The Blob (1958)
Representative Of The Film? Like nearly all 1950s monster movies, the art of subtlety has been avoided in favour of showing off the Blob in all its Blobby splendour.
Coolest Detail: This meant nothing at the time, but check out who the star is. Nobody outcools Steve McQueen.
A Tale Of Two Sisters (2003)
Representative Of The Film? A blood-stained family portrait is the perfect tease for Kim Ji-woon’s South Korean psychodrama.
Coolest Detail: The clash of blood on virginal white cotton - especially when mummy and daddy are dressed in grey.
Representative Of The Film? It’s hard to convey a feeling of suburban horror, so kudos for stripping things down to the ominous flicker of television static.
Coolest Detail: Actually, this one is notable for cocking up the tagline which, as everybody knows, should be “They’re here!”
Representative Of The Film? So hysterically earnest it has to be tongue-in-cheek, the way it riffs on topical news reports pretty much screams, ‘schlock exploitation!’
Coolest Detail: They’ve underlined not human. Just in case we weren’t sure.
Blood And Black Lace (1964)
Representative Of The Film? Sex and violence – what else would you expect in Mario Bava’s influential giallo slasher pic?
Coolest Detail: We’re not quite sure how the ‘guaranteed shocks’ statement would hold up in court.
Representative Of The Film? It’s a tough job capturing the appeal of a movie that veers between sympathy for its outcasts and exploitative freakshow horror. This conveys it by being…a bit weird.
Coolest Detail: The placement of the man’s hand on the left implies his sides are splitting with laughter, which seems a curious thing to stick on the poster.
Army Of Darkness (1992)
Representative Of The Film? Those in the know will spot it’s an Evil Dead threequel (Ash! Chainsaw! Trapped in time!) but the pastiche retro stylings confirm the wider appeal of Raimi’s rollicking adventure.
Coolest Detail: The raised eyebrow is pure Bruce Campbell. The He-Man pecs: less so.
I Spit On Your Grave (1978)
Representative Of The Film? The central image conjures up such a gut-wrenching feeling that the words have to go overboard with the spoilers to convince you that, no, really, this has a happy ending.
Coolest Detail: How tough is this woman? This tough: she isn’t even holding the knife by its hilt.
House Of Wax (2005)
Representative Of The Film? If only. This chillingly gloopy image has more wit and menace than the actual film can muster.
Coolest Detail: The vertical arrangement of the tagline reinforces the words’ drip-drip rhythm.
Dr Phibes Rises Again (1972)
Representative Of The Film? True to the spirit of this Hammer horror sequel if not the letter –the film features death by scorpion, but not by spider.
Coolest Detail: Has somebody squirted ketchup in her eye?
Representative Of The Film? Nothing could hope to match up to the scientific exactitude of this poster’s boast. For starters, what about the bit with the wire in the middle of the film?
Coolest Detail: The fact that somebody decided to compose the title out of candyfloss is the most terrifying thing of all.
Silent Night Deadly Night (1984)
Representative Of The Film? Yes, in all its sick and twisted glory. A little too close to home for the multiplex, though – this got pulled after parents complained that their kids were terrified.
Coolest Detail: It takes a certain amount of bravado – or stupidity – to bury your best tagline in the corner.
Representative Of The Film? Remarkably even-handed. The bottom half warns of the film’s slightly dull melodramatic core...but the still-startling appearance of the creature makes the film unmissable.
Coolest Detail: The greatness of this one is all about Boris Karloff.
The Stuff (1985)
Representative Of The Film? Arguably too much. That ‘Warning’ at the top may as well have the word ‘Spoiler’ stuck in front of it.
Coolest Detail: The fact that THE STUFF is capitalised throughout.
I Walked With A Zombie (1943)
Representative Of The Film? Producer Val Lewton’s movies were always more suggestive and psychological than their attention-grabbing poster and this – a sort-of adaptation of Jane Eyre – is no exception.
Coolest Detail: Jelly-wobble lettering on the word ‘Zombie.’
Representative Of The Film? Pumpkin, yes. Carving knife, definitely. But the implication that it’s about a pumpkin-masked killer is a massive red herring.
Coolest Detail: That “He” in the tagline is incredibly intriguing.
The Curse Of The Werewolf (1961)
Representative Of The Film? The lurid, splashy colours of Hammer posters always synced up nicely with the bloody on-screen imagery, nowhere more so than here.
Coolest Detail: The fact that it looks like the werewolf is going to crush a tiny mob by dropping a giant lady onto them.
Dawn Of The Dead (1978)
Representative Of The Film? Everybody knows this one as “the one in the shopping mall.” There isn’t a hint of retail about this poster.
Coolest Detail: The head rising over the horizon is a literal depiction of the dead’s “dawn.”
Representative Of The Film? A ghoulishly funny spin on the horror poster standard of the severed/skeletal hand, this is a great conceptual teaser for Steve Miner's scary/funny movie.
Coolest Detail: The parody of a house party invitation.
House On Haunted Hill (1959)
Representative Of The Film? Somebody’s got carried away making this…but it’s that very OTT, over-busy feel that encapsulates the funhouse atmosphere of William Castle’s
Coolest Detail: The look on the skeleton’s face, as if he’s disgusted by human flesh and on the verge of chucking the corpse in the bin.
Representative Of The Film? Riffing on classic E.C. Comics visual, this hints at the film’s skewed wit and anthology format by suggesting you’ll get plenty of bang for your buck.
Coolest Detail: Impressively meta, so much so that cinemagoers must have been disappointed to be served by a surly teenager rather than the poster’s apparition.
Q: The Winged Serpent (1982)
Representative Of The Film? The gorgeous art-deco poster takes its cue from the Chrysler Building, central to the plot, but the film is pure cheap ‘n’ cheerful 80s-ness.
Coolest Detail: The soldiers falling off the spire of the skyscraper.
The Evil Dead (1981)
Representative Of The Film? Strangely, no. It’s a frightening pose, but the film is both nastier and funnier in its surreal imagery.
Coolest Detail: If you’ve got to have a quote on the poster, it may as well come from horror’s most famous name.
Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965)
Representative Of The Film? Graphic design genius Saul Bass specialised in translating narrative into abstract concepts that epitomised the film while giving nothing away. This one’s particularly haunting.
Coolest Detail: Stealing a trick off Psycho , “no one admitted while the clock is ticking!”
The Fly (1986)
Representative Of The Film? The human arm and insectoid leg combo is a bit of a cheat, but the clinical simplicity of showing only the matter transmission pod underlines that this is a very different beast to the schlocky '50s original.
Coolest Detail: The tagline... which, unusually, isn't a marketing man's come-on but a direct quote from the screenplay.
Saw 3 (2006)
Representative Of The Film? The malicious, minimalist wit of the Saw posters remains a masterclass in psychology, hinting at untold torture porn terrors within.
Coolest Detail: The use of a pure white background points out that, actually, those teeth are looking pretty grubby.
Funny Games (2008)
Representative Of The Film? Michael Haneke had a decade to think about marketing the second version of his cruel, austere anti-horror, so no wonder that this memorably disconcerting anti-poster works so well.
Coolest Detail: The disruptive placement of the credits.
The Thing (1982)
Representative Of The Film? A subtle cheat, as the ice-bound setting and the cryptic tagline don't give away nearly how weird this film is.
Coolest Detail: The ‘i’ of the title has been formed differently from the letters around it – a neat subliminal hint of the Thing’s shape-shifting abilities.
The Eye (2008)
Representative Of The Film? Not really. There’s nothing on-screen to match the crawling Bunuellian horror of this invasive image.
Coolest Detail: The lack of a space in the title makes it look like the film is called Theeye ...which is the sound you’d probably make if a hand tried to call out of your eye socket.
Representative Of The Film? Monstrous sex is certainly at the heart of events. The chalk-drawn stylings are an odd choice for a movie whose on-screen style is clinical and modern, though.
Coolest Detail: That sneaky snake’s tail slithering down to the nipple. Naughty, naughty.
Scream And Scream Again (1970)
Representative Of The Film? Yes; in fact, the acid is a bit of a spoiler. That said, there’s nothing as memorable in the film as this image.
Coolest Detail: Get the feeling that the copywriting was done by somebody more used to selling whiskey?
Representative Of The Film? Well, Liberty gets decapitated. But the throwback to cult movies’ 1980s glory days (it’s a riff on the classic Escape From New York poster) doesn’t quite reflect the film’s ultra-modern hipsters-with-camcorders vibe.
Coolest Detail: Following the trail of destruction wrought by Liberty’s flying head.
Hard Candy (2005)
Representative Of The Film? A brilliant metaphor for a story of paedophilia, entrapment and revenge that subliminally warns the audience what is likely to happen.
Coolest Detail: The shades of ‘Little Red Riding Hood.’
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Representative Of The Film? A brilliantly surreal collage, which juxtaposes two symbols of innocence and fragility – a pram, and Mia Farrow – to instil an uncanny feeling of fear.
Coolest Detail: The placement of the pram ‘inside’ Rosemary’s head subliminally helps with Roman Polanski’s subterfuge that she’s imagining things.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Representative Of The Film? Lurid, exploitative and deeply sinister. That’d be a yes, then.
Coolest Detail: Leatherface is actually slicing into the film’s title. Nothing is sacred in this film.
The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2010)
Representative Of The Film? A canny decision, this. Showing the centipede’s side-view would be a little too much for the public, but the face-on pose is icky enough.
Coolest Detail: Frosted glass – protection for the squeamish, and a dare for the gorehounds.
The Howling (1981)
Representative Of The Film? Although Joe Dante’s werewolf flick is just as ironic as its contemporary, An American Werewolf in London , this impressively violent image suggests a straighter scare story.
Coolest Detail: The tactile detail on the torn fabric is enough to make you touch the poster to check it isn’t really ripped.
The Exorcist (1973)
Representative Of The Film? It's an iconic, unnerving image, but putting Max Von Sydow in an austere monochrome photo does suggest Bergman-esque art-house drama rather than head-spinning, pea-vomiting, crucifix-shagging derangement.
Coolest Detail: The stark silhouette of Von Sydow's exorcist.
Representative Of The Film? Aptly primal and fuss-free for the most high-concept of summer movies. The only thing wrong is that the shark looks like a shark.
Coolest Detail: The teasing hint of nudity. And to think they let kids see this.
Representative Of The Film? Yes and no. With the surprise of the alien’s life cycle key to the film’s impact, the poster shows only its beginning, in a way that combines intrigue with creepy foreboding.
Coolest Detail: The tagline, surely a contender for cinema’s greatest ever.