Most modern horror movie posters are bad! Scrolling through the thousands upon thousands of horror movies made in the 2010s is an exercise in trying not to get a migraine from the criminal overuse of HDR. For a while in the mid-2010s, every single horror movie poster featured an image of a woman crawling. Was that trend inspired by The Ring? Probably. Was it bad? Absolutely.
In response to the crowded, over-HDR’d and drab colored movie posters of my youth, I find myself consistently attracted to simple posters. If you went back in time and were able to put every horror movie of the decade into a Blockbuster, what VHS / DVD / BluRay covers would stand out to you? What would make you want to rent the movie? What would pull you in? I’d argue movie posters are more important for horror than for any other genre. You want to know what you’re going to be afraid of. You want to pick your poison. Here’s some of my favorite poison of the last ten years:
10. Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)
This movie is horrible. This poster is incredibly fun. It has vintage Christmas card vibes and uses negative space in a way I find delightful. I would absolutely rent this and then be terribly disappointed.
9. The Bad Batch (2016)
I’ve never seen this movie because I’ve heard it’s terrible, but I’ve almost watched it (conservatively) 100 times. Despite the horrible reviews, the poster drags me back in every time. The excellent use of color and the juxtaposition between the smiley face, the gun and the name of the movie kills it.
8. Cam (2018)
I love horror movies about technology / the Internet and I’m immediately attracted to any film that puts glitch art to good use. Cam feels at once thoroughly modern and beautifully surreal. It looks like a sharp art house feature, because it kind of (almost) is. It doesn’t hurt that this movie is actually good.
7. The Love Witch (2016)
Anna Biller’s vintage love letter leans into the heyday of horror posters with this beautifully illustrated poster. The make up! The blood! The tag line! It’s a little bit of giallo and a little bit Halloween.
6. Sleep Has Her House (2017)
I’ve been thinking about this movie poster since I first saw it on Letterboxd in 2017. I haven’t seen it. I need to see it. It’s haunting my dreams.
5. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014)
Why do Ana Lily Amirpour’s movies get all of the good posters? This baby is as striking as the film itself. If this doesn’t draw you in, your mind is broken.
4. Raw (2016)
I love a poster that’s also a good portrait. Raw‘s poster is seeping with powerful emotions just barely hidden beneath the surface. The velvet peach tones and the perfect hit of blood bely the movies intense gore and those dead eyes just pull you in. Also, I love the font. Even the best horror movie posters often have the worst, overly distressed fonts. This one is perfect.
3. Suspiria (2018)
Part of my obsession for this poster is that I think it’s the perfect remake. From Tilda Swinton playing three separate characters to Dakota Johnson killing people with her funky dance moves to the incredible use of mirrors, it’s all so delicious I could eat it for breakfast. And this poster is the perfect first course. It’s weird and clean and has the best font. I love it.
2. It Comes At Night (2017)
This is the scariest movie poster on this list. The stark, yet almost luscious, composition and the perfect use of negative space draw you the hell in. This is better than any distended face with too big teeth or any Slenderman-esque tall man. It’s a nightmare come to life.
1. Get Out (2017)
It’s perfect. There’s nothing else to say.