Films are artistic processes from beginning to end, including the posters that are made to promote them. Movie posters have always been something that I particularly pay attention to, and it’s obvious when real work is put into it and when it’s not. It’s easy to take an interesting still from a movie and turn it into a decent poster, but there are many amazing graphic designers who make incredibly thought out, compelling posters that deserve to be shouted out. Here are the best of the best posters that came with horror movies this year.
The Best Horror Posters of 2020
Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street
Somehow by showing just the crotch of a guy, this became one of this year’s most memorable posters. Based on the life of the star of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985), the poster focuses on the iconic dance scene in the sequel with the addition of Freddy’s glove to know what it’s all about: the grip the film had on the star’s sexuality. It also simply combines a neon ‘80s aesthetic with the animation of the poster making it overall very eye catching.
Saint Maud is the one that got away: supposed to be released in April, the film got blasted into the unknown from COVID, at least in America. While I can’t enjoy what was my most anticipated film of this year, we can still appreciate the collection of beautiful posters released for the film. In particular I love the ones that combine elements of medieval art with the protagonist.
The Berlin Bride
There are so many things to love about this surreal masterpiece, but the posters are particularly vintage, spooky, and mysterious. What’s better than that is the filmmakers also made a motion poster, which you can check out above. As a weird, disjointed film that emulates ‘80s filmmaking, these posters represent it well.
She Dies Tomorrow
A lot of the posters that caught my eye this year are pretty much swirls of purple, and I’m going to own it. This poster for She Dies Tomorrow is inspired by the colorfully lighted scenes of epiphany in the film and the wavy pattern alluding to the themes of spreading fear from person to person that the film deals with.
This bleak millennial satire has a lot of style, but its posters have even more. I love the surrealist approach that was taken to these posters, that all see the home as a strange, off putting structure. I love the intense and bizarre color scheme and that they are all clearly drawn.
Luz was a dreamy possession gem that came out this year and has two both crazy cool posters. Both are playing off of the possession aspects, with the torn poster showing the different people underneath the tears and the yellow poster showing a stylized and striking possession within the film.
The Wolf of Snow Hollow
Minimalism done well is always so satisfying. This poster, at first glance resembles a werewolf, then when you look closer you see it’s just a man walking in snow. That’s basically the plot of this movie: less werewolf, more director and main star Jim Cummings walking through snow. And that’s definitely not a bad thing when it comes to both the poster and movie.
How can you NOT look at this poster and be interested in what the film has to say? This time travel thriller wants you to know that it’s not like other time travel movies, and definitely not Tenet. This poster also takes a surrealist approach to turn the earth into a spiral, and then have the skin of the spiral be stylized with different historical ages. It is both beautiful and intriguing, which is on par with directing duo Aaron Morehead and Justin Benson.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Some might not see this as a horror movie, but it was marketed as one and therefore going on the list. Both of these posters are unique, eye catching, and expertly use framing to create a beautiful image. The colors pop and are complementary to each other, and both had me curious about the content of the movie. This movie is definitely a hard one to capture with just a poster, so I think these were both good efforts for such a off-kilter flick.
This poster tells me exactly what I want to know: Stephen Lang is in this. VFW is a fun heist flick where a VFW gets attacked by a gang of violent punks, aka we get some action from old veterans. It’s one of the basic types of posters where the entire cast is organized by how much they’re in the film, but still finds a way to stand out in its style with bright neon colors and looks more artistically painted than an actual picture.
There’s a lot going on in this picture and that’s just about what I’d expect from a movie called Porno. This excels as one of the “drawn” posters and also has a bit of a grindhouse feel. I also love its use of very vivid colors and hellfire everywhere, making it one of the best horror posters of 2020.
This poster isn’t exactly anything new, but it uses a familiar look to still make a popping poster. The color combinations work well and the gory look appeals to the horror fan in me. I love the zombie figure, Uncle Peckerhead himself, looming large over the rest of the cast as the true star he is with a really good zombie look that is sure to attract many.
The fantastic Netflix film His House has two equally interesting posters. Both are putting a mysterious nature on the structure of the home, painting it as a dark entity, which is accurate. The shadow one has a great minimalist design that draws the eye, and the broken house one is interesting with its symmetry and color scheme.
Scare Me was such an unexpected gem for me, and I would have never checked it out if not for its stylish poster. A film about two horror writers telling scary stories, this poster has the actors and other set pieces rising out of a book and look like they were cut out of a magazine and put together like a collage. It perfectly captures the lighthearted but dark nature of the film.
This punk indigenous zombie movie has a great look that seeps to the poster. The film has a subtle grindhouse aesthetic that I feel is reflected but with modern taste in its posters. They also have great framing and a beautiful deep warm color to them that hints at a Mad Max: Fury Road apocalyptic feel, which is accurate to the film.
The year 2020 may have been a disaster, but graphic designers are still out here doing important work, helping to sell films that have often had to find their footing in the wild west of streaming services. I am excited to see what exciting horror film posters 2021 brings. What was your best horror poster of 2020? Let us know in the comments!