Ok, now this is interesting. Via Shock Till You Drop and JoBlo we have two posters for the Ruins. Both quite similar, but in one we have a hand coming out of the ground and in the other we have a human head.
I think there is much good to be said about these posters, starting with the fact that they are quite appealing to look at. But perhaps the most interesting thing about then is the way they turn the jungle and the ruins into a character, and a scary one at that.
I don’t know much about the movie, besides the fact that it is a horror movie and that it takes place in a remote Mexican jungle that contains an archaeological dig. The poster doesn’t tell me anything about the story beyond that, but it makes that setting into something claustrophobic and dangerous. The ruins and the jungle are closing in on the characters and burying them alive. And how can you fight those things? How do you fight an enemy that is all around you, engulfing you? How do you fight an enemy that lacks a heart you can stab or a brain you can shoot? It’s a scary prospect and the poster conveys that well.
Also, the particular look that the setting has in the poster is interesting. Most horror movies of late have relied on a urban setting. This is quite different and unique in a way that makes the movie stand out.
As for the release of two posters that are so similar it is, as I said at the beginning, interesting. I don’t think having both instead of any one of them adds much to the campaign, but I also don’t think it detracts from it at all. I find the hand poster slightly more effective at the task of giving out a claustrophobic and unsettling feel. After all, if your head is out at least you can breath. The expression on the face in the head poster is also a little too cool and collected for someone that is being buried by a forest. It’s almost as if the person has became part of the ruins, which perhaps is the idea, but I think ultimately makes for a less emotionally effective poster.
But really, not by much, I’m mostly splitting hairs here.
And to end, let me just say that I’m glad to find a good horror poster that doesn’t do neither the blood and gores/severed limbs thing, which we have seen in films like SAW and Hostel, nor the weird imagery thing that many Japanese remakes resorted too. Not that those things can’t make for good posters, but variety is the spice of life.