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This Movie Buff Explains How You Can Tell What A Film Is About Just By Looking At The Poster



It’s no secret that Hollywood has been turning out a lot of the same content for a long, long time now.

If you look at the major movie releases, it’s difficult to find a title that isn’t based off of a story, isn’t a reboot, a sequel, or something that came out of comic book lore. Original stories and screenplays are few and far between. I’m not saying that these movies are necessarily bad, hell, I think there’s infinite ways to reimagine classic stories. It’s not like Shakespeare created any of his own original plots (except for The Tempest).

It’s just hard to deny that when it comes to big budget movie making, studios don’t want to take a risk and they target demographics hard. The problem with that logic, however, is that it doesn’t always pan out. Just ask the creators of Deadpool if they followed a formula with their movie. They went against all the “logic” in creating superhero movies and ended up making a film that raked in $783 million worldwide. And even though that’s an encouraging sign for studios who want to be more adventurous with their releases, that doesn’t mean it’s going to stop movie makers from creating and marketing their films in familiar ways.

And there are probably fewer indicators of this sad truth than this Imgur user’s post that breaks down film genre marketing and cliches just with movie posters.

 Back to back: do the main roles have a hate/love relationship and are forced to work together to get the job done? Show them off with backs against each other

 LamerisiremaL’s post aggregates a lot of common poster themes and images and summarizes what the films are ultimately about.

 One eye – one eye looking eerily to the public. Probably a horror movie, but human nature will be a theme


They’re pretty on-point with their thematic groupings and analysis, as well.

Yellow all over: a bright yellow poster is probably an independent movie but with mainstream enough script so it is accessible for the main public

Like, scary accurate.

Floating heads: big heads over small people, the beach or a desert. silhouette at the ocean and pastel colours, bring your tissues because tears will flow with this emotional drama…

The same visual cues are used over and over again.

Backshot of a loner: feel the drama while looking over the shoulder of our hero, he/she is most likely holding a weapon

So you may not be able to judge a book by a cover…

In bed: main characters in a bed (often frowning to each other) indicates that the problems are just there, in the bedroom

…but movies are pretty easy to sum up.

Blue – movies revolving around animals are most likely with blue posters and white letters, add a big moon for drama

It doesn’t matter the genre.

Black/white: black and white face and background with coloured flames, this will a packed action movie

Or sub-genre of that genre.

Skewed and running: he’s running! But where? A thriller, the blue adds to the suspense as the main lead is unwillingly pulled into a drama in which he needs to discover something

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