The 10 Scariest Horror Movie Posters

Horror movies have a rich and varied history that dates back nearly to the beginning of film itself. Horror is also perhaps the only genre where the movie posters are as important to fans as the film itself. A bad poster can instantly make the film appear cheap, goofy, and insure that it’s not taken seriously which can crush its financial success right out of the gate. A great poster can turn a film with no big name recognition into an anticipated Halloween favorite that becomes a box office success just on the creepy imagery of its teaser poster. Here are 10 of the scariest Horror movie posters of all time.

Evil Dead (2013)

The original Evil Dead had decent posters, but they reflected the film’s miniscule budget and ambitions. The remake stepped up the game considerably with a variety of creepy posters featuring everything from the iconic cabin against a white background to other posters highlighting the threatening forest. This one stands out for being downright scary.

Evil Dead1
Evil Dead

The Haunting (1963)

This film set the template for modern haunted house flicks, and its poster is one of the classics. Nothing fancy, just a look of terror on the protagonists face and eerie green font against a stark black background. It’s as effectively simple as the film itself.

The Haunting
The Haunting

Alone In the Dark (1982)

No, not the Uwe Boll video game film disaster. This forgotten classic about escaped insane asylum patients wreaking havoc on a neighboring town has a badass poster to match. Just a man with his bloody machete in front of a forest silhouetted by the full moon and a lone home in the middle ready for the taking.

Alone In the Dark
Alone In the Dark

Night of The Creeps (1986)

This zombie cult classic from the ‘80’s may have more light comic touches than other films of its genre, but that doesn’t mean it can’t have effectively creepy poster art. Featuring a hand from a zombie that knows how to open doors breaking into a home, it sets the tone for the film to come.

Night of The Creeps
Night of The Creeps

The Exorcist (1973)

The poster for The Exorcist is one of the most recognizable of any genre of film. The poster, like the film, is all about mood and atmosphere. Its stark black and white image of the priest about to enter the home of the possessed girl is at once mundane and unsettling in equal measure.

The Exorcist
The Exorcist

The Omen (2006)

The remake of the 70’s classic The Omen may have been lousy, but the poster wasn’t. Striking in its simplicity it has the evil child Damien against a blood red background with his shadow forming an inverted cross, a symbol that all by itself sends chills through anyone who sees it.

The Omen
The Omen

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Like the film, the poster for Rosemary’s Baby has a quiet dreadful undertone to it. You’re not sure what it’s supposed to be representing but you know nothing good is coming out of that baby carriage, and Mia Farrow’s blank expression in soft focus in the background only heightens the uncomfortable mood.

Rosemary’s Baby
Rosemary’s Baby

The Conjuring (2013)

This year’s instant classic demonic possession/haunted house horror film comes with an instant classic of a poster to match. Prominently featuring maybe the scariest looking tree in existence, complete with the chilling noose, it instantly catches the eye and makes you wonder what this thing is all about. It’s a curious decision to leave the house that is most prominently featured in the film in the background, but it’s a decision that works wonders for the poster.
The Conjuring
The Conjuring

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)

Freddy Krueger was never necessarily the scariest of horror antagonists, but Wes Craven’s return to the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise in the mid 90’s aimed to change that. It worked in the film, and it definitely worked for the poster which is why it’s on this list of horror movie posters. Cleverly concealing Krueger’s updated and much more horrifying look in the film, it simply features his evil burning eyes against the pitch black background leaving everything up to the viewer’s imagination. It fits with the film’s evolution away from corny one liners and cheap gags, and aims squarely to frighten.

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

Halloween (1978)

The best is saved for last. Nearly every horror film that came after John Carpenter’s Halloween owes everything to it. There were multiple great creepy posters for the film, but for my money the scariest one is the one that features Michael Meyers and his iconic mask that is still unsettling to this day. Like most of the posters on this list, simplicity is the key to true scares. Featuring Meyers creeping down the stairs looking for his next victim, it has the tagline “Everyone is entitled to one good scare”. Indeed.

Halloween
Halloween

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