Movie posters can be more often bland then they are brilliant. But when it’s done right . . . well, lets just say it can be an image that lasts with you longer than the film’s duration. Think Pulp Fiction, Psycho, The American remake of Funny Games, Attack Of The 50ft Woman, to name a few. It can adorn the walls of your home if the designers come up with a truly memorable poster that’s artistic, creative, and encapsulates the message of the film. In 2012 there were some great examples of that. Here are the 10 best movie posters of the year.
Note: To be eligible for this list it had to be a film released in 2012, not merely a promotional image released in 2012 (otherwise first, second and third spots would be taken by The Wolverine, West Of Memphis, and The Wolverine).
Political thrillers rarely have interesting artwork. Fact. Yet like the film itself, the poster for Argo managed to be interesting and hint at the plot’s high stakes.
Despite having one of the most annoying titles of the year, V-slash-H-slash-S managed to sport a slicker-than-your average horror poster. The Descent invoked the iconic Salvador Dali skull better, but the use of tapes and labels was clever.
8. Casa Di Mi Padre
I mean, come on? What’s not to love about this image? From Will Ferrell’s heroic pose to the baldheaded eagle with a snake clasped in its claws, Casa Di Mi Padre’s poster had its tongue firmly in cheek. Pure exploitation.
7. The Man With The Iron Fists
There are several amazing The Man With The Iron Fists variants that are just as worthy as being in the top 10 as this poster. However, the reason this makes it comes down to the boldness of the design. Using a black, white and pink colour scheme for a male-targeted kung-fu movie is ballsy enough, but it also managed to sport images of every major character without looking overcrowded (take not Resident Evil: Whatever Number We’re up To Now). The clincher is the tagline: “You can’t spell kung-fu with F and U.”
6. The Master
Paul Thomas Anderson’s critically acclaimed drama was like a non-evasive lobotomy: it delved deep into the human psyche. Thanks to the clever artists working on the promotional material, a poster was created that not only reflects this but manages to highlight the A-list cast.
5. The Dark Knight Rises
The dozens of posters whipped up for the final of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy weren’t as edgy or exciting as The Dark Knight (the Joker variants remain some of the best poster art of the past 10 years). Then again, neither was the film. Yet that doesn’t mean it didn’t have something exceptional to offer, like the frozen moment where Bane is walking away from Batman’s broken cowl. The best, however, remains the first teaser poster that depicted a crumbling Gotham in the shape of the Bat symbol. Ominous, powerful and epic, it hinted at everything we were going to get from The Dark Knight rises.
4. Beauty Is Embarrassing
Some of the greatest movie posters come from left of field indies and art house pictures that can afford to be experimental. Beauty Is Embarrassing is a classic example of this, with a poster that’s so good it works as a standalone piece of art.
3. Cabin In The Woods
The original run of Cabin In The Woods posters in 2010 weren’t the most visually appealing, but they were hilarious. This alternative to the main promotional image stepped it up a level. Drawing inspiration from the drawings of M.C. Escher, it hinted at the complex and surprising nature of the film. Take a close look, then take another. Like Cabin In The Woods, nothing is quite as it seems.
Better than Hotel Transylvania, but not quite as good as Frankenweenie, the third film in the creepy kid animated trilogy of 2012 rocked some of the most eye-popping design of the year. Paying homage to the B-grade monster movies it so lovingly references in the film, the Paranorman poster is as much fun as the movie: that is to say, A LOT. Colourful and clever, Paranorman did something different than the standard animated poster featuring a role call of characters and for that, it scrapes in as runner up on this year’s list. For two other equally great posters check out this and this.
1. The American Scream
For a quirky and darkly comedic documentary about Halloween lovers, The American Scream fittingly had a poster that was just as awesome. Looking like a cross between Dia de los Muertos and a Tim Burton fantasy, you get more enjoyment from this piece of poster art the more you look at thanks to the painstaking detail.
Maria Lewis - follow Maria on Twitter here: @moviemazz