I feel the pain of the people in charge of coming up with posters for SAW IV, I really do. The posters for the earlier movies were great, effective and even got nominated for some awards. But now if they do something similar to what they did before people like me say that it feels like the same old stuff, only less interesting. We claim that we’ve seen it before, and we want something new. But when they give us something different, like the poster above, we immediately compare it to the earlier posters and say “those were so much better.”
But really, they were. The magic of the earlier SAW posters was that they managed to be simple and to convey a very clear message. This will be bloody. This will make your screen crawl. This new poster is quite a mess. So many elements: The high heel boots, the weird device, the costume. Many of those are taken from earlier installments, so they probably do signify “SAW” for a lot of people. But what message does the poster, as a whole, convey? How does it make one want to see the film more? How does it make those of us who are a little tired of the SAW series want to see yet another sequel?
I do like the tagline tough. It’s a trap. It’s short, it’s snappy and it’s relevant. However it does lend itself to parody a little too easily.
On the other hand, the poster for the SAW blood drive keeps with the old winning formula. Sexy/Creepy nurse is at it again.