For those who have ever adorned their walls with horror movie posters, you certainly came across a few movies that you greatly admired but wouldn’t include in your creepy collage because of how lame and uninspired the artwork was. Here is my list of the seven worst posters for horror movies that deserved a much better treatment.
The early 80’s was a great time for horror movie posters, and with such a visually striking movie that offers so many creepy carnival possibilities for artwork, it’s unforgivable that the text-heavy poster offers nothing to look at but a deformed, slobbery mouth. The creepy jack-in-the-box clown that graced the VHS cover was at least an improvement, especially with that cool “Pay to get in, pray to get out” tagline.
Insidious: Chapter II
When I first saw this image on its IMDb page, I assumed it was just the first promotional piece released and that an official poster would be coming soon. A nervous-looking Renai hugging her two boys while clutching a hammer in front of an ugly cement wall behind them? This is it?! With this lazy print and a disappointing trailer, I feared the worst for Insidious: Chapter II, but it ended up being a pretty worthy follow-up to one of the greatest horror films of the past decade, which makes me despise this poster even more.
Let Me In
Like a huge majority of remakes, this one didn’t really have any need to exist. I fully expected it to just be a bland, soulless rendition made for Americans too dumb to see foreign films like the masterpiece that is Let the Right One In, but to my surprise it managed to be just about as artistic and emotional as the original. Whatever changes there were to the plot were actually for the better. Not for the better, however, were the various bland posters the marketing team came up with: take your pick. Let the Right One In’s theatrical poster was so intriguing and lovely, and it managed to capture the ice-cold loneliness of the material, and for Let Me In, all we get is Abby curling up in a ball or making a snow angel.
I guess you can’t blame the marketing team for wanting to show as much of Snoop Dogg as possible seeing as how beloved and awesome he is, but c’mon, the movie had a lot more going for it than just him being evil. Give it a chance and hopefully you’ll be as impressed as I was by its Gothic and ghoulish visuals, hilariously over-the-top gore effects, and radical shifts in tone that manage to be fun instead of clumsy.
House on Haunted Hill (1999)
I have some reservations about calling this a good movie because while I’ve seen the original House on Haunted Hill probably 15 times, I’ve only seen the ’99 remake once and wasn’t that thrilled with it. But the more I thought about it, the more I respected it for being so different and experimental. Rather than try to foolishly recreate the scariest scenes like the skeleton acid bath or blind freaky-as-hell woman that comes out of nowhere, they went a completely different route by giving us some pretty remarkable psychedelic freakouts in a house that looked nothing like the original’s. But they sure didn’t take any risks when it came to creating this poster-abomination. A calm, collected, happy-looking cast with a red handprint in the background? Seriously? Even the font sucks.
Halloween: H20 looks like an especially strong movie when it’s sandwiched between the incoherent Curse of Michael Myers and the truly godawful Resurrection. To me it is the last good Halloween film and I wish the series could have just ended there. But the theatrical poster sure is cringe-worthy with the five floating cast heads all trying their hardest to look serious. Another reason I hate this poster is because it’s a Halloween film that takes place in October, yet the poster promises that “this summer, terror won’t be taking a vacation,” immortalizing in print somebody’s ridiculous decision to release a Halloween film in early August. Awful, just awful.
Considering the terrible track record of cinematic adaptations of video games, I didn’t expect much from Silent Hill, especially when it wasn’t even screened for critics. The fact that its atrocious theatrical poster just showed a girl without a mouth certainly didn’t raise my optimism. So I was really surprised by how suspenseful the movie was and how absolutely stunning it was to look at. You have Lovecraftian creatures in a perpetually snowy ghost town, and yet somehow a girl without a mouth is a more appealing representation? At least they redeemed themselves by subsequently releasing the foggy “Welcome to Silent Hill” poster: