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Shutter Movie Poster Analysis

By birdmcneal42 Oct 14, 2013 947 Words
Bird McNeal
Dr. Duda
Honors Composition
Movies are a huge part of American business and entertainment; so much that they have become a part of the American culture. According to, in 2012, the film industry made $10.9 billion, and the industry doesn’t seem to be slowing down. With box office hits like Star Wars 7, Avengers 2, and a Batman versus Superman movie set to come out in the upcoming years, movies are on the rise. Movie marketers flood the media with different forms of advertisements to attract audiences to the films. Television commercials and movie previews are a huge marketing technique, but one form that has been around for much longer than commercials are movie posters. Movie posters, if they are made correctly, are used to peak the viewer’s interest and get an audience to attend the movie. In recent years, the Horror genre has also been rising in popularity. Hundreds of horror movies have poured in to movie theaters in the last decade. One of these movies is Shutter. The designer of this movie poster had the same task of trying to lure viewers to come a see the movie. The creator of the poster uses a few different techniques to get this job done. He or she puts a huge disfigured face in the middle of the poster, a foreboding quote, many different pictures to make up the face, and the former productions the producers of the movie have made.

The first thing that I noticed when looking at the poster, was a huge white face that took up the majority of space. The face is disfigured with no cheek on its left side, and barely any teeth. There are no eyes, and it seems like the face is screaming. This seems to be an attack on pathos. The artist of the poster wants to connect with the viewer on an emotional level. The man with his mouth open, half of his teeth and his cheek missing make the viewer curious on how this happened, and what he is screaming about. It makes the viewer cringe because its gross, but it also makes the viewer want to know more, which leads to them wanting to see the movie; the mission of any poster.

The face also plays another role in the artist’s scheme. The artist took a ton of different images, most likely from the movie, and collaged them to make up the scary face. These images seem to be different photographs of different people from the movie, and scenes from the movie. These images give a bit of insight into the movie, without giving too much away. So again the artist is trying to make us wonder what is going on with the face, and even further what kind of story do these images create when they are connected. The center image is a wedding photo. This is the only picture where the objects are smiling. The other pictures seem to be a spider web off of this picture. I read this as part of the movie. Everyone has skeletons in their closet. Behind every marriage there are secrets, and these secrets can really start a chain of events that ruin peoples lives and even end up in some of these skeletons coming out. This is just a theory I have based on what I took from the poster. The quote, “The most terrifying images are the ones that are real,” is written in small letters across the bottom of the poster. There are two reasons that this is significant to the images, and thus to the poster as well. The quote puts even more significance on the images in an obvious way. The images are photographs, probably from the movie, so they are “real” images. So the artist is trying to get the viewer to think more about the images and what they have to do with the movie. What is the connection between the web of pictures and the story line? Who is taking the pictures? So they artist raises the curiosity level with the quote, while he also adds a bit of a chill to ones spine. It gives the audience a feeling of being watched, and thus puts them in the mood to watch a horror film.

The last thing that I noticed that I considered major was the text on top of the poster. On the top of the poster it reads, “From the Producers of ‘The Grudge’ and ‘The Ring.’” In my opinion, this is an attempt by the producers to gain credibility with the audience, or in other words a use of the rhetorical device ethos. The audience now tries to figure out what aspects the producers have put in Shutter that are also in The Grudge and The Ring. If my insights from above are correct, the connections between the films are very evident. Just like in the other two movies, there is a secret that is kept and slowly coming to the surface, and the antagonist is a decrepit looking demon type creature.

Visual arts and creative design have so much to do with how we, as humans, think, feel, and in turn spend our money. If a poster is appealing to us or peaks our interest we are more likely to spend money on whatever movie the poster is representing. The poster for Shutter lets the viewer in on just enough information to get them hooked, but not enough to give the entire plot away. The poster adds credibility, and also makes the audience a little curious. It does it’s job and makes the viewer want to see the movie. (947)

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