Saturday, June 4, 2011

Don't Be Afraid of This Poster

I've always said that horror titles tend to have the best artwork because, amongst many other reasons, they have so much bias to work against. Oh sure, horror movies can typically get in the usual base crowd of cinema patrons that will go see anything with an axe-wielding murderer, ghostly intruder or screaming teenager, but more or less horror films are greeted with groans by most. That's why I think they have to work harder at their advertising (not just posters, but trailers on through to unique gimmicks and specialty marketing) if they want to branch out from that core crowd.

I love this poster for Don't Be Afraid of the Dark [src], which stars Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce. I am in love with these colours - that deep orange and a shade of red that makes it look like it was painted in blood - and that there are no big empty spaces, no giant floating heads and no shit-tastic Photoshopping. It feels distinctly "old-fashioned" in that it's more about selling a mood than it is selling a star. I like the simple typeface, but think the differently sized words is a neat touch, almost like it's trying to unsettle viewers and, hello, who doesn't love a movie poster featuring a border?

Most curious of all, however, are the dimensions. Much longer than the usual size for a poster and it reminds me of the old Australian "Daybill" style of poster like, for example, this Halloween poster. Unfortunately, this style of poster are incredibly rare and I barely ever see them discussed anywhere. Even sadder is the fact that a lot of the daybills you can actually find online aren't the best quality. They're usually far from HQ and are a lot of the time simply photographs of daybills. That's a shame because they were able to do some really interesting stuff with the length they had to work with. The Halloween daybill I linked to (with its awesome duel taglines!) is a great example, as is this one for Roadgames, Deadly Blessings, North by North West, The Empire Strikes Back, Ground Zero, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Stone. You can click here, or here, or here to look at some more, or just google Australian daybill images and you'll find a heap. They're an interesting investigation for fans of film artwork, much like Polish/Czech designs, UK quads and so on. They're sometimes really unique and different and, as proven by their extravagant sale prices, very rare.

It's a shame they don't make them anymore, don't you agree?

1 comment:

Anthony Mai said...

I do love these sort of posters! Definitely better than all the modern-looking photoshopped ones we get so often these days.