The Hands of Orlac (1924)
From the silent era The Hands of Orlac takes a classic spooky campfire tale of a murderer’s body parts being surgically attached to an otherwise upstanding and moral citizen. The beautiful poster is in the style of 1920s German expressionist art and cinema and highlights the internal trauma of our protagonist.
The one that started it all. The 1954 Japanese classic spawned a huge franchise and entire genre of Kaiju cinema (films with giant monsters). The original reflected national concerns and anxieties over nuclear war following the devastation of the WW2 atomic bombs. The poster is busy, bold and exciting, mirroring the film itself.
House on Haunted Hill (1959)
Call me a hipster, but B movies always have the best posters. This one is pretty dark, especially given its 1959 release date, but is frankly a masterpiece. The giant house has influenced so many more mainstream movie posters in the decades since and the skeleton is still spooky all these years later.
The Birds (1963)
No horror list is complete without some Hitchcock. Arguably the master of tension’s most terrifying work; The Birds’ poster is classic 60s cinema. It’s a bit more stripped back than some of the others on this list but it perfectly conveys the terror of the film. In one fowl (see what I did there) swoop Hitchcock analysed the inner workings of his characters and terrified his audiences, possible hurting the sales of pet shops for years to come.
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
This is seriously spooky. The poster hints at some of the themes of mental turmoil within the film while the dark colours and shadowy face emphasise the nightmarish events that take place. Rosemary’s Baby is regarded as one of the earlier art-horrors. Much like The Birds it deviates from the purely sensory appeal of a classic horror by looking at the human condition – and it’s all the more scary as a result!
Sugar Hill (1974)
The early 1970s saw the development of Blaxploitation cinema – a movement where genre movies were being made by studios starring black actors in the main roles. The poster from the zombie flick is one of my all time favourites highlighting the power of Baron Samedi, Haitian zombies and the eponymous Sugar. Definitely a film to watch if you’re a zombie fan.
It doesn’t get much more classic than this. Jaws didn’t just change horror; it changed cinema in general. Often thought of as the first real summer blockbuster Spielberg’s effort became the prototype for how studios would make money. The poster has everything you could want, a great tagline, a clear title, big stars and (most importantly) a great big shark.
The slasher craze of the 1980s and 1990s can be at least partly attributed to the success of Halloween. On a small budget John Carpenter’s movie spawned a host of similar horror films set in middle class suburbia. The poster appeals to fans of all things creepy, mashing together a variety of Halloween tropes.
The Evil Dead (1982)
One of the most recognisable shots in horror cinema is immortalised in this poster. Much like Halloween, The Evil Dead was a small independent film that became a hugely influential cult classic. It marked the emergence of black comedy as a fundamental part of American horror.
Ari Aster is the new kid on the block when it comes to mainstream horror films and his two feature films are phenomenal. In the style of many movies on this list, Hereditary uses the horror genre as a way to analyse other themes. Undoubtedly terrifying, the film explores concepts of grief and family as well. The poster displays two of the films scariest characters and the dimly lit setting provokes a strong sense of dread.
If you’re interested in getting any of these posters on display check out our website where we can make any number of movie posters into a cracking wallpaper collage!