh air during the mid 2000s and has become such an iconic poster that still gets praised by horror fans to this day.
House of Wax (2005)
My personal favorite poster of the Aughts belongs to House of Wax (2005). It is one of those posters that cleverly represents the aesthetic of the film it is trying to advertise. The haunting imagery of a human face melting like wax is quite the effective way to grab a person's attention. Wax figures of humans are already creepy enough, but this poster really seals the deal on how terrifying of a concept they are. On the poster, the wax drips down into a black void of nothingness, hinting that the film has many dark secrets to reveal to those who watch. This taps a little bit into the mystery elements that are present in the original story and its previous adaptations. The poster art is undoubtedly eerie, but it also just looks plain awesome! It is the kind of poster that I would hang on my bedroom wall in a heartbeat.
Slither’s poster art is the kind that intrigues the target audience and stimulates their curiosity, making them want to watch the film without any further context. We see a group of slug-like creatures making their way toward a bathtub that an oblivious person is bathing in. This image plays into the universal fear of the unknown, and more specifically in this case, the fear of unknown parasites invading our personal spaces. The poster teases so much about the film without spoiling any of it, which isn't always easy to achieve in just a single image. I personally love the contrast between the pristine whiteness of the bathroom and the nasty blood red slugs because it gives me a striking sense of discomfort, which the film itself ends up doing on a much larger scale.
The Collector (2009)
The Collector stands out among posters for horror movies that revolve around a masked villain. These types of horror films usually have posters that reveal the mask of the killer, but The Collector shakes things up a bit by only showing the killer from behind. In the foreground of the poster we see a mask being tied onto the character’s head, with the facade of a big family home in the background. The imagery and composition spark tension in the audience, rather than trying to invoke fear by simply placing a scary face on the poster. The Collector was released toward the end of the 2000s, and its poster definitely represents a positive change in the horror poster art we would get in the following decade.
I grew up in the 2000s and all of the horror films that came out during the decade have such a special place in my heart. So, even though the 2000s didn't have the greatest posters, I still appreciate all of them immensely. I am also grateful for all of the alternative poster art that gets made for 2000s horror re-releases, anniversaries, etc. If the original, official poster art isn't your cup of tea, there are probably a few horror artists out there who have created alternatives you might love!
Do you have a favorite 2000s horror poster that's not on this list? What is your favorite decade of horror posters? Let me know on twitter @Artsy_Ghoul!