Category Archives: Thriller

Blindness Poster

Blindness Poster

Blindness’ story revolves around an epidemic of blindness that spreads quickly bringing society to a state of chaos. This first teaser poster for the movie focuses squarely on the sight loss aspect, giving little attention to the epidemic/chaos angle. We have the letters for the title arranged in a form reminiscent of an eye chart. Behind them a milky white surface that obscures what seems to be a person. This is obviously intended to represent the onset of the white blindness and gives the poster the point of view of one of the people affected by the epidemic.

I’m not sure the arrangement of the letters isn’t a little too cute for this film, but I think the overall image works. It’s strong, memorable, a little disturbing and representative of the movie’s story. Or at least of one side of it.

Blindness is an interesting marketing challenge. The premise certainly is intriguing and it would be easy to market this as a typical apocalyptic horror/thriller or as disturbing but entertaining suspense filled struggle for survival, especially if you focus on the Julianne Moore character, who can still see. Think Dawn of the Dead, War of the Worlds or Shyamalan’s upcoming The Happening. But if the film is anything like the book that wouldn’t really get at the humanity and the themes that are at the core of story. It also might be a bit misleading. But highlighting the aspects that made the book unique would be much harder, and even if the effort is successful it might alienate the broader audience that could make the film a bigger hit.

The first poster could be for a horror movie, but it isn’t obviously so. And it is subtle enough to give space for the rest of the marketing materials to take the campaign one way or another. It will be interesting to see what, if any, other posters are created for the movie and what the final trailer will look like.

(Via IMPAwards)

First X-Files 2 Poster

X-Files 2 Poster

How strong is the X-Files brand right now? That is the question I find myself asking as I look at this poster.

It’s a fine teaser in many ways. We have Mulder and Scully, we have the big X and we have a sense of possible danger and of mysterious things being revealed. It’s simple, but it gets the point across.

The thing is, it only really works if you consider that the whole X-Files thing still resonates with people, and I’m guessing that nowadays most moviegoers think “X-Men” when they see a huge X.

I think that the marketing for this film has to act as if this is not a pre-sold concept. Sure, there are some big fans left. And there is still some awareness of the series that should make selling the movie easier. But I think the marketing still has to make the case that this film is worth seeing by itself. Simply relying in warm memories of the series won’t do.

Which is not to say that there is anything wrong with releasing this poster. It’s early in the campaign and the engines are just getting started. No harm in getting the word that the movie is coming out there and getting the fans a little excited. But they will have to go much further in the future.

(Thanks to Casty the Clown for passing this along)

Pathology Poster

Pathology Poster

It’s got a cool blue tinge, so it must be a poster for a creepy horror movie.

Honestly, the most interesting thing about this poster is the “From the Creators of CRANK” bit (they wrote the movie, by the way). Now, I didn’t actually like CRANK all that much, but it had enough bright moments to leave a mark in my brain. So finding out that those people are involved with this makes me consider the possibility that Pathology could be more entertaining than the typical horror/thriller.

The second most interesting thing is the way the title, credits and tagline are all slanted, in order to make it seem like they were written on the walls. I’m actually a little surprised at how much this little details makes the poster more attention grabbing and adds a certain excitement to the poster. It would be even better if those were attached to an image that also conveyed some excitement and movement by itself.

But outside of that? A hospital setting. Ok. A bunch of surgical tools. Again, ok, but kind of reminiscent of the last SAW movie. And Milo Ventimiglia looking tired, or something. So, what is this film about again? Why is it scary? Why should I be interested in seeing it? Was there no other more powerful image that could have been taken from the movie?

It’s ultimately just a very dull image that says very little.

(Via Slashfilm)

Bangkok Dangerous Poster

Bangkok Dangerous Poster

Here we have the poster for Bangkok Dangerous in which we see Nicolas Cage giant head towering over what one imagines is Bangkok. Our man Nic looks distraught, he obviously is carrying a lot on his shoulders and that is taking its toll.

Now, let’s go back a few months.

Next Poster

Here we have Nicolas Cage giant head towering over a city that seems to be in the process of being consumed by flames. In this one our man Nic is fully focused. The look in his eyes is so fierce that there is actually blue light coming out of them. He’s obviously trying to find a way to save the people of the city and nothing will stop him.

Now let’s go a couple more months back.

Ghost Rider Poster

Here we have Nicolas Cage giant head towering over some generic looking city. It’s also towering over some dude whose head has caught on fire. And over a cool bike. Nic looks mildly enraged. Obviously someone has crossed him and he is ready to kick some butt.

Ok, now let’s do something different. Let’s go a forward a few months.

National Treasure Poster (Big)

Here we have Nicolas Cage not so giant head towering over, well, nothing really. This time the head is also connected to a full body, which is unusual. Nicolas Cage looks a little bemused. Obviously he is faced with some inscrutable puzzle and is now working very hard to figure it out.

A little more than one year. Four movies. Four posters. Four different hairstyles. Let it never be said that Nic Cage lacks range.

But honestly? I wouldn’t mind spending some time without having to stare at Nic’s mug in a new poster.

(Bangkok Dangerous Poster From IMPAwards)

Another Funny Games Poster

Funny Games Poster

For such low key movie (from a marketing push and budget perspective) Funny Games sure has had a lot of posters. Three might not seem like much, but this is the type of film that I would expect to normally have just one US poster.

And what is more interesting, the third poster is very different from the first, which makes me wonder if they had doubts about their initial approach to the posters which led to the new ones.

The change is quite interesting. In the first poster we had a close-up of the victim. The second poster showed us the bloody golf clubs used by the assailants to beat up the victims. And in this third poster the focus changes totally to the “bad guys” and the victims are nowhere in sight.

I really love the first poster, and have mixed feelings about the two others. But I have to admit that this third poster probably has more mainstream appeal. The two young men are quite creepy in this image, with heir bloody gloves and evil stare, but they are creepy in a way that is familiar and because of that not really upsetting. This looks like so many other successful horror movies involving violent killers. The white in the background and in the clothes gives the whole thing a whiff of class that is perhaps a little unexpected, but not overtly so.

The first poster, meanwhile, makes this looks like something much less familiar and possibly much less pleasing in the typical violent thriller way. And perhaps that is more in tune with what the movie is actually like, but it is not a good way to get a broad range of people to want to see the film.

(Via, brought to my attention by John Allison over at RowThree)

The Life Before Her Eyes Poster

Update2: New poster is here.

Update: I was asked to take down this poster. I’m not sure what happened. Perhaps they sent out the wrong version? Perhaps it shouldn’t have been released yet? Anyway, this is a rare enough occurrence that I’m happy to oblige the marketing team. I’ll update as soon as a new poster is released.

On the good side, this poster does a better job of making Uma Thurman and Evan Rachel Wood look like the same person at different ages (which they are in the movie) than I would have expected. It is also very flowery.

On the other hand, it’s VERY Flowery.

I think the problem here is that the movie’s premise is impossible to distill in a few simple lines or in a clear image. I quote, from the publicity materials:

Based on the best-selling novel by Laura Kasischke, Life Before Her Eyes is a dramatic thriller about Diana (Oscar-nominee Uma Thurman), a suburban wife and mother who begins to question her seemingly perfect life–and perhaps her sanity–on the 15th anniversary of a tragic high school shooting that took the life of her best friend. In flashbacks, Diana is a vibrant high schooler (played by Evan Rachel Wood of THIRTEEN and THE UPSIDE OF ANGER) who, with her shy best friend Maureen, plot typical teenage strategies–cutting class, fantasizing about boys–and vow to leave their sleepy suburb at the first opportunity. The older Diana, however, is haunted by the increasingly strained relationship she had with Maureen as day of the school shooting approached. These memories disrupt the idyllic life she’s now leading with her professor husband Paul and their young daughter Emma. As older Diana’s life begins to unravel and younger Diana gets closer and closer to the fatal day, a deeper mystery slowly unravels.

Interesting, but you can’t really put that in a poster. So what do you do? You use your well known actresses to fill most of the available space. And then you fill the rest of the image with things that evoke the basic tone of the film, or that help to build a certain visual identity. Or at least that is what you do if you are going for the safe choice.

But in this case the execution of this strategy, which doesn’t tend to lead to great posters in the best cases, leaves much to be desired. I’m not sure exactly what they are trying to do with all the flowers. The only thing they evoke for me is a sort of lightness that seems to be at odds with what I saw in the trailer and with the description I pasted above.

The flowers also appear in the trailer, although no quite as prominently, and they are used more wisely there. In here they are overused and the overall visual effect is overwhelming and obnoxious.

Maybe if I see the film I will understand it better. But posters tend to be more effective if they work before you actually go to see the film.

The Bank Job Movie Poster

Bank Job Poster
(click for a large version)

This poster for The Bank Job really goes for an old fashioned 70’s look. But unlike some recent posters, like the ones for Grindhouse, which took some conventions from older posters but added a definitely modern twist, this one really seems to be interested in looking authentic. It even has some discoloring which makes the poster look a bit old and weathered.

The most obvious reason for going with this design is to hint at the fact that this is a period movie (the film takes place in 1971) but there are a couple of other interesting reasons. The first is that it should make the poster standout from it’s more contemporary looking counterparts in the theater lobby. Another possible one is that they might have wanted people to be reminded of the great 70’s thrillers and to associate this film with those classics.

It kind of worked on me. The poster makes me feel nostalgic and got me to link in my mind the movie with several other films that I really like. But I do have some misgivings about it. The main one is that I think the poster might be too authentic for it’s own good. I can’t imagine it will have quite the same nostalgic effect on younger movie goers who aren’t big film buffs. And even older folks might be a little turned off by the utter antiqueness of it.

I wonder if part of my problem isn’t the the film (and the poster) star Jason Statham. I noticed him before I even really registered the look of the poster, and the two things clashed in my mind. I just associate Jason with very modern, very loud thrillers. Even tough the poster won me over after a while there is still a lingering feeling that something isn’t quite right.

Anyway, I hope I’m wrong and that the poster does appeal to a broad audience. The movie’s premise (a spectacular bank heist based on a true story, if that wasn’t obvious) certainly is broadly appealing. Maybe a success here could lead to some more compelling earnest recreation of old movie poster styles.

(Via IMPAwards)