If you ask me to envision the poster to The Shining, my mind’s eye would dial it up immediately, in vivid color: Nicholson, crazed. Duvall, horrified. An axe and a door between them. “SHINING” in big red letters; who needs the “The”?
The image is so terrifying and so simple; it doesn’t say more than it needs to. But for such a complex movie, maybe it should have. Couldn’t the poster have invoked any of the film’s other iconic characters and places? How about Danny? Or the hedge maze? Or the twins? Or The Overlook?
Thanks to Matt Gaynes, we get a poster featuring all of them. Continue on for Matt’s artwork, along with original posters for classic horror films from five other incredible artists.
The Shining (1980)
I’m a huge fan of the Alamo Drafthouse’s poster style, so I would say that’s where the initial design style came from. The film itself has such striking colors and geometric shapes that I wanted to incorporate as well. I think another big motif throughout The Shining is the concept of plurality and reflexivity, so I wanted to incorporate that with the inclusion of not only the iconic Grady twins, but also the idea that Jack could also be the reflection of many different characters of the hotel — in this case I chose Lloyd the bartender.
The Others (2001)
I really enjoy the symbolism of the film with themes like “light vs. dark” and the “psychological vs. physical,” whether that be through characters’ suffering or their very existence. It’s “hauntingly” human film. I was interested in capturing the darkness and mystery of the film. I illustrated the idea of characters existing within their own realities with a mirror. I wanted to keep the piece minimal, as the characters’ stories are told in a manner that is just enough.
Arguably the most iconic scene from this movie is the scene at the prom, with first the pig blood then Carrie’s destruction of the gym. I wanted to see if I could channel the menacing nature of that scene with only a symbol (the broken tiara) and without any color, so this is my experiment with that. I wanted to use black and white because the prom scene is a blast of color and I was curious if the opposite effect could impart just as much fear.
It Comes at Night (2017)
I have an obsession with apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic stories and films. This film in particular captures the harsh reality of not knowing what is truly happening and what will happen. While the film may leave you with questions, it leaves you feeling the same way the characters do. The direction for the artwork is inspired by the setting and mystery of the film. The film is set in a densely forested area, which is the imagery used in the artwork. It was painted digitally.
The Craft (1996)
I always loved The Craft for its camp factor and because it was empowering to see a bunch of weirdo femmes taking their power back for themselves, kicking ass, and being gothy-cute in the process. It spoke to the power and possibility of femme friendship in an unkind world. It also highlighted the pitfalls of competition, egoism, and misusing power/influence, which is an important lesson for everyone.
I wanted to represent the power of the connection between the four friends and how it all came together around shadow magic. I wanted to show how that sheer connective force can become destructive if not expressed intentionally, causing things to break and shatter. I placed them in a kinda cross formation to hark back to the four elements and wanted the broken glass to also kinda look like a spider web as well as barbed wire.
The Uninvited (1944)
I love the subtle but very appropriate use of the supernatural and the psychological play where the different stories intertwine and facts are layered and woven. I wanted to focus on the mimosa scent, which Stella’s father bought for her mother, and now she cherishes. The scent envelopes the room each time her mother’s ghost shows up, and it’s the basis of the play on facts: was it Mary Meredith’s or Carmel’s?