A movie trailer has an average of two minutes’ worth of highlight footage to entice audiences to purchase tickets upon release. A movie poster, however, has to do it with only a single image. So, the studios better make it a good one. When they nail it, a movie poster not only piques audience curiosity, but there’s an excellent chance we’ll want it acquired for our own walls, too. As with any form of marketing, the poster doesn’t actually speak to the quality of the final product, though. No matter the film, these movie posters were clever, enticing, and often downright stunning. Here are the 10 best movie posters of 2018.
The tagline reads “Fun going in. Hell getting out,” but the poster definitely makes me want to visit this theme park. Washed in reds, blacks, and grays, the poster gives us a glimpse of the protagonists and scare actors to be found within this Halloween scream park, and the theme park rides silhouetted in the background further makes me wish Hell Fest was an actual place. Just without the actual serial killer, that is.
The House with a Clock in Its Walls
The poster for Eli Roth’s Amblin kid-lit horror is pure Halloween magic. An ominous, haunted looking house backlit by a full eclipse. A boy staring it down from outside of the gate. And piles of spooky jack-o-lanterns flanking both sides of that gate. This poster made us want to know what was inside of that house.
Sometimes nothing is more effective than simplicity, and the stark white poster with crimson blood splatter for Overlord is certainly eye-catching. But then you look closer. The droplets of blood actually form paratroopers and their parachutes, with a blood splatter-shaped aircraft at the top. Very clever, Overlord. Very clever.
The trippy, strange, and dreamlike poster for the latest film from Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead is an absolute stunner. It also happens to perfectly sum up the actual plot; two brothers return to a cult they’ve fled years before. The cult is seen on the poster worshipping some strange formation, and the two brothers front and center are walking their way. In other words, this poster is a rare instance where it matches the film itself completely. The Endless is just as surreal, twisty, and gorgeous as the poster indicates.
Let the Corpses Tan
This retro poster for Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s latest looks like a vintage pulp novel, every bit as strange and stylized as the film itself. Based on the poster, we have no clue what we’re in for with Let the Corpses Tan, but it sure has our attention.
It’d be impossible to overlook this poster hung at a theater, the deep saturation of vivid reds, blues, purples, and hot pink is striking. A collage of characters contained within the pyramid of the poster’s center places Mandy (Andrea Riseborough) at the top and her avenger Red (Nicolas Cage) front and center. But it’s the chainsaw battle at the poster’s bottom that really clinched our desire to see Mandy.
Halloween is always at its best when it keeps it simple, and this poster encapsulated that so well. Just a pitch-black background with Michael Myers’ face was all it took to get fans salivating over the year’s most anticipated horror movie. Granted, the mask showed every bit of the 40-year gap between John Carpenter’s break out hit to now. But that ominous head tilt on the poster demonstrated our boogeyman’s evil persona hadn’t changed one bit.
If only this summer shark movie lived up to the amazing posters, which had much stronger killer instincts than the film itself. There was the poster that gave us an unnerving glimpse of the megalodon’s size compared to that of a normal great white, and in turn a normal diver. Then they injected humor by showing the massive prehistoric shark swimming beneath the surface of crowded, touristy waters with tagline, “Pleased to eat you.” It was a shark buffet in poster form, and the concept alone meant The Meg should be a glorious feeding frenzy, right? Not so much, but I suppose we’ll always have these amazing posters.
Director Shane Black has an affinity for Christmas set movies, but the poster marketing wanted to make it clear that The Predator is a Halloween movie. Black and orange color themed, the posters featured excellent designs. The first saw a massive Predator gripping the decapitated head of a normal sized Predator, it’s dripping spinal cord still attached. The second was a fantastic image of a Predator’s head comprised entirely of skulls and bones. Both gave none of the movie’s secrets away, and both featured the reason people want to see these movies in the first place; the predator.
This horror anthology was released in April, and I still want these posters. The series of neon colored posters released for its SXSW premiere each revolved around one of the various segments in the movie, and they all had unique, bizarre imagery that gave none of the plot secrets away. The final movie poster dropped the neon but still kept things colorful, and terrifying. Abstract, bright, and a bit retro in design, these posters are so unconventional and stunning. More like this, please.