Film Poster Analysis

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Horror Film Poster Analysis:

Horror Film Poster Analysis These are my horror film poster analyses in which I will explore poster conventions including image, title, tagline, colour and other text.

‘The Conjuring’:

‘The Conjuring’ This first poster is from the supernatural horror film ‘The Conjuring’. I chose to analyse this as it’s image is quite mysterious – we can only see the face of the doll, and not the character, intriguing the audience. I also like the effect used to make the setting seem very old, dirty and gritty.

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The setting appears to be an old, grotty room which has nothing in it except a rocking chair. The room is so abstractly gritty that the only indication that it is a is the corner of the wall and the rocking chair. If these elements were absent, the audience would be inclined to think that the setting is outdoors. The setting suggests that the film’s stock location is an old house, which is likely to be isolated and neglected, causing it to decay. This is a typical convention of supernatural horrors. The room is very shadowy as shown by the bottom third of the poster. This makes the poster quite mysterious as the audience are left questioning what is hidden in the shadows. The woman’s clothing seems to be from a different time period, suggesting that this film is set in the past. It seems like nightwear which indicates that the possession will occur at night time, linking to the narrative. Rocking chairs were more common in the past and there are much fewer around today – this is another sign that the film is set in the past.

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There is a long shot of a woman sitting in a rocking chair, although the audience can only see her back and left side. Her hair looks filthy and frizzy and she is barefoot, suggesting that she either not a normal human or she is insane. The idea of insanity is also emphasised in the way she is cradling a doll and rocking back and forth in the rocking chair, treating the doll like a baby. her skin seems to be covered in either blood signifying that she has hurt somebody, and is not an innocent character. The audience will question if she is possessed, a demonic spirit or a distressed human character, making them want to watch the film to find out. The doll in the poster is a common convention of horror films – innocent objects are often turned into objects of evil. The face of the doll doesn’t appear very inviting – the way it’s staring straight at the camera makes it seem very creepy, capturing the audience’s attention. The doll and the rocking chair also suggests that children may be involved in the film.

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‘From the director of Saw and Insidious’ – these references make fans of Saw and Insidious want to watch this film as it is likely to be similar in style and quality. The title is in capital letters making it stand out as it is a key element in the poster. It reflects the harshness of the horror genre. The font is serif which highlights the fact that the film is set over 40 years ago in 1971. ‘Based on the true case files of the Warrens’ The words ‘ the true case files’ adds credibility to the film as it is based on actual studies rather than vague stories. Institutional information at the bottom is in very small text as it is not essential to the effectiveness of the poster. Once the audience are enticed by the image, title and tagline they may read this for more information regarding the film’s production, although, this text will be ignored by the majority of the audience. The production company logos is an indication of the film’s quality – a well known institution will usually produce a high budget and high quality film. Therefore audiences are likely to be further enticed into watching the film.

‘The Orphanage’:

‘The Orphanage’ is a Spanish horror film released in 2007. In found this poster very effective as the ghostly children arise questions as to what the narrative might be. ‘The Orphanage’

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The background shows that the setting is a large hallway. The floor and walls are made of wood, further suggesting that the stock location is an old, grand house. This links to the film title as it is obvious the house is not normal, it is an orphanage. Also, big, old, grand houses are usually isolated, which is a convention of supernatural films. The camera’s perspective makes it seem like the audience are on the outside looking in. The corners of the poster have a design which make it look like an old book. This makes us question whether the ghosts in the film are supposed to represent something realistic, or if they’re a figment of the main character’s imagination. The design also reiterates the idea that the stock location is old and that the film involves the discovery of events in the past.

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The image is a long shot showing a middle aged woman turned to the side but directly facing the camera. She dressed in old clothing that appears to be like a uniform. Her facial expression makes it seem like she is cautious and distrusting. She is looking down upon the audience suggesting that she is in charge and is watching the audience carefully. Her stance signifies that she is protective of the children standing behind her and makes it seems as if she is on duty. The children are depicted as ghosts in the image, confirming that this is a supernatural film. The camera is positioned at the same height of the children’s faces, suggesting that it represents the perspective of another child. This perhaps suggests that the children are not enemies and are just innocent. They are dressed in identical clothing, indicating that they are not normal, they live in an orphanage. This is confirmed by the child wearing the sack mask, which leaves the audience wondering why he has covered his face.

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The director’s name is used - as he is a famous director, fans of his are likely to want watch the film. The name of the actress who plays the main character is in small font above the title. In a similar way to the director’s name, fans of this actress will want to see the film. This is not a typical convention of horror film posters, yet it has still been included, suggesting that this is not a typical horror film, and may appeal to a wider audience. The title font is serif, and in a golden colour. This reflects the grand stock location of the film and yet another indication that it may be set in the past.

‘The Devil Inside’:

The last poster I will be analysing is ‘The Devil Inside’, a possession film. I chose this poster as it is particularly captivating, and quite shocking to see a religious figure being possessed. ‘The Devil Inside’

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The use of a medium close up is effective as the audience are able to see the woman’s costume indicating that she is a nun, yet the shot is close enough so we can see in her eyes that she has been possessed. Religious figures are usually symbols are innocence and peace, and in possession films they usually assist the exorcism of demons from others rather than being the victims of possession themselves; as a result the effect of the possessed nuns quite shocking. as This suggests that nobody is safe from possession, and the enemy can be found within those we think are allies; these are ideas which are frightening for the audience. The background is simply black with a flash of red. The colour black connotes death, whilst red connoting blood and danger. The contrast of the white font against the gloomy image and background makes it seem even darker. The poster also has an effect added which makes it appear to have been scratched by fingernails, which is what people often do when they are insane or possessed. This makes the poster look less polished and plays on the idea that possession causes people to lose control of their minds and bodies.

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This quote is used to demonstrate just how scary this film is. The fact that this film is inspired by true events adds a realistic element to the film which will frighten the audience and leave a lasting impact after they have watched it. Therefore this tagline will intrigue the audience and make them feel compelled to watch the film. Nevertheless, ‘inspired’ suggests that the ‘true events’ may be ambiguous and not credible. The title is in large serif font and has connotations of religion, therefore relating to the image of the nun. The poster uses the word ‘Devil’ rather than commonly used substitutions such as ‘Satan’, making it more startling and to the point. The ‘D’ is inverted to highlight that the characters are unbefitting. ‘Inside’ confirms that this is a possession film. ‘The’ is in smaller font as it is less impactful and informative than the words ‘Devil Inside’ but it’s still necessary to be included for the title to make sense. Like the other posters, the institutional information is in very small font as it is not a main selling point of the poster. The continuation of the colours red, white and black as well as the serif font adds to the minimalism of the poster and leaves the audience’s attention with the haunting image used.

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